Wednesday, September 27|
Juarez lands most of his blows late
SYDNEY, Australia -- Attacking like the heavyweight champion
he was named for, featherweight Rocky Juarez powered past a 1996
Olympic champion and into the Olympic boxing semifinals.
Juarez, a 1999 world champion, landed 23 scoring blows in the
final two rounds and stopped Somluck Kamsing of Thailand on the
15-point rule (31-16) with eight seconds remaining in the 125-pound
bout Wednesday night.
It was a sensational performance by the 20-year-old, 5-foot-3
boxer from Houston, whose first name is Ricardo, but who has a
middle name of Rocky because his father admired Rocky Marciano.
Juarez became the third American to advance to the semifinals.
All semifinalists are assured at least bronze medals.
Jermain Taylor, of Little Rock, Ark., then became the last
American semifinalist when he beat Adnan Catic of Germany 19-13 in
a sloppily boxed 156-pound match.
Ricardo Williams Jr., of Cincinnati, who boxes at 139 pounds,
and 119-pounder Clarence Vinson, of Washington, D.C., also have
reached the semifinals.
The total of four medals will be two less than American boxers
got in 1996 at Atlanta, when they collected one gold and five
bronze, but it will be one more than they won in Barcelona in 1992,
when the team got a gold, a silver and a bronze.
The Cubans have six semifinalists, but it was a bad day for
them. After a victory in the afternoon, they lost four bouts.
The first Cuban to lose was 6-foot-8 super heavyweight Alexis
Rubalcaba, who beat up Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov of Kazakstan in the
first round before Dildabekov turned the tables on him and won
25-12 in the afternoon.
The last Cuban to lose was Juan Hernandez, an Olympic silver
medalist in 1992-96, who was outpointed 15-7 by Yermakhan Ibraimov
of Kazakstan at 156 at night.
"It feels great to know I'm going to win that gold medal, I'm
going to win it," said Taylor. The first obstacle he must clear is
Ibraimov, who will be his semifinal opponent Friday night.
Taylor opened a 7-1 lead, but Catic scored the next six points
before the American used his right hand to score eight of the next
points. He was penalized two points in the fourth round for
Juarez led Kamsing 6-2 after one round, but the Olympic champion
closed to 8-7 after two rounds.
Juarez's left jab began working in the second round and, he
said, "The coaches told me to keep throwing it. They said, 'This
time (the third round) move some more, but throw it.' It worked
today. It set up my right hand, my body shots and all the rest of
Kamsing took a 11-9 lead third before Juarez unleashed eight
consecutive scoring blows to the head and took a 19-3 lead at the end
of the round. The American jumped all over the Thai in the fourth
The Thai team coach, Juan Bautista of Cuba, claimed Kamsing is
not in top shape.
The 19-year-old Williams outpointed Russian Alexandre Leonov
17-12 at 139 pounds Wednesday.
Another 19-year-old American lost on the afternoon. Jose Navarro
of Los Angeles was outpointed 23-12 to Jerome Thomas of France at
"I think I was a little off today," Williams said. "I don't
know what took me so long to get off, but I got the victory and I'm
happy to be moving on to the semifinals."
The left-handed Williams fell behind 7-6 in the third round,
when Leonov landed the last three scoring blows. Then American got
untracked in the third round when he landed seven consecutive scoring
blows to build a 13-7 lead.
Some observers thought the third round of Navarro's bout was
shorter than the two-minute limit, but Navarro saw no problem with
Navarro closed to 14-11 late in the third round, but then
Thomas dominated the final two minutes.
"He was slick, I give him a lot of credit," Navarro said. "He
beat me, so he's better than myself. He proved that today."
Vinson won his quarterfinal match Tuesday. He now will box
Guillermo Rigondeaux Thursday night. Williams will box Diogenes
Luna on Friday night, and Juarez will box Russian Kamil Dzamalutdinov,
also Friday night.
|Rocky Juarez stands over a defeated Somluck Kamsing of Thailand.
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Juarez, Taylor make it five U.S. boxers into the quarters
Boxing official says Viloria didn't get points he deserved
Vinson makes second round as U.S. boxers go 11-for-12
Williams falls behind early, but then advances as well
Taylor right on target for U.S. boxers
Juarez, Lacy latest U.S. boxers to advance
Viloria holds on after almost blowing lead
Craig, Vinson get first wins for U.S. boxing team