PROVIDENCE (July 18, 2007) – Team USA boxing star Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade is in beautiful Rio de Janerio, not for the hot nightlife and gorgeous Brazilian women, rather to strike gold at the Pan-American Games. Andrade, the No. 1 rated welterweight in the U.S., is the two-time U.S. National Championships and National Golden Gloves champion.. The 19-year-old southpaw realizes that it’s not easy winning on the road, but that it’s something he needs to experience and overcome, looking ahead to next year’s Olympics in China.
The Pan-Am Games serves as a prelude, at least in this hemisphere, for the following Olympic Games. Andrade’s main rival at the Pan-Am Games, as well as in the Olympics, figures to be Cuban favorite Erislandi Lara, who beat “Boo Boo” in their only match to date, 9-4. The world’s other top 152-pound boxers are Russians Khairov and Andrey Balanov, who of course will not be competing in the Pan-Am Games.
“I’m proud to be representing my country at the Pan-Am Games and I’m looking forward to bringing the gold medal back home to Rhode Island,” Andrade said. “But things happen overseas that make it difficult for Americans to win gold medals. We’re fighting in South America and they score high for their own. I’ll beat some of the same guys I’ll probably face in the Olympics, but I won’t show it all to them at the Pan-Am Games. They’ll have to wait to see it all at the Olympics. I’ve been thinking about the Olympics since I was 10; it’s always been my goal.”
The draw to determine who boxes whom is scheduled for Friday. Andrade, if he advances, is scheduled to box on ESPN Deportes on the following days and times: first round, Saturday, July 21 (2 PM/ET); quarterfinals, Sunday, July 22 (7 PM/ET); semifinals, July 24 (7 PM/ET); championship final, Friday, July 27 (8 PM/ET).