Boxing


Eleven Boxers Advance on to the Final Round of the Challengers Bracket at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Boxing

23.08.07 - (HOUSTON, TEXAS)—The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Boxing resumed competition today with 11 bouts being contested at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Members of the challengers’ bracket in each weight division battled to advance in the tournament.

The light flyweight division opened Thursday night’s action with a contest between Malcom Franklin (Rialto, Calif.) and Roberto Ceron (Doraville, Ga.). The bout was close from the start with Franklin enjoying a slim advantage from the first round on. He took a 4-2 lead after the first two minutes of boxing and held a 10-7 lead at the midway point of the bout. The theme continued into the third round with Franklin holding a three-point edge as the bout moved into the final round of competition as well. Ceron pressed the action in the final round, but couldn’t chip away at his deficit. Franklin went on to win a 23-19 final decision to advance on in the tournament. Franklin will face Diego Hurtado (Reno, Nev.) in the final challengers bracket bout on Friday. “The game plan was to stick and move, I saw him box two nights ago and that helped me out. I hit him faster than he was able to hit me.”

Qa’id Muhammad (Atlantic City, N.J.) and Bruno Escalante (Waimanalo, Hawaii/NMU) faced off in the flyweight challengers bracket contest. Muhammad took a slim lead early and built on it as the bout wore on. He held a 12-9 advantage at the midway point of the bout, but enjoyed a strong third round and held a 21-15 edge as the fourth round began. Muhammad continued to box well through the final two minutes en route to a 29-20 final victory. He will battle in a rematch of the Golden Gloves championship bout with Aaron Alafa (Visalia, Calif.) on Friday. “He came with a good game plan, he was coming strong,” Muhammad said. “I had to feel him out first before I started doing anything.”

Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) returned to form in his bantamweight contest with Sergio Perales (Los Fresnos, Texas) on Thursday. Russell controlled the bout from the opening bell, showcasing his patented head speed en route to a 10-1 lead after the first round. The two began to trade punches in the second stanza, but it was Russell enjoying the better of the exchanges. His efforts earned Russell a 24-4 advantage at the 1:36 mark of the second round, giving Russell the mandatory stoppage victory and advancing the 19-year-old to Friday’s action. He will face Ronny Rios (Santa Ana, Calif.) for the final berth in the championship round. “I’m not satisfied yet, and I won’t be until I face Roberto Marroquin. It’s (the loss to Marroquin) motivation, it comes with the sport and it comes with the territory. I’m staying focused and I’m staying humble.”

In featherweight action, Shemuel Pagan (Brooklyn, N.Y.) faced off with Rico Ramos (Los Angeles, Calif.) for a spot in Friday’s action. A close first round ended with Pagan holding a slim 2-1 lead, but the pace picked up in the second. He held a 6-3 lead after two rounds and enjoyed a three-point lead at the end of three as well. Pagan held onto his advantage over the final two minutes of boxing to take a 12-8 decision and move on to Friday’s competition. Pagan will take on hometown boxer Hylon Williams, Jr. (Houston, Texas) on Friday. “We’ve boxed twice before and he’s beaten me twice, but they were both close bouts,” Pagan said. “He’s a very aggressive boxer but my thing was to outbox him and to wait for him, and to keep using my movement.”

The lightweight bout showcased two strong hopefuls in Miguel Gonzalez (Cleveland, Ohio) and

Terence Crawford (Omaha, Neb.), but only one could advance. Gonzalez took the first lead and refused to relinquish it, holding Ramos scoreless in the first round, and taking a 3-0 lead. The pace quickened in the second, with each boxer letting their hands go and Gonzalez enjoyed an 11-8 edge at the midway point of the bout. The punches flew from start to finish in the third round of action, with each boxer more than doubling their point total. Gonzalez held a 23-17 advantage as the bell rang for the final round. He kept his foot on the gas through the fourth round and Gonzalez went on to win a 32-23 final decision. Gonzalez will face off with Jerry Belmontes (Corpus Christi, Texas) on Friday. “I had faced him previously, he beat me by one point. He is much taller and longer, and moves a lot. My coach and I discussed a good, strong heavyweight type of jab.”

The light welterweight division showcased a battle between Danny Garcia (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Jeremy Bryan (Clifton, N.J.). After a 1-1 first round, Garcia grabbed a four point lead in the second round and never looked back. The two traded heavy blows through the last two rounds of action, and Garcia connected with several clean shots. Garcia took a 12-7 advantage into the final round of boxing with Bryan looking to extend his Olympic Trials one more day. Yet Bryan fell short in his comeback and Garcia went on to win a 25-21 decision. “We boxed Monday and we were banging then, but today I boxed him,” Garcia said. “I knew his style and it was 1-1 after the first so I picked it up. After that, I was up three or four points after every round.”

The welterweight division showcased the night’s most exciting bout as Charles Hatley (Dallas, Texas) took on Boyd Melson (Fort Carson, Colo.). A close first round ended with Hatley holding a slim 7-6 advantage, but he began to pull away in the second round. Both boxers landed hard, clean shots over the next two rounds with Hatley holding a 20-14 lead at the end of three rounds. Hatley held Melson scoreless in the final two minutes on his way to a 24-14 final decision. He will take on Keith Thurman (Oldsmar, Fla.) on Friday. “I knew he was a smart boxer, I kept him on the outside and used my reach,” Hatley said. “I beat him to a lot of punches, a couple times, I made a couple mistakes and got hit. I hurt him a lot, but he’s tough and kept coming.”

The middleweight division bout between Shawn Porter (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) and Dominic Wade (Largo, Md.) featured many twists and turns before the final outcome. Wade stole the early momentum, dropping Porter to the canvas on his way to a 14-6 advantage. He continued his strong boxing into the second round, taking a 20-11 lead over Porter at the halfway mark of the bout. Porter pressed the action in the third and after the referee took two points from Wade, he held only a 28-24 lead as the bout moved into the final round. Yet everything changed in the fourth round when Wade had a third point taken and was disqualified, giving Porter the victory. He will face off in a rematch from Monday’s action with Daniel Jacobs (Brooklyn, N.Y.) on Friday. “It was a tough bout, he’s a young kid but strong,” Porter said. “I fought hard and I fought to the end. There are techniques that stop holding and I tried to use those techniques. When he held me, I tried to dip underneath, but even when I did that, he pushed my head down to the ground. I tried to keep moving my hands, it all depended on who was the quickest.”

Angel Concepcion (E. Orange, N.J.) took home the light heavyweight victory in his contest with Cymone Kearney (Oakland, Calif.). The score remained low through the first round of action with Concepcion taking a slim 3-1 lead after one round. Yet Concepcion began to open up in the second round, scoring five points to Kearney’s one en route to an 8-2 lead at the midway mark of the bout. Kearney went into the final round facing a five-point deficit and he couldn’t make up the difference. Concepcion went on to win a 17-11 final decision to advance to Friday where he will battle Yathomas Riley (San Diego, Calif.). “I feel really great, he was a good opponent and a pretty strong boxer,” Concepcion said. “I used the jab and that worked for me. I want to continue to try to box tomorrow.”

The heavyweight division bout between Adam Willett (Bellport, N.Y.) and David Carey (Anchorage, Alaska) was close from bell-to-bell. Willett held a slim lead throughout the bout, taking a 2-1 lead after one round and doubling his advantage after two, holding a 6-4 lead at the midway mark. Carey pulled the bout to a 7-6 margin at the end of three rounds but Willett enjoyed a strong finish to the bout, winning a 17-8 decision to take the victory. Willett will take on Quantis Graves (Cut Off, La.) in the final challengers bracket bout on Friday. “My game plan was to move and throw punches, that is my fifth time beating him,” Willett said. “I don’t think I’m going to beat anybody before the bout, I just stay calm and go out and do what I do. I waited for him to come to me, landed shots and moved.”

The super heavyweight division closed the night with a final round contest between Mike Wilson (Central Point, Ore.) and Andrew Shepherd (Fort Carson, Colo.). Wilson got off to a quick start in the contest, holding Shepherd scoreless and scoring five points of his own. The second round told a similar story although Shepherd was able to get on the scoreboard as Wilson moved out to an 11-4 lead. Wilson blew the bout open in the third round, utilizing strong defense and effective offense to grab a 17-5 lead as the final round began. He went on to win a 22-7 final decision and will face Kimdo Bethel (Albany, N.Y.) in Friday’s action. “I still have a long week, I can’t get tired yet,” Wilson said. “You have to have a good first round, you have to winning or be even because you can’t dig yourself out of a whole. I had a comfortable lead, he was a big, strong guy and I wanted to let him come at me. He was pretty tired, but I felt good. The Army athletes are always in shape.”

Challengers bracket action will conclude at 7 p.m. on Friday with 11 bouts, and all of the winners will move on to meet the Champions bracket winners in Saturday’s final round action.

Thursday’s Results

106 lbs/challengers bracket: Malcom Franklin, Rialto, Calif., dec. Roberto Ceron, Doraville, Ga., 23-19
112 lbs/challengers bracket: Qa'id Muhammad, Atlantic City, N.J., dec. Bruno Escalante, Waimanalo, Hawaii/NMU, 29-20
119 lbs/challengers bracket: Gary Russell, Jr., Capitol Heights, Md., stopped Sergio Perales, Los Fresnos, Texas, RSCO-2 (1:36)
125 lbs/challengers bracket: Shemuel Pagan, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Rico Ramos, Los Angeles, Calif., 12-8
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Miguel Gonzalez, Cleveland, Ohio, dec. Terence Crawford, Omaha, Neb., 23-32
141 lbs/challengers bracket: Danny Garcia, Philadelphia, Pa., dec. Jeremy Bryan, Clifton, N.J., 25-21
152 lbs/challengers bracket: Charles Hatley, Dallas, Texas, dec. Boyd Melson, Fort Carson, Colo., 24-14
165 lbs/challengers bracket: Shawn Porter, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, won on disqualification over Dominic Wade, Largo, Md., DQ
178 lbs/challengers bracket: Angel Concepcion, East Orange, N.J., dec. Cymone Kearney, Oakland, Calif., 17-11
201 lbs/challengers bracket: Adam Willett, Bellport, N.Y., dec. David Carey, Anchorage, Alaska, 17-8

201+ lbs/challengers bracket: Mike Wilson, Central Point, Ore., dec. Andrew Shepherd, Fort Carson, Colo., 22-7

Friday’s Bout Sheet

106 lbs: Diego Hurtado, Reno, Nev. vs. Malcom Franklin, Rialto, Calif.
112 lbs: Aaron Alafa, Visalia, Calif. vs. Qa’id Muhammad, Atlantic City, N.J.
119 lbs: Ronny Rios, Santa Ana, Calif. vs. Gary Russell, Jr., Capitol Heights, Md.
125 lbs: Hylon Williams, Houston, Texas vs. Shemuel Pagan, Brooklyn, N.Y.
132 lbs: Jerry Belmontes, Corpus Christi, Texas vs. Miguel Gonzalez, Cleveland, Ohio
141 lbs: Dan O’Connor, Framingham, Mass. vs. Danny Garcia, Philadelphia, Pa.
152 lbs: Keith Thurman, St. Petersburg, Fla. vs. Charles Hatley, Dallas, Texas
165 lbs: Daniel Jacobs, Brooklyn, N.Y. vs. Shawn Porter, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
178 lbs: Yathomas Riley, San Diego, Calif. vs. Angel Concepcion, East Orange, N.J.
201 lbs: Quantis Graves, Cut Off, La. vs. Adam Willett, Bellport, N.Y.
201+ lbs: Kimdo Bethel, Albany, N.Y. vs. Mike Wilson, Central Point, Ore.

Article posted on 24.08.2007



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