U.S. Boxers Earn Berths in the Semifinal Round at the Olympic Test Event in Beijing

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Four U.S. boxers have earned berths in the semifinal round at the Olympic Test Event, November 17-22 in Beijing, China. All four American athletes competing in the event, featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio); lightweight Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.); heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) and super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) remain undefeated in China..

The Test Event, which provides an important dress rehearsal for Olympic competition, is being contested at the 2008 Olympic boxing venue, the Worker’s Gymnasium in Beijing. Williams, Ali, Wilder and Hunter are the only four U.S. athletes competing in the event. Williams continued his outstanding boxing from the 2007 World Championships in Beijing, China, in which he officially earned a berth in the 2008 Olympic Games. Williams opened the Beijing Test Event with a 23-8 victory over Hicham Siouti of France and took a walkover over win over China’s Yang Li to move on to the semifinal round. He will face off with Russia’s Afanasy Poskachin of Russia in the semifinals. Poskachin is a different Russian boxer than competed in the 2007 World Championships.

Ali is looking to bounce back from the 2007 World Championships, and he has enjoyed a successful start in Beijing. He opened the competition for the U.S. team, winning a 28-11 decision over France’s Jean Gomis. Ali faced off with Mexico’s Francisco Vargas in his quarterfinal bout, and he recorded a 29-22 win to advance to semifinal action. He will take on the Republic of South Africa’s Owethu Mbira in his third bout of the tournament.

Wilder claimed his first international victory with a win over home country boxer, Leilei Wang of China. Despite being down early in the bout, Wilder came flying back to win a 25-17 decision over Wang. He will face Vadim Likhman of Russia in the semifinal round.

Hunter made an early statement in his quarterfinal contest, stopping Paramjeet Samota of India in the second round of their match-up. He built-up a 20-point advantage, causing the mandatory stoppage in the second round. He will battle Kazakhstan’s Rustam Rygebayev in semifinal action on Wednesday.

Tuesday will be an off day in Beijing prior to semifinal round action in all 11 Olympic-style weight divisions. All 11 U.S. Olympians made the trip to China for the test event and a USA/China/Kazakhstan Dual, which will be contested November 24-25 in Zunyi City in the Gui Zhou Provience of China.

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Article posted on 17.11.2007

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