Demetrius Andrade Moves on to Semifinal Action but Luis Yanez, Gary Russell, Jr., and Michael Hunter Suffer Quarterfinal Losses

(CHICAGO, ILL.) – Welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) moved on to the semifinal round with a 30-9 win over Germany’s Jack Culcay-Keth. Quarterfinal action wasn’t as kind to three members of the team on Thursday evening as both light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) and bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) dropped quarterfinal bouts. Yanez lost a 17-7 decision to the Philippines’ Harry Tanamor, Russell dropped a 16-6 bout to Russia’s Sergey Vodopyanov and Hunter dropped a 22-15 decision to Russia’s Islam Timursiev..

Tanamor claimed the early lead in the bout and refused to relinquish it in the four round bout. He led by a 6-2 margin after the first and built it out to a seven-point lead at the halfway mark of the bout. Yanez applied pressure on the moving Tanamor, looking to set up shots and dent his opponent’s advantage. Yet Tanamor held 15-6 lead with two minutes of boxing remaining in the contest. Yanez came out charging in the fourth round, but Tanamor never stopped circling the ring and went on to win the 17-7 decision. Yanez’s quarterfinal finish earns him a berth in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

“I didn’t expect him to come out there like that, they told me I was five down after the first round I didn’t feel I was down that much. I couldn’t see me losing by five points. I guess the judges saw some things differently than what I saw in there.”

Russell fell behind by a four point deficit early as well, with Vodopyanov moving out to a 4-0 lead after the first round. Russell came out swinging in the second, but the result was the same as Vodopyanov took a 9-4 lead at the midway point. The trend continued in the third round with Russell connecting with clean punches but not denting Vodopyanov’s advantage as the Russian boxer began to circle the ring. Russell stalked the moving Vodopyanov in the fourth round even sending him to the canvas but the scoreboard didn’t change and he lost a 16-6 final decision. Russell claimed a spot in the 2008 Olympic Games with his top eight finish.

“It was frustrating, it’s the world championships. I got a bronze in the last worlds, I feel like I took a step down. All I can do is thank God, I’m healthy, I feel good and I’ll see him in the Olympics.”

Andrade put an end to the U.S. streak of losses with an impressive performance in his bout with Culcay-Keth. He never trailed in the bout although the contest stayed close through the first two rounds with Andrade holding a slim 4-3 advantage after the first. He tripled his lead in the second stanza, opening up with long, straight shots to take a 10-7 lead after two rounds. Yet everything changed in the third as Andrade took complete control, landing strong, accurate flurries and giving Culcay-Keith a standing eight count en route to a 22-8 edge with one round remaining. The fourth round continued in the same fashion as the crowd roared in approval, and Andrade went on to win a 30-9 final victory to move on to the medal round.

“I just wanted to see what he was going to come with. My game plan was to go inside and try to get a couple of body shots in there and wear him down so I could box,” Andrade said. “My distance and jab and straight left were working. In the first and second round, I was wearing him down and then I started putting my punches together.”

Hunter boxed valiantly in his bout with the powerful Russian, keeping the bout close through the first two rounds. He trailed by only point at the end of the first and kept coming at the vaunted Russian, but trailed 13-10 after two rounds. Timursiev extended his advantage in the third round as Hunter looked to chip away at his lead, and held a 19-12 advantage as the final round began. Hunter landed some strong, clean punches in the fourth but dropped a 22-15 final decision, falling one bout short of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games.

“I just went out there, boxed, he was pretty of strong. He hit with a couple of punches that knocked off balance but nothing that really hurt me. I sensed he was getting tired in the later rounds, I tried to go get him but I just couldn’t catch him.”

Luis Yanez quotes
“If I lost, I thought I should have at least lost by only two or three points.”

“I realized he was going to do that when I got back after the first round and I was down five. I knew he was going to start running. I expected that so I told myself to pick it up a little bit but he was moving just a little too much and I started to lose focus.”

“I was just a little bit antsy, I can’t see myself losing like that and I got carried away and got caught with shots I shouldn’t have gotten caught with.”

“It’s not really a shock to me because I still have Beijing and I have things to work on. I going to come back and study that fight and come back a better man.”

“I would rather have lost to him than anyone else and I know next month I’ll be going to China and I’ll get some work there.”

“I’ve got to work on some more speed, move my head and throw some more punches.”

“It’s feels odd but you can’t win them all. I’d rather take a loss here than anywhere else.”

“He was taller than me, he had longer arms and that’s what he had against me and he was countering my punches.”

Gary Russell Jr. quotes
“I felt as though I wasn’t getting my points, things happen, its takes a champion to overcome something like this. We’re going to the Olympics, my goal was complete when I qualified to make it to the Olympics. Of course, I wanted to take it all the way here, my family was here, my coaches, we worked hard in the gym, it paid off, I’m here and I’m thankful for what happened.”

“I thought I was connecting with a lot of clean shots that they weren’t giving me points for. It’s real political, I’m happy that I’m here. I qualified for the Olympics.”

“It connected, but like I said but I have no excuses. I came here in shape, I came here ready, I was hungry. I believe that I showed everyone here in the arena that I’m coming, I’m determined. I think I broke my thumb, I don’t know. It’s sore, it hurts, but I’m a warrior. You have to be a gladiator in this sport and be willing to overcome every obstacle. I’m still going to the Olympics, we’ll see what happens.”

“It frustrates you, but you can’t do anything about it. You just have to stay focused, concentrate on what your goals are in the ring. It’s cool, I get to eat now. I don’t have to watch my weight anymore.”

“That’s one of the reasons you try to get up on points early so you won’t have to catch up on points, but you have to overcome obstacles in the ring. That was one of them today.”

“I always feel that I have a puncher’s chance, I wanted to connect real clean. I knew that if I connected clean, I could have hurt him and gotten him out of there, but things happen. Everything happens for a reason, God wanted me to be here, I’m here and I’m happy.”

Demetrius Andrade quotes
“My eye held up pretty well, I felt it when he punched me and hit my glove. I took things slow and easy. I was seeing fine but I didn’t want to risk anything. I went in there with a game plan, no macho man, we just used boxing.”

“I expected it to happen, we just wanted to wear him down in the early rounds so I could go in there and box and it came out well.”

“I don’t want to talk about the scoring system but things happen and I went out with the intention of winning for everybody.”

“I try to block that out, I try not to pay attention to it and do what I usually do – box.”

“My confidence is good, I’m going in as I always do as the underdog, people don’t expect the United States to win but I’m going to prove them wrong.”

“I believe I can be much better, I’m just going to keep working hard.”

Michael Hunter quotes

“You have to expect these things. You can’t win them all but I’m always coming back.”

“He just keeps a pretty good guard up, I was looping a lot of my punches. There’s just things I have to learn from, this is only the beginning. You will see me in Beijing.”

“I just have to keep working hard, study the tape a little bit, see my mistakes and correct them.”

“It happens, this is amateur boxing so you have to expect these things.”

“I have fought bigger people and stronger people, he bleeds just like us. There’s nothing that he can hurt me with.”

“I just have to correct my mistakes, go back to the gym and keep working hard. There’s nothing I can do about it, I’m blessed to be here.”

“I need to work on my right hand, I was looping a lot of my punches. I have to look at the tape, see what other things I did wrong and correct it.”

“I know I’m good and I know I’m going to make it so I have to keep working hard. He was very strong, some of the punches he was moving my body, knocking me off balance so I knew he was strong. I couldn’t step to him and get my balance. Those are things I have to work with. “

Article posted on 01.11.2007

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