(CHICAGO, ILL.) – Welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) wasted no time in his bout with 2005 World Championships silver medalist Magomed Nurundinov of Belarus, riding an explosive first round to a 26-6 victory and a berth at the 2008 Olympic Games. Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) finished off an undefeated day for the United States team with a 19-13 win over Iran’s Jasem Delavari. As the super heavyweight division athletes must make the top four to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games, Hunter stands one win away from punching his ticket for Beijing..
Andrade came out on fire, landing long, accurate punches throughout the first round, and giving Nurundinov a standing eight count early in the bout. He held the Belarusian boxer scoreless in the opening stanza, earning a 9-0 lead after one. The pace stayed high throughout the second round with Nurundinov looking to rough Andrade up and attack his lead, but Andrade moved out to an 18-3 lead at the midway mark of the bout. Nurundinov kept up his dirty tactics in the third round, trying to find an opening in Andrade’s defense but there were few to find and the American boxer enjoyed a strong 23-6 advantage as the fourth round began. Andrade finished the bout in the same manner that he began it, holding Nurundinov scoreless over the final two minutes to win the 26-6 final decision and a welterweight berth at the 2008 Olympic Games.
“I go into the first round and see what I’m able to do. If he’s faster than me, then I have to be stronger. If he’s stronger than me, then I have to be faster than him. That’s the key thing that I look for,” Andrade said. “I didn’t have pressure, all I had on my mind was that this was the most important bout of my life.”
Andrade will take on Jack Culcay-Keth of Germany in quarterfinal round competition on Thursday.
Hunter followed the United States game plan by taking the early lead in the bout, using his speed and movement to take a 6-2 lead after one round. Yet Delavari came charging back in the second round as Hunter began to engage and the 19-year-old held only a 9-8 advantage after four minutes of action. He returned to his slick boxing style in the third round, evading Delavari’s oncoming shots and finding the mark to take a 13-10 edge into the final two minutes. Hunter controlled the final round to the delight of the large crowd supporting every punch and he went on to a 19-13 final decision.
“I just try to use my speed, lots of feints and once we got ahead, I tried to make it easy,” Hunter said. “He started coming forward more because at first I was trying to bang with him a little bit and that’s when he started to score so I had to go back to boxing.”
Hunter will battle Russia’s Islam Timurziev of Russia in the quarterfinal round on Thursday.
Demetrius Andrade quotes
“I was going on in aggressive, but he was doing stuff that wasn’t fair or in the books. He was hitting me with head butts, he was pushing me to the side, a whole bunch of things. I was aggressive in a positive way but everything he was doing was negative.”
“He kept tripping me on purpose, and that’s why I kept falling.”
“I tried not to let that interfere because you let that interfere, anything can happen. We’re just trying to keep a good roll.”
“Every bout, I come harder and faster, that’s how I always am. I start decent but I finish strong.”
“I just go in there and do what I’ve got to do and hope that everything goes well.”
“I tried to take him out, if I doesn’t work at certain times, just go back to plan A.”
“It (qualifying for the Olympics) feels good, it’s a load of my mind, but that was a short term goal. The long term goal is to get that gold.”
“I didn’t know what he was trying to do so I just kept it moving but then he got close to me like he wanted to fight me so I just backed him off me.”
Michael Hunter quotes
“I knew he was going to be coming.”
“I have to get ready for the next one, that’s in the past now, I have a couple more to go.”
“He’s just another person, he bleeds just like us.”
“I’m happy, but I’ve got a couple more fights so until I get that gold, I won’t be happy”.
“I just try to stay relaxed and try to enjoy myself while I have the chance.”
152 lbs/69 kg: Demetrius Andrade, Providence, R.I./USA dec. Magomed Nurundinov, BLR, 26-6
201+ lbs/91+ kg: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev./USA dec. Jasem Delavari, IRI, 19-13