Javier Molina Adds Wins his Light Welterweight Opener at the 2007 AIBA World Championships

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – Light welterweight Javier Molina (Commerce, Calif.) boxed in his first major international bout on Tuesday, but it didn’t show in his performance as he recorded a 36-17 victory over Jamaica’s Rikardo Smith. Molina was the second U.S. boxer to compete in the opening day of competition, joining bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) in earning a first round win..

Molina led from bell-to-bell, taking an 8-4 advantage after the first round of action. Smith kept it close in the first half of the bout as Molina held a 14-9 lead at the midway point. Yet the 17-year-old turned it on in the third round, scoring 12 points and holding the rangy Smith to four to move out to a commanding 26-13 edge as the final two minutes began. His outstanding boxing continued in the fourth as Molina found his rhythm, and continued to pour on the points as the chant of U-S-A filled the arena. He went on to win a 37-16 final decision to advance on to second round action where he will face Emil Maharramov of Azerbaijan.

“I tried not to pull straight back because every time I did, he would get me with his long arms. I tried to turn him,” Molina said. “I’m not surprised by the win, I expected it after all the hard work that I’ve put in. He was one dimensional, he just came forward with long arms. The only thing I had trouble with was the length of his arms, but after the first round, I got used to it. People see me as a little kid with hardly any muscle so the guys I box are bigger than me and they don’t think I can do it, but I know in my head that I can do it. I don’t see myself as an underdog, I always go in with confidence and ready to box.

Four U.S. boxers will take the ring for the first bouts of the tournament on Wednesday. Featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) will battle Khedafi Djelkhir of France in the 11a.m. session, middleweight Shawn Estrada (Downey, Calif.) will face Artur Zlatopolski of Israel in 2 p.m. competition. Heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) and super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) will compete in evening action, facing Krzysztof Zimnoch of Poland and Andres Ruiz Ponce of Mexico respectively

2004 Olympian Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) will join three U.S. boxers in opening World Championships action on Thursday. Warren will open the day in 11 a.m. action with a preliminary round contest with Uzbekistan’s Tulashboy Doniyorov, lightweight Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will face off with Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico in the afternoon session and welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) and light heavyweight Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) will round out the day in bouts with Kakahaber Jvania of Georgia and Ismayl Sillakh of Ukraine.

Light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) will be the final U.S. boxer to compete, stepping through the ropes for the first time on Sunday, October 28. Yanez will battle Simanga Shiba of Swaziland in his opening contest.

The first major upset took place in Tuesday evening’s light welterweight action as Japan’s Masatsugu Kawachi defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand. The two spent much of the bout wrestling and on the canvas before Kawachi pulled out a 14-9 victory.

Javier Molina Quotes

“The crowd was great, it was nice to have the crowd with us for a change. Chicago has been great, I’ve never been here before, it’s my first time. It’s very different from LA and I’m not used to the cold.”

“It (qualifying for the Olympic Team) was a lot hard work, but it was all worth it. I went through a lot to get here, I lost at my regionals, the Midwestern Trials and then the Golden Gloves. My coach drove me to Cocoa Beach for the Eastern Trials and I had to box five times, but I won. I never doubted that I would get here, but after every tournament, I got more nervous. I had a lot of people that were doing things for me and I thought if I didn’t qualify that I would let them down. I always dreamed about the Olympics since I was a little kid and after I lost all those times, I thought my Olympic dream for 2008 was slipping away.”

“Now I know it was all worth it, I’ve been trying hard and I’m going to get the gold medal at the Olympics.”

Gary Russell, Jr. Opens 2007 AIBA World Championships Action with a Victory

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – Bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) led off the 2007 AIBA World Championships for his U.S. team, and he did so in victorious fashion. Russell, a 2005 World Championships bronze medalist, competed in the first bout of the event at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

The two-time bantamweight national champion faced off with Rudolf Dydi of Slovakia in the tournament opener. The pace was slow going through the early going with Russell controlling the pace and Dydi staying away from the American boxer. Russell took a 3-1 lead after the first round, but Dydi began to engage more in the second. Dydi pulled the bout to a 5-4 lead at the halfway mark, but that is as close as he would get. Russell enjoyed a strong third round of action, holding Dydi scoreless while nearly doubling his point total to go into the final stanza with a 9-4 edge. He held Dydi at bay through the final two minutes to move out to a 13-6 final victory, and grab the first win of the tournament for both he and the United States team.

“It was the first bout and it was a little shaky, but God was with me and I won so that’s all I needed,” Russell said. “I wanted to box today because normally the first bouts are shaky because you have to get back in to the rhythm of boxing, and I wanted to get it out of the way. All I needed to do was let my hands go; we kept colliding because he was switching back and forth from southpaw to orthodox stance. Our feet kept hitting and it offset me a little bit, but you have to overcome things like that.”

He will face Israel’s Peter Moyshenzon in second round action on Friday.

Light welterweight Javier Molina will compete in evening action, taking on Rikardo Smith of Jamaica in his first World Championships bout.

Russell is boxing in his second world championships, having taken part in the 2005 World Championships at the ripe age of 17. He is back for more hardware in 2007, hoping to add to his trophy case as well as earn a coveted Olympic berth. Molina is boxing in his first major senior international tournament, and is the youngest member of the U.S. team at 17.

The draw was completed in all 11 Olympic-style weight divisions on Tuesday morning, and the remaining members of the United States team will box on the following schedule.

Light flyweight Luis Yanez, Duncanville, Texas/USA vs. Simanga Shiba, SWZ – October 28

Flyweight Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio vs. Tulashboy Doniyorov, UZB – October 25

Featherweight Raynell Williams, Cleveland, Ohio vs. Khedafi Djelkhir, FRA – October 24

Lightweight Sadam Ali, Brooklyn, N.Y. vs. Jose Pedraza, PUR – October 25

Welterweight Demetrius Andrade, Providence, R.I. vs. Kakahaber Jvania, GEO – October 25

Middleweight Shawn Estrada, Downey, Calif. vs. Artur Zlatopolsk, ISR – October 24

Light heavyweight Christopher Downs, Fort Carson, Colo. vs. Ismayel Sillakh, UKR – October 25

Heavyweight Deontay Wilder, Tuscaloosa, Ala. vs. Krzysztof Zimnoch, POL – October 24

Super heavyweight Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev. vs. Andres Ruiz Ponce, MEX – October 24

Gary Russell quotes

“I’m glad that I had the chance to experience it (the World Championships) because there are some guys that its their first time here and they really don’t know what to expect. I feel that I have an advantage because I know what to expect.”

“Last night made us feel good, I think everyone from the United States team feels a lot of support and its motivation to make us work a lot harder. I don’t feel any pressure, preparation is the key and we prepared ourselves well at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.”

“I will definitely be disappointed if I don’t win gold here, whenever I compete, I shoot for greatness. I want to be the best in my weight division and anything less than that would be a disappointment.”

Results will be disseminated upon the completion of the session, but for more immediate results needs, contact Julie Goldsticker at (719) 330-4072 or via email at

Article posted on 23.10.2007

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