<span style="text-decoration:underline"><strong>Harding wins first Oregon bout</strong></span>
By ANDREW HINKELMAN
.c The Associated Press
LINCOLN CITY, Ore. (AP) - Tonya Harding won her home- state boxing debut on a unanimous decision Friday night.
The self-titled ``America's Bad Girl'' entered the ring to a chorus of boos from the crowd of about 1,800 at Chinook Winds Casino, but left to mostly cheers after an easy victory.
Dressed in black and flanked by an entourage of six, the disgraced former U.S. figure skating champion (3-1) looked overweight and was clearly winded by the end of the first of four rounds against Emily Gosa.
The entire fight barely elevated itself above a drunken street brawl, with both boxers running to the center of the ring at the fight's start and stumbling through the first few seconds after colliding.
Gosa, making her professional debut, looked better suited to be a ring-card girl than a boxer, and fell down early in the fight. Harding also stumbled to one knee, but neither was credited with a knockdown, and that's as close as either fighter came to hitting the mat.
Harding had decidedly more power than Gosa, snapping the younger woman's head back on several occasions and drawing blood from her right nostril in the second round.
Gosa, from Sulligent, Ala., got in some decent punches of her own, but none of the shots had the power to faze Harding.
As Harding left the ring - again protected by her phalanx of bodyguards, trainers and hangers-on - she was taunted by several fans, one who suggested she bring her hubcap next time, a reference to a domestic dispute in which Harding attacked her then-boyfriend with a hubcap.
Harding's skating career ended in 1994 after she was linked to an assault plot to keep rival Nancy Kerrigan out of the Olympics. The plot failed, even though Kerrigan was clubbed on a knee. Harding acknowledged hindering the attack investigation.
06/14/03 01:52 EDT
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