World Boxing Championships: Michael Hunter Closes an Undefeated Day for the United States Boxing Team

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) capped an undefeated day for the United States with a 30-7 victory over Turkey’s Kurban Gunebakan. Hunter’s victory brings the day’s U.S. total to four as flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio); featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio); and middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) all earned second round victories..

It was clear from the start of the bout that Hunter was the quicker and more athletic boxer as he danced around the heavy-footed Gunebakan and flicked straight shots in the Turkish athlete’s face. After having a point taken for ducking his hand, Hunter held a 6-3 lead at the end of one round. He became more active in the second despite Gunebakan’s constant holding and pushing Hunter’s head down, which caused the referee to take a point from the visiting boxer. His movement clearly began to tire Gunebakan and Hunter enjoyed a 13-5 lead at the end of two. The third round was all Hunter as Gunebakan appeared to give up, dropping his hands and allowing Hunter to throw his quick, crisp punches. He boasted a 23-7 lead as the fourth round began and the trend continued over the final two minutes. Despite having a commanding advantage, Hunter pressed Gunebakan through the final seconds, giving him a standing eight count as the final bell rang to take a 30-7 final decision.

“I found my rhythm early and I sensed that he was tired so I stepped right to him. He was doing a lot of holding and trying to make me tired,” Hunter said. “During the middle of the second round, I could tell he was getting tired and I should step it up a little bit. I knew I could start taking more chances.”

Light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) will take the ring for the first time in Sunday’s action, facing off with Simanga Shiba of Swaziland. Lightweight Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will challenge Hrachik Javakhyan of Armenia; Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) will battle Dmitrijs Sostaks of Latvia, and Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) will face off with Tony Jeffries of England.

Michael Hunter quotes

“I was behind the referee all the time because as soon as he let me go, I went after him. All the training and sprint work paid off that goes to Patrick. He’s our strength and conditioning coach.

“I fed off the energy of the crowd a lot. We’re at home, we’re not usually at home and it’s a different feeling.“

“We are still running here, some guys just have to get weight off, but nothing serious. We’re here so we’ve already done our work back home. We do 35-40 minutes of hard conditioning every morning.”

“Toward the middle of the second round, I could sense him getting tired.”

“Most of these guys are heavy footed so they don’t move well and my movement helps me a lot.”

“We came to fight everybody, we just came to get that gold.”

“We still have way more to go, this is only the beginning.”

“I was trying to get it done early so I could go home. I kept pushing.”

A Trio of U.S. Boxers Take Home Second Round Victories from the 2007 World Championships

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – Flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio), featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio), and middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) all recorded victories in second round action on Saturday at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill.

Warren kicked off the action in his second bout of the 2007 World Championships with Mexico’s Avila Juarez Braulio. After a rough opening contest, Warren took advantage of the opportunity to put an early end to the bout.

Warren held Braulio scoreless through the first two minutes of boxing, landing his hook early and often in the first round to take an 8-0 lead after one. Warren’s straight left hand took center stage in the second, as he continually found the mark. The returning Olympian continued to evade Braulio’s oncoming punches and held a 15-1 edge at the halfway point of the contest. The Mexican boxer came out swinging in the third, but Warren held him off and regained control late in the round. He built his lead to a 23-3 margin with just over 10 seconds in the round to win the mandatory stoppage victory.

“This wasn’t as rough as the first one,” Warren said. “I just wanted to build up the lead early. I started off throwing my hook, but the coaches told me that my straight shots were working and they wanted me to throw straight punches.”

Warren will face the Philippines’ Violito Payla on Wednesday, October 31 with a berth in the 2008 Olympic Games up for grabs.

Williams continued to build his name on the international scene with a convincing 28-9 victory over Mazat Ospanov of Kazakhstan at the 2007 World Championships in Chicago, Ill., on Saturday.

Ospanov was active from the opening bell, stepping to Williams, but it was the American boxer who controlled the bout with his counterpunching and movement. Williams held a slim 6-3 lead after one round, but he took over in the second. The 18-year-old increased the heat in the second round, catching Ospanov with a strong hook, knocking him off balance and causing a standing eight count. His efforts earned Williams a 16-6 edge after two. Williams returned to his strong movement and defense in the third, countering the charging Ospanov to extend his lead to a 23-9 margin with one round remaining the bout. The trend continued in the final two minutes with Williams evading oncoming Ospanov punches and landing shots of his own to win a 28-9 final decision.

“My legs didn’t feel good earlier and in the last round, my legs felt kind of weak. I think the support from my coaches and team members pushed me to go forward and I’m taking this home,” Williams said. “My game plan was to go in there and box him. I can brawl and I can box and they pushed me into boxing and I boxed his head off.”

Williams now stands only one victory away from qualifying an Olympic berth. He will face Azat Hovhannisyan of Armenia in third round action on Tuesday, October 30.

Estrada battled in a sloppy, foul-filled contest with Japan’s Ryota Murata in the third U.S. bout of the day. Murata’s awkward style threw Estrada out of his game early in the bout and Murata held a two-point lead after each of the first two rounds. The bout was stopped throughout the four rounds for the referee to call both boxers for numerous infractions as Estrada looked for openings. He began to find the mark in the third round and pulled the bout to an 8-7 margin as the fourth round began. Estrada grabbed his first lead midway through the round, and despite having a point taken late in the round, held a two point advantage as the bout moved into the final twenty seconds. He threw a strong flurry at the end of the bout, giving Murata a standing eight count with under five seconds remaining in the bout. Estrada won a 17-12 final decision to move on to third round action.

“I stayed in there and kept my focus. My determination kept me in the fight. The crowd and my team players and the support from my team kept me going in there,” Estrada said. “He was tired and I was in shape, and whoever wanted the win would pull it out in the end. I wanted it and came out with the win. It was good, I got the big W at the end.”

Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) will battle Turkey’s Kurban Gunebakan in the evening session.

Rau’shee Warren Quotes

“I wanted to build up points early, I wanted it to be quick. I like to get in the ring and get out.”

“I could hear my teammates yelling that I only needed three more points (for the mandatory stoppage), but it felt like eight or nine points.”

“I haven’t seen someone as fast as me yet. I hope that I don’t ever face someone that’s faster than me.”

Raynell Williams

“He knew he wasn’t going to catch up so I gave up on himself. He kept trying to push me over so I had to pick up a few times to let him know that I wasn’t a pushover.”

“He came in, I caught him with a hook and he fell down. He came in, I stepped back and hooked him and he didn’t know what to do.”

“It (hearing the USA chant) was wonderful. It made me keep going forward.”

“It (the success of the U.S. team doesn’t surprise me. We all trained hard for this.”

“I can move backward or forward, that’s something that comes with boxing. I was happy with it, I worked my angles and let my punches go.”

“My corner kept telling me that I was looking beautifully and keep doing what I was doing. They told me to keep my head up because the referee was calling me for everything.”

“This is still like a fairy tale, I can’t believe it.”

Shawn Estrada

“I just tried to keep focused and do what the coaches were saying to me and try to keep it precise, out-move him and out-think him and try to get the big W at the end.”

“My game plan was to try to keep moving and keep boxing and it was a good plan. I’m happy with it.”

“I tried to figure him out in the first round, see what he’s got, and then try to annihilate him, try to get him out of there.”

“I knew I was behind, but determination, the will and my teammates kept me going. I had the fire and I wanted it more.”

“I had to stay focused, listen to the corner. They see better than I do when I’m in there so I have to listen to them.”

“I had to fight my fight, and keep going with the positive thinking and look where it got me. I got the big win.”

“This was one of my toughest bouts. You have to take every one seriously, you have to take it as they are a champion and they want to win just like me. I pulled it off and I’m happy with it.”

“I was trying to be patient and trying to get the job. I wanted to listen to my corner, and focus, focusing in the ring is my main goal.”

“The referee is going to do his job and we’re going to do our job. I have to stay focused and not let that bother me.”

“This was a tough fight and I’m ready for my next opponent. I’m going day-by-day and step-by-step.”

“I tend to like boxing, but I can be physical. If you want me to be physical, I’m a strong boxer and I can be physical too. I’m a two-dimensional boxer.”

Article posted on 27.10.2007

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