Winner leaves the ring running

Updated: August 24, 2004, 4:44 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Fans threw water bottles in disgust and forced an Egyptian fighter to flee from the ring after a referee ruled a Greek light heavyweight couldn't continue boxing because of cuts.

A large partisan crowd at the Peristeri boxing arena came expecting to cheer Elias Pavlidis to victory, and he was winning the fight 18-12 in the third round when it was stopped.

The crowd immediately began booing and throwing the bottles -- some half-filled -- into the ring from upper balcony seats. Egypt's Ahmed Ismail was declared the winner, but left the ring running to get out of the angry crowd.

Pavlidis was trying to become the first Greek ever to win an Olympic boxing medal, and would have been guaranteed one had he won the quarterfinal fight. His fight drew the biggest crowd of the boxing competition so far, but most fans left immediately after it was stopped instead of staying around for the night's final bout.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press