24.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: Light featherweight Raynell Williams and middleweight Shawn Estrada won their respective bouts in the preliminary round of the World Boxing Championships in Chicago. The victories marked the first step towards qualifying for the Beijing Olympic squad.
Williams defeated Franceís Khedafi Djelkhir by a 28-18 decision. Estrada defeated Artur Zlatopoiski of Israel by a 25-5 decision. Both fighters are hoping to continue their march toward an Olympic berth..
Upcoming bouts include heavyweight Deontay Wilder against Polandís Krzysztof Zimnoch, and super heavyweight Michael Hunter taking on Mexicoís Andres Ruiz Ponce.
The top eight finishers from light flyweight to light heavyweight and the top four finishers from heavyweight to super heavyweight will qualify for the Olympics in Beijing.
The last American to win a gold medal was Andre Ward in 2004. Ward defeated Magomed Aripgadjiev of Belarus 20-13.