(RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL) – Light welterweight Karl Dargan (Philadelphia, Pa.) joined his trio of teammates in the semifinal round with a walkover win over El Salvador’s Carlos Hernandez on Monday. Featherweight Luis Del Valle (Newburgh, N.Y./USA) dropped a close quarterfinal match-up to Abner Roman Cotto in his second bout of the tournament.. Heavyweight Adam Willett (Bell Port, N.Y.) lost a 12-8 decision to Jose Julio Payares of Venezuela and super heavyweight Mike Wilson (Central Point,” Ore.) was dealt a controversial stoppage in his bout with Canada’s Didier Bence.
Del Vale was facing Roman Cotto for the second time in 2007 and it was Roman Cotto coming out on top in Brazil. Del Valle took the early lead, dictating the pace through the early going to grab a slim 1-0 lead after the first. The scoring picked up in the second round with both boxers increasing their activity and Del Valle moved out to a 5-3 lead into the second half of the bout. Yet his lead disappeared in the third round with Roman Cotto pulling the bout to an 8-8 tie as the contest moved into the final round. Roman Cotto scored his 9th point early in the round, and seemed to instantaneously move out to a 12-8 lead over Del Valle. The American pushed the pace looking to chip away at his new deficit, but couldn’t catch the quickly moving Roman Cotto. The Puerto Rican went on to win a 13-9 final decision over Del Valle.
“Luis had boxed this guy before, this is the 4th or 5th time, and he beat him in the qualifier so I thought that he was a little too tentative and that’s why he lost that bout. In Luis’ bout, we saw them run the score up nine, ten, eleven, twelve in a matter of seconds so his opponent got a lot of help,” Head Coach Dan Campbell said.
Willett took the early control in his match-up with Payares, picking his shots and moving on his way to a 3-0 lead after the first. He held Payares scoreless through the first three minutes of the bout, doubling his opponent’s point total to take a 6-3 lead at the midway point. Yet the bout changed in the third round, as a shoulder injury limited Willett’s punch output. After the referee took a point from Willett for holding late in the third, Payares took a 10-8 advantage into the fourth round. Willett put forth a late charge, but couldn’t dent his deficit and Payares went on to win a 12-8 final decision.
“Adam was ahead, he threw a punch and threw his shoulder out and we saw it when it happened. He tried to continue the bout with one arm and he just couldn’t do it,” Campbell said.
Wilson opened his quarterfinal match-up with Bence boxing effectively, landing strong shots and evading oncoming blows to take a 5-2 lead after one. He continued his strong boxing into the second round, outmaneuvering Bence on his way to an 8-4 lead at the midway point. Bence opened the third round by charging at Wilson and while the Canadian threw several punches, few found the mark. Bence continued to press and eventually connected with a punch, which led to a standing eight count for Wilson. Despite Wilson clearly having recovered from the punch, the referee jumped in and stopped the bout at the 1:03 mark of the third round. Wilson led by an 8-5 margin at the time of the stoppage.
”We’ve still got four in the medal rounds and we are going to continue to try and get the gold medal,” Campbell said.
In Tuesday’s semifinal action, light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas), fresh off his victory over Cuba’s Yampier Hernandez, will face Kevin Betancourt of Venezuela; welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) will compete in his third bout of the 2007 Pan American Games when he takes on Diego Chaves of Argentina and light heavyweight Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) will close Tuesday’s competition for the U.S. team when he battles Cuba’s Yuciel Napoles for a berth in the final round.
112 lbs/51 kg: Braulio Avila Juarez, MEX dec. Ryan Jeffers, GUY, 12-4
112 lbs/51 kg: Juan Carlos Payano, DOM, dec. Eddie Valenzuela, GUY, 10-5
112 lbs/51 kg: Yoandry Salinas, CUB, dec. Alexander Guarecuco, VEN, 35-12
112 lbs/51 kg: McWilliam Arroyo, PUR, dec. William Urina Serna, COL, 16-7
125 lbs/57 kg: Orlando Rizo, NIC, dec. Roberto Navarro, DOM, 19-17
125 lbs/57 kg: Idel Torriente, CUB, dec. Nicholas walters, JAM, 18-1
125 lbs/57 kg: Abner Cotto Roman, PUR, dec. Luis Del Valle, Newburgh, N.Y./USA, 13-9
125 lbs/57 kg: Davi Souza, BRA, dec. Francisco Vargas Palaez, MEX, 16-13
141 lbs/64 kg: Karl Dargan, Philadelphia, Pa./USA won on walkover over Carlos Hernandez, ESA
141 lbs/64 kg: Mike Carvalho, BRA, dec. Jonny Sanchez, VEN, 19-4
141 lbs/64 kg: Jonathan Gonzalez Ortiz, PUR, dec. Luis Grajeda Ozaeta, 20-6
141 lbs/64 kg: Innocente Fiss, CUB, dec. Felix Guzman, DOM, 13-12
201 lbs/91 kg: Jose Julio Payares, VEN, dec. Adam Willett, Bell Port, N.Y./USA, 12-8
201+ lbs/91+ kg: Didier Bence, CAN, stopped Mike Wilson, Central Point, Ore./USA, RSC-3 (1:03)