Thursday, September 28|
Three more still in semis for U.S.
SYDNEY, Australia -- Slick bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux
snapped a five-bout losing streak for Cuban boxers and ended the
Olympic gold medal hopes of American Clarence Vinson.
Rigondeaux, who will turn 20 Saturday when he boxes for the
gold, used his lanky arms and powerful punches to get an 18-6
victory at 119 pounds Thursday.
His victory pulled the Cuban boxers out of a slump and led four of
them into the finals.
Among them was Felix Savon, who is trying to become the third
boxer to win three Olympic gold medals. The 6-foot-6 Savon beat
Sebastian Kober of Germany 14-8 at 201 pounds, scoring half of his
points in the second round. Savon got a cut under his left eye that
didn't appear to be serious.
While the Cubans got on a roll, the Americans talked about their
They've won four medals, two fewer than in Atlanta four years
ago and one more than in Barcelona. They still have a shot at three
gold medals in Sydney.
"The team hasn't lived up to my expectations," said Gary
Toney, president of USA Boxing.
Vinson, 22, of Washington, D.C., stands 5-foot-2 and could not
get inside against the Cuban left-hander. He tried in the third
round and took a left to the head, then was knocked down by a
He took a standing eight-count and never much going.
"I just knew from round one that my performance was flat, and I
was just hoping to turn it on," Vinson said. "Unfortunately, I
Vinson will go home with a bronze medal, which he earned by
winning three bouts, including one against world champion Olteanu
George-Crinu of Romania.
"I'm never happy," he said. "If I won a gold medal, I'd want
a platinum medal."
The Cubans were 16-7 against U.S. boxers in six Olympics after
getting their second victory in Sydney. Heavyweight Felix Savon also
beat Michael Bennett of Chicago.
The only other U.S.-Cuba match pits Ricardo Williams Jr. of
Cincinnati against Diogenes Luna in a 139-pound semifinal Friday
In other semifinal bouts involving Americans Friday night, Rocky
Juarez of Houston faces Kamil Djamaludinov of Russia at 125 pounds
and Jermain Taylor of Little Rock, Ark., faces Yermakhan Ibraimov
of Kazakhstan at 156.
Juarez landed punch after punch Wednesday as he beat defending
Olympic champion Somluck Kamsing of Thailand to reach the
semifinals, rallying to pull it out in the third round.
The first boxer to reach the finals was Rafael Lozano of Spain,
who is competing in his third Olympics and earned a bronze medal in
1996. The 4-foot-11 Lozano, a left-hander, scored effectively with
left leads to the head and outpointed Kim Un-chol of North Korea at
Lozano will box Brahim Asloum of France for a gold medal
Saturday. Asloum built a 7-2 lead after two rounds then held off
Maikro Romero of Cuba for a 13-12 victory in a bout marked by
toe-to-toe exchanges. Romero was an Olympic gold medalist at 112
pounds in 1996.
Romero was the first of five Cubans to box Thursday. His defeat
was the fifth in a row for the Cubans, who then got rolling.
The other Cubans reaching the finals were world champion Mario
Kindelan at 132 pounds and Jorge Gutierrez at 165 pounds. Kindelan
outpointed Alexandr Maletin of Russia 22-14, and Gutierrez beat
Vugar Alekperov of Azerbaijan 19-9.
Oleg Saitov of Russia, a bronze medalist four years ago, will
box for a gold medal at 147 pounds. Saitov scored a 19-10 decision
over Dorel Simion of Romania, the current European champion.
|U.S. boxer Clarence Vinson, left, takes a right hook from Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz.|
Juarez comes through late to make semis
Savon overpowers Bennett as only one U.S. boxer advances
Navarro clubs way into flyweight quarterfinals
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