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Published: Sunday, 8/8/2004

McClure to Vargas: Be confident


All eyes in Toledo will be focused on heavyweight boxer Devin Vargas at the Olympics in Athens.

Wilbert "Skeeter" McClure, a Toledo native who won a gold medal in the light-middleweight division at 156 pounds in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, will be watching too, from his home in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

"I love Devin," he said.

McClure bumped into Vargas recently at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

"I was there trying to get the job of team psychologist - they ended up picking someone else - and Devin was staying right across the hall from us," McClure said. "I didn't talk to him much, but I did get to meet him.

"I like him a lot. He's a nice guy."

McClure said Vargas will have a tough battle on his hands in order to win gold.

"It's always tough on the Americans," McClure said. "When you've got U.S. on your shirt, it makes it very difficult for you to win. For instance, in 1960 they fired 13 judges after the second day of competition for being corrupt and cheating. It was a disgrace."

McClure has some advice for Vargas.

"Be confident. Be aggressive. Have a game plan and stick to it. And remember, you're trying to score points and not going for the knockout," he said.

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