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BEIJING (AP) - A Samoan boxer was removed from the Olympic ring on a stretcher Saturday night after getting knocked out in the third round of his first bout.

Farani Tavui was hit with a series of hard punches by Marijo Sivolija-Jelica of Croatia in the second and third rounds of their light heavyweight fight at Workers' Gymnasium. A big right hand eventually staggered Tavui, who wobbled the length of the ring before finally flopping to the canvas.

Tavui stood as the referee counted, but staggered another distance before falling again. Although he seemed able to raise and move his head as the ringside doctor called for a stretcher, Tavui was removed four minutes later.

"I don't enjoy such injuries, because it can always happen to me," Sivolija-Jelica said. "I am not cruel. I am an emotional boxer. I'm not pleased."

Tavui won the Oceania title at light heavyweight in 2007 and again this year, beating fighters from New Zealand, Australia and Tahiti. He is the only boxer representing Samoa at the Olympics.
 
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