Sadam Ali and Demetrius Andrade Earn First Round Victories at the 2007 Boxing World Championships

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – 2007 World Championships action moved into the seventh session on Thursday afternoon at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill. Lightweight Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) both notched victories in their World Championships debut to bring the U.S. win total to eight. Ali recorded a 25-17 final over Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico and Andrade won a 22-11 decision over Georgia’s Kakahaber Jvania..

Ali stepped through the ropes first, and he didn’t receive a positive welcome as Pedraza came out of the gates quickly and grabbed the early momentum. Ali trailed by an 8-3 margin after a frenzied first round, but he began to climb his way back in the second. He chipped away at Pedraza’s lead, pulling the bout to 11-8 at the end of two. Yet the third round belonged to Ali, he needed only 30 seconds to pull the bout to a tie. He took the lead midway through the third and never relinquished his advantage, pressing the action and pulling away from Pedraza. Ali enjoyed an 18-13 lead as the fourth round began and kept up the pressure in the fourth, extending his lead to 25-17 at the sound of the final bell. Ali will face Hrachik Javakhyan of Armenia in his second bout on Sunday.

“I didn’t fight like I was supposed to, but I was down and I knew I had to get points so I just got in there and started scoring,” Ali said. “What I was doing (early) wasn’t working, I was getting hit with shots I wasn’t supposed to get hit with.”

Andrade’s bout got off to a slower start than his U.S. opponent with he and Jvania boxing to a 2-2 tie after the first two minutes of action. The American picked up the pace in the second round, pressing the action and scoring strong shots to take a 10-5 advantage at the halfway mark. He continued to control the bout through the final two rounds, despite the referee constantly calling the two boxers for infractions. Andrade dropped Jvania to the canvas in the final second of the third round, but he didn’t take his foot off the gas over the final two minutes. He went on to a 22-11 decision to advance to second round action where he will face Dmitrijs Sostaks of Latvia.

“I went in there with a boxing plan, but he was just a little too rough so I folded up and went inside,” Andrade said. “My plan was to jab and throw a straight left to the body, but every time I went to the body, he kept pushing my head down. I wasn’t trying to knock him out, if it comes, it comes, I just wanted to wear him down.”

Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) will face off with Ismayl Sillakh of Ukraine in the session.

Sadam Ali Quotes

“I knew I was down in the first round, I wasn’t sure how many I was down by, but I knew that I was down.

I always come in confident, I knew I had to dig in, I knew I can change styles and that I can take a punch.

I always pick it up in the third round, I don’t know, but that’s where I get most of points usually. You just have to keep scoring, keep winning and go get that gold.

I was throwing my jab with an overhand right and a left hook, and I wanted to throw combinations so that the judges could see that I was scoring.

Demetrius Andrade Quotes

“I can’t control what the referee is doing, he’s going to call what he’s going to call and I am just there to box.”

“Defense is very important, without defense, you won’t win anything. Therefore I used good defense, I blocked most of his punches and everything he threw, I came off on.”

“I’m not surprised by the success the U.S. team has had, we trained hard and we expect everyone to win. Everything that we worked on at training camp at the Olympic Training Center has helped us here.”

“The energy was crazy, I looked to the corner and they were telling me to go, go, and that pushed me.“

“I don’t really like to have this kind of fight so early, but I will deal with whatever comes.”

U.S. Results

132 lbs/60 kg: Sadam Ali, Brooklyn, N.Y./USA dec. Jose Pedraza, PUR, 25-17

152 lbs/69 kg: Demetrius Andrade, Providence, R.I./USA dec. Kakahaber Jvania, GEO, 22-11

Christopher Downs Pulls Out a Barnburner at the 2007 World Championships

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – Light heavyweight Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) was the final U.S. boxer to compete in Thursday’s action, taking on Ukraine’s Ismayl Sillakh.

Downs took early control of the bout, which was contested in front of a raucous crowd of both Ukrainian and American fans. The action was fast and furious in the first round with Downs enjoying the better of the action to take an 8-5 lead after one round. He continued to land straight shots in the second stanza, moving out to a 16-12 lead at the midway mark. Yet Downs chose to engage in the third stanza and the charging Sillakh started to chip away at his lead, and the American boxer held only a 19-18 advantage as the final round began. The fourth round was a battle of wills with the crowd reaching a furious peak as both the Ukrainian and American fans cheered their boxers. Sillakh pulled the bout to a tie and the lead changed hands over the final minute of the bout. Downs appeared re-energized by the roaring chants of U-S-A ringing through the rafters of the UIC Pavilion. He grabbed the final lead in the last 15 seconds of the bout before winning a 27-25 final decision.

“I have to credit my condition, I didn’t execute anything that my corner asked me to do. He took me out of my game. He had a nice straight right hand and it kind of threw me off a little bit,” Downs said. “I was trying to counter with speed and it didn’t work. I dwindled my lead away, I had a five point lead and instead of using the ring, I chose to engage. I tried to increase my lead and it almost backfired on me, so next time I will try to listen to what my corner is telling me to do and execute.”

Christopher Downs quotes

“I’m not really concerned about what the score is from time to time. My corner just tells me whether I’m up or down and to protect the lead. I thought I was a lot quicker than this guy, a lot faster, but he started to put his punches together really nicely and at the end, I just had to engage and make it a street fight and find out who wanted it the most.”

“That is the loudest I’ve heard the U.S. crowd since we’ve been here, I loved hearing our fans be passionate. I challenge everyone else who’s not here to come out and support their national team because it gave me the strength to keep pushing and to engage. I just love the fans and this is the first time that we’ve gotten to be home and hear them chanting USA and not any boos. “

“I made it a tough fight, not to take anything away from him. He came in there and did what he was supposed to do, but I have to fault myself for that. I should have just listened and trusted my corner more. Next time, I will have to do that or I might be going home.”

“From day one when I started boxing, its just the will and the desire to win and persevere and when it feels like its slipping away, just to buckle down and knuckle up and do the best you can. Not listening to my corner got me in trouble, they have 40 or 50 years of experience and they know what they are talking about. I have to trust in my corner and I do trust them but I thought I was a lot quicker and it proved me wrong tonight.”

“When the team was put together I saw that you could see quite a few World Championships and Olympic medals from this team. It’s a young but talented group from our 106, Luis Yanez, all the way up to our super heavyweight Michael Hunter, the average age outside of myself has to be 19-years-old, a lot of them are in school and training full time as well as studying, but they have the will and determination to do this nation proud.”

“We are among the best in my opinion, there are few countries that are ahead of us, just because they have more experienced boxers. Raynell Williams boxed a 2004 Olympian and beat him. You have to take your hat off to these kids, they aren’t intimidated by anybody.”

“In comparing this to the battlefield, the similarity is that both sides come to fight, but you can get up and walk away from this.”

“I haven’t gotten a chance to spar in the last couple of weeks, not making any excuses, but my timing’s a little off so the first time I got in live contact, and it showed.”

“Dan Campbell is truly a national coach, a great disciplinarian, he makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do, and be where they are supposed to be. If they’re not, he makes sure they stay in line and that’s what you have to do. There’s no premadonnas on this team. Its all about team, its all about togetherness. As I tell them all the time, once we cross the waters, we don’t have anyone but each other.”

“Those guys are the great comedians, when you are tired and they always do something to lift your spirits and make you want to dig down.”

“I like to make it as easy as possible, we have a saying that a hard head makes a soft body and I have to learn from my mistakes and listen to my coaches. If I could, I’d like to have it by walkover.”

“My first goal, first and foremost is to qualify and anything after that is a bonus.”

U.S. Result

178 lbs/81 kg: Christopher Downs, Fort Carson, Colo./USA dec. Ismayl Sillakh, UKR, 27-25

Article posted on 25.10.2007

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