Eight Boxers Advance to Final Round Action at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Boxing

(HOUSTON, TEXAS) — Competition continued today for the 36 boxers in the light flyweight, bantamweight, lightweight, welterweight, light heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials—Boxing at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

In the winners’ bracket of the light flyweight division, Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) and Diego Hurtado (Reno, Nev.) battled it out in an attempt to make it to the finals. Yanez took a quick 3-0 lead at the end of the first. Scoring six in both the second and third rounds, Yanez held a 15-4 lead at the end of the third. He laid it all out on the table in the fourth round, scoring 11 points and defeating Hurtado 26-6. “Going into the first, I was being patient,” Yanez said. “I knew he would bring it. I stuck my jab out and I was countering his punches. In the second and third, I started picking it up a little bit. He was getting mad and I started connecting my shots a little sharper over the final two rounds.”

Two bouts were contested in the light flyweight challengers’ bracket with Malcolm Franklin (Rialto, Calif.) defeating Daniel Lozano (Bowling Green, Fla.) 23-20, and Roberto Ceron (Doraville, Ga.) defeating Jerail Singleton (St. Louis, Mo.) 18-15 to move on to Thursday’s action.

Bantamweights Ronny Rios (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Roberto Marroquin (Dallas, Texas) competed to the sounds of raucous yelling from each of their cheering sections. Marroquin was up by five at the end of the first, but Rios connected in the second, earning 12 points to take a 16-14 lead at the end of the second. Marroquin recovered and the score was tied at 23 going into the final round. It was anyone’s bout as the fourth began, and Marroquin came out victorious by a score of 30-27. “It was tied after the third but I stepped it up in the fourth and got it done,” Marroquin said. “I never thought I’d be here in the first place. For nine years, my goal was the Olympics and now I’m one step away.”

In the challengers’ bracket, Sergio Perales (Los Fresnos, Texas) defeated Jessy Cruz (Miami, Fla.) 21-6 and Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) won on a walkover over Sammy Dipace (Las Cruces, N.M.).

Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Jerry Belmontes (Corpus Christi, Texas) met in the lightweight division on Wednesday afternoon. Ali gained a slight 5-3 edge over Belmontes in the first round and never lost the lead. He scored 11 points in the second and seven in the third, making it 23-16 going into the fourth. Although Belmontes put up a strong fight in the final round scoring seven points, it paled in comparison to Ali’s nine points. Ali went on to win the bout 32-23 and advance to final round action. “I knew this was one of the big fights because the loser has to box me twice and I get two days off,” Ali said. “I got in, scored my points early and made him work to score points because I was already up. I pictured myself winning this whole thing but I didn’t underestimate anyone.”

In lightweight challengers’ bracket action, Miguel Gonzalez (Cleveland, Ohio) defeated Antton Slaughter (Columbus, Ohio) 24-10 and Terence Crawford (Omaha, Neb.) won over Mason Menard (Rayne, La.) 33-12 in the lightweight challenger’s bracket.

Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) and Keith Thurman (St. Petersburg, Fla.) vied for a spot in the finals in the welterweight division. It was a relatively quiet first round with Andrade winning the round. 5-3. Andrade stepped it up in the remaining three rounds, scoring eight in the second, and seven in both the third and fourth. He held Thruman to only 13 points and went on to win a 27-13 final victory. “I listened to my corner and the directions were well given,” Andrade said. “I snapped the jab and took a half step back. I went to the body and started wearing him down and took over in the last two rounds. The week is going well, I was in good shape from the Pan Ams, and I had three weeks to get ready for this.”

Charles Hatley (Dallas, Texas) and Boyd Melson (Fort Carson, Colo.) who were victorious in the challengers’ bracket of the welterweight division. Hatley stopped Mahlon Kerwick (Fort Carson, Colo.) one minute 30 seconds into the fourth round and Melson defeated Anthony Campbell (Covington, Tenn.) on with his 28-27 total punch count victory breaking the 13-all tie.

Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) and Yathomas Riley (San Diego, Calif.) were paired in the light heavyweight division. After low scoring first and second rounds, Downs led 2-1. It was a close third round with Downs earning six points and Riley landing four blows, making the score 8-5 in favor of Downs. Although Downs scored three points in the fourth compared to Riley’s four, it was not enough for the win, with Downs claiming an 11-9 victory. “Today’s bout was a chess match,” Downs said. “I didn’t know that he was going to change his tactics that much. He’s usually a pressure boxer and today he was looking to counter and keep the score low. I think I was a little quicker than him today. The week has gone well. Some bouts have been a little close than I’d like, but I’m still here and I’m going to box in the finals so I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”

In the light heavyweight challengers’ bracket Cymone Kearney (Oakland, Calif.) stopped DeRae Crane (Davenport, Iowa/NMU) and Angel Concepcion (East Orange, N.J.) defeated Siju Shabazz (Las Cruces, N.M.), 25-11.

Las Vegas, Nevada’s Michael Hunter took on Kimdo Bethel of Albany, N.Y. in the super heavyweight division winners bracket. Hunter held Bethel scoreless in the first round and took and early 4-0 lead going into the second. He increased his score in the second and third, leading 11-2 at the start of the fourth. Hunter went on to win by a score of 16-6. “I feel really good,” Hunter said. “I haven’t lost yet. I’m going to take my time to recover and they [challengers’ bracket boxers] have to box and that’s a great advantage. I think this bout was the worst of the tournament for me. I was sloppy, reaching and making a lot of mistakes. His style gave me problems because he was switching back from orthodox to southpaw.”

Super heavyweights Andrew Shepherd (Fort Carson, Colo.) and Mike Wilson (Central Point, Ore.) were victorious in the challengers’ bracket. Shepherd defeated Lenroy Thompson (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) 8-8 with an 18-17 tiebreaker and Wilson defeated Nate James (Malden, Mass./NMU) 20-17.

This evening at six p.m., the flyweights, featherweights, light welterweights, middleweights and heavyweights will take to the ring at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

106 lbs/winners bracket: Yanez, Duncanville, Texas, dec. Diego Hurtado, Reno, Nev., 26-6
106 lbs/challengers bracket: Malcom Franklin, Rialto, Calif., dec. Daniel Lozano, Bowling Green, Fla., 23-20
106 lbs/challengers bracket: Roberto Ceron, Doraville, Ga., dec. Jerail Singleton, St. Louis, Mo., 18-15
119 lbs/winners bracket: Roberto Marroquin, Dallas, Texas, dec. Ronny Rios, Santa Ana, Calif., 30-27
119 lbs/challengers bracket: Garry Russell, Jr., Capitol Heights, Md. won on walkover over Sammy Dipace, Las Cruces, N.M., W/O
119 lbs/challengers bracket: Sergio Perales, Los Fresnos, Texas, dec. Jessy Cruz, Miami, Fla., 21-6
132 lbs/winners bracket: Sadam Ali, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Jerry Belmontes, Corpus Christi, Texas, 32-23
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Terence Crawford, Omaha, Neb., dec. Mason Menard, Rayne, La., 33-12
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Miguel Gonzalez, Celveland, Ohio, dec. Antton Slaughter, Columbus, Ohio, 24-10
152 lbs/winners bracket: Demetrius Andrade, Providence, R.I., dec. Keith Thurman, St. Petersburg, Fla., 27-13
152 lbs/challengers bracket: Charles Hatley, Dallas, Texas, stopped Mahlon Kerwick, Fort Carson, Colo., RSC-4 (1:30)
152 lbs/challengers bracket: Boyd Melson, Fort Carson, Colo., dec. Anthony Campbell, Covington, Tenn., 13-13 (28-27)
178 lbs/winners bracket: Christopher Downs, Fort Carson, Colo. dec. Yathomas Riley, San Diego, Calif., 11-9
178 lbs/challengers bracket: Angel Concepcion, East Orange, N.J., dec. Siju Shabazz, Las Cruces, N.M., 25-11
178 lbs/challengers bracket: Cymone Kearney, Oakland, Calif. stopped DeRae Crane, Davenport, Iowa/NMU, RSCH-1 (1:24)
201+ lbs/winners bracket: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev. dec. Kimdo Bethel, Albany, N.Y., 16-6
201+ lbs/challengers bracket: Andrew Shepherd, Fort Carson, Colo. dec. Lenroy Thompson, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 8-8 (18-17)
201+ lbs/challengers bracket: Mike Wilson, Central Point, Ore. dec. Nate James, Malden, Mass./NMU, 20-17

Article posted on 22.08.2007

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