Friday, September 29|
Williams wins dramatic bout 42-41
SYDNEY, Australia -- In the most exciting, highest-scoring
bout of the competition, Ricardo Williams Jr. beat Cuba's Diogenes
Luna 42-41 Friday night for a berth in the 139-pound final.
In the fight before Williams' stirring victory, Rocky Juarez had
a big third round and outpointed Kamil Dzamalutdinov of Russia at
125 pounds and also will be going for gold Sunday afternoon.
The last American semifinalist, Jermain Taylor, couldn't handle
the boxing ability and sharp punching of Yermakhan Ibraimov of
Kazakstan in a 156-pound semifinal and lost early in the fourth
round on the 15-point rule (29-14) of a
American boxers have not won more than one gold medal since the
1988 Olympics, when they won three.
Williams' victory was the first for an American in three matches
at these games. In six Olympics, Cubans have won 16 of 24 bouts
Four Cubans will box in finals, including heavyweight Felix
Savon, trying for a third Olympic gold. There will be five
finalists from Russia, and also four from Kazakstan.
"I've been waiting for this (gold medal) fight for my whole
life," said Williams, a 19-year-old left-hander from Cincinnati.
"It's a dream come true," said Juarez, a 20-year-old world
champion from Houston, who has won 68 consecutive bouts over two
years. "This game is for who wants it most. I can't imagine anyone
wanting it more than me."
"I'm a lot disappointed," the 22-year-old Taylor said. "It
Williams used crisp counter-punching to offset Luna's
right-handed power in bout marked by toe-to-toe exchanges.
"I withstood the storm," said Williams.
The four medals are two less than American boxers got in 1996,
but one more than they earned in 1992.
Luna led 12-10 after one round and 25-19 after two. Then
Williams, throwing flurries, outscored the Cuban 16-8 in the third
round for a 35-33 lead.
With a large crowd in the Sydney Exhibition Center roaring,
Williams built a 39-35 lead in the final two minutes before Luna
stormed back to tie at 40-40. Williams then got into scoring blows
in the closing seconds for the victory.
Despite the noise, Williams claimed that in the final seconds,
he could hear his father shouting, "Move. Move."
Juarez landed jabs, hooks and even right leads to outscore the
Russian 9-3 in the third round for a 16-7 lead and was never in
danger of losing.
Juarez will box Bekzat Sattarkhanov of Kazakstan in his final.
Williams will box Mahamadkadyz Abdullaev of Uzbekistan.
The power-punching Taylor couldn't intimidate the left-hand
Ibraimov, who scored almost at will with his right hand.
"He was just coming," Taylor said. "He didn't care about
getting hurt or nothing. He just came. I can't take anything away
from him. He's a great fighter."
|Ricardo Williams slugs it out with Cuba's Diogenes at the Olympics.|
Lanky Cuban overruns U.S. hopeful Vinson
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