Four U.S. Boxers Advance to Quarterfinal Action

Day five of the 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships opened with a bang in Mianyang City, China as 2004 Olympian Rau'shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) took the ring for the second time at the event. Warren was one of six U.S. boxers to compete on the day and he got the team off to the start they were looking for in his flyweight bout with David Oltvanyi of Hungary..

As he had in his first bout, Warren got off to a blazing start, scoring at will throughout the contest. The 18-year-old let loose with blazing combinations as the score rose throughout the first round to give Warren a 9-2 lead at the end of one. He quickly got back to work in the second round and through the last minute landed scoring blow after scoring blow with explosive flurries. His efforts earned Warren a commanding 23-4 lead at the midway point and almost a mandatory stoppage in the second round. Yet the start of the third round only delayed the inevitable as Warren took only 13 seconds to land the final scoring blow he needed for the mandatory stoppage due to the 20-point discrepancy rule. "I felt good today, I felt comfortable in the ring after winning my first fight. I felt that after I won my first fight, I put a lot of fear in everybody in my weight classí hearts," Warren said. "Now when I look at my opponent, they know what they are getting themselves into, so when they come out, they fear my speed or my power so I control the ring."

Warren is looking forward a rematch with Russian Georgy Balakshin in quarterfinal action. Balakshin won the first meeting between the two in Moscow at the World Cup in July, but Warren has other plans for the sequel. "I have a Russian rematch next. Iím happy that Iím fighting him. I proved my point in Russia in front of his fans, his family and his teammates but I didnít get the decision," Warren said. "Now, Iím at the World Championships and Iím winning, Iím stopping fights and Iím going to keep continuing. Against that Russian, I got him."

Bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) took the ring immediately following his teammate, looking to add a third straight win for the United States team. Canadaís Tyson Cave attempted to prevent Russell from recording the victory as the two battled in a chess match in the first round of action. Russell held a slim 5-3 lead after the first round and continued his smart boxing in the second round, using a stiff jab to slowly add to his lead, which grew to five points at the midway point. Yet it was in the third round that Russell truly shined, landing vicious body shots and sharp combinations to build up a 19-7 advantage as the final round started. Russell finished strong in the fourth round, building on his lead and using movement to protect it before moving out to a 22-9 final victory. "My game plan was to establish my jab and keep using it and hopefully everything came behind it," Russell said. "Every now and then, he would run into something else but the jab really won the fight."

Russell will take on Jordan's Al Gharaghir Ibrahim of Jordan in quarterfinal action. "Iím thinking about my opponent from Jordan tomorrow," Russell said. "Iím not going to overlook him. Iíve seen how he fights and I have an idea how to fight him and I just have to deal with him tomorrow."

Welterweight Boyd Melson (Fort Carson, Colo.) enjoyed another impressive showing in his third bout of the tournament at the 2005 World Championships. Melson had added incentive in his match-up with Thailandís Angkhan Chomphu Phuang as he was looking to avenge his loss to another Thai boxer at the 2005 World Military Championships. The bout remained close through the earlier rounds as Melson boxed in a methodical first round, and enjoyed a slim 6-4 lead advantage after the first two minutes. He continued to build on his lead through the second round, adding slowly to his advantage to take a 16-10 lead after two rounds. But once again, it was the third round when the American boxer truly shined. Melson picked up the pressure, landing strong shots and combinations and multiplying his point total to grab a commanding 32-11 lead after three rounds. Following the advice of his corner and his teammates screaming from the stands, Melson used constant movement and intelligent boxing in the fourth round to build upon his strong lead and win a 36-18 final decision.

With three wins under his belt, Melson prepares for a tough match-up on Friday. "Tomorrow is everything, itís for the medal for this country Ė USA. Tomorrow is everything, bringing home a medal for this country and after that weíll see weíve got," Melson said. "Tomorrow is my gold medal bout against Cuba so you can imagine what I will have to go through to get a medal. But tomorrow is my gold medal bout and Iím going to do my best."

Melson will take on Cuba's Erislandi Lara Santoya in quarterfinal action on Friday and as he prepares for the huge bout, several of his former West Point teammates and coaches are on his mind. "For Major Hart in Iraq, my old coach at West Point and the whole core of cadets at West Point, I feel your spirit in me for this one coming tomorrow," he said.

Super heavyweight Mike Wilson (Central Point, Ore.) recorded the fourth win of the day for the United States in his bout with Kazakhstanís Rygebayev Rustam. Wilson came in looking to avenge a loss at the USA vs. Kazakhstan Dual in 2004 and he was successful. After a slowly paced first round, the bout was dead-locked at five. Wilson began to slowly build a lead in the second round, using crisp combinations and strong body work to take an 11-8 lead at the end of two rounds. He continued to slowly increase lead through the third round and led 18-14 as the fourth round began. Wilson boxed in an intelligent and well-boxed fourth round, using movement and punches in spurts to win a 26-18 final decision and advance on to the quarterfinal round. "He is the only guy who has ever physically stopped me, Iíve been 20-point once or twice and thatís the only guy whoís ever stopped me," Wilson said. "I went into the bout at cautious at first because he is a really physical strong guy. I just knew I had to move and box. After the first round, I think I was up one or two and they just told me to keep doing what I was doing, and to keep using the same game plan."

Wilson will face Roberto Camarelle of Italy in quarterfinal competition. "I donít care who I fight, I got over the hump today because I expected a lot tougher fight than that," Wilson said. "I got over a good mental hump because I thought that guy was going to be a lot stronger but I just made it easy for myself."

Featherweight Mark Davis (Cleveland, Ohio) looked to continue the theme set by his teammates in his match-up with Lisandro Bolivar of Venezuela. Davis got off to a quick start in the bout, scoring the early points and controlling the pace of the bout to take a 7-2 lead after the first round. His pace slowed slightly in the second round of action but by the halfway point in the bout, he regained an 11-8 advantage. Davis picked up the pace in third round, landing several clean hooks and showcasing his speed, but held only a 19-16 advantage at the end of the third. Bolivar came out strong in the fourth round, attempting to make the bout a slugfest and chipping away at Davis' slim lead. The bout was locked at 21 in the final minute before Bolivar gained his first advantage of the contest. Davis attempted to retake the lead in the final 20 seconds but dropped a 23-22 decision to Bolivar.

Heavyweight Adam Willett (Bay Shore, N.Y.) suffered a second heartbreaker in his bout with Vitalijus Subacius of Lithuania. Once again, the bout was tied after the first round due to Willett having a point taken from the referee for ducking his head. The score remained tied after a second sloppy round with the referee constantly halting the bout to call infractions. Willett pulled ahead in the third round despite having a second point taken from the referee for ducking his head. He battled hard in the fourth round and held the lead when the referee took a third point for ducking his head, disqualifying him from the bout.

Article posted on 16.11.2005

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