U.S. Olympic Trials Report- Day 4

Michael Campbell @ ringside


U.S. Olympic Trials Report- Day 4

Challengers compete for finals berths

On Thursday at the US Olympic Trials in Houston, the 11 boxers already in the finals got the first of two off-days in a row while the challengers (previous losers) bracket continued. Click below to see which of the previous losers kept their Olympic dreams alive for at least one more day.

Light Flyweight:  Malcolm Franklin over Roberto Ceron, 23-19… Franklin was very patient, using shifty lateral movements to build a slight lead.  He scored an 8 count early in the bout, but Ceron came on strong in the third round.  An even fourth round allowed Franklin to preserve his advantage and stay alive in the tournament.

Flyweight:  Qa’id Muhammad over Bruno Escalante, 29-20…  This bout matched two very experienced competitors.  Muhammad threw his punches from a distance, while Escalante preferred to get close and throw shorter punches in combinations.  Having found his range early on, Muhammad built a lead, and Escalante started to figure out the timing in the thirdrd round, but couldn’t do enough to close the gap.

Bantamweight:  Gary Russell, Jr. over Sergio Perales, RSCO-2 (1:36)…  Two southpaws met in this bout that saw Perales come out aggressive wanting to take the fight to Russell.  The 2005 USA Boxing Athlete of the Year had too much hand speed for Perales to defend himself against and too adept at avoiding punches for Perales to land many significant blows.  Russell charged to open the 2nd, and landed a few right hooks which extended his lead to 20 points and halted the contest.

Featherweight:  Shemuel Pagan over Rico Ramos, 12-8…  A slow starting bout saw each fighter feeling one another out, trying to find their punching distance.  Both landed punches while in clinches but there was very little scoring until the 3rd round when the pace increased and they let their hands go more.  Ramos landed a few left hooks to the southpaw Pagan, who quickly figured out the timing of them and was able to slip the rest.  The fourth round saw Pagan circling protecting his lead and earn a fight on Friday night.

Lightweight:  Miguel Gonzalez over Terence Crawford, 32-23…  Two southpaws faced off with both in classic upright stances.  They attempted throwing hooks from the outside following lead jabs, but the most effective punches came from fast combination punching on the inside in back and forth exchanges.  A close contest until Gonzalez pulled away in the second half of the bout by landing solid hooks that got the better of Crawford.

Light Welterweight:  Danny Garcia over Jeremy Bryan, 25-21…  This was a close bout with both evenly trading punches for three rounds.  Garcia began to time Bryan’s big punches in the fourth and was able to hurt him with a counter that made him hold on and gave Garcia the edge.

Welterweight:  Charles Hatley over Boyd Melson, 24-14…  Hatley charged out aggressively throwing combinations of punches, seeming to want an early stoppage.  Melson was game and willingly returned fire standing toe to toe trading left and right hooks.  Hatley left himself open and and Melson bloodied his lip.  In the third round Hatley let Melson lead and make him miss before throwing his own punches.  This effective plan didn’t last and he turned back to rushing in and Melson landed power punches as Hatley entered unprotected.  He did dig some nice bodyshots to end the round.  The fourth saw Hatley protect his lead as he proved too strong and too quick for Melson.

Middleweight:  Shawn Porter over Dominic Wade, DQ-4…  Porter is known for his aggressive style and roughing up his opponent.  Wade opened the bout by trying to give some of that medicine back and pushed Porter to the matt twice in the opening round.  Porter, typical of his style, didn’t bother with jabs and threw all power punches.  Punching continuously, he leaves himself open for counterpunches and isn’t known to be able to receive as well as he can dish out.  Wade caught him with flush rights as Porter leaned in and one landed with a crack and dropped him to the matt with a crash, landing face first and in a daze.  Porter rose but looked to be in bad shape and needed a few seconds to clear the cobwebs.  He would survive but Wade was now full of confidence with his ability to time Porter’s shots.  Porter went back to winging big punches and Wade patiently sought another opening mostly tying up when pressured.  In the third round, the two tangled against the ropes and Wade continued to throw punches after the referee commanded the action to halt, resulting in a point deduction.  Soon after that, Wade loses another point for holding and twisting.  The fourth round began with Wade up 28-24 and Porter coming on strong.  Wade was again deducted a point for holding and this foul ended the bout with a disqualification.  Porter stays alive and faces Danny Jacobs tomorrow.

Light Heavyweight:  Angel Concepcion over Cymone Kearney, 17-11…  Kearney is originally from Beaumont, TX, and had a nice sized crowd supporting him.  The bout opened with both fighters posing in front of each other without many punches thrown.  The action picked up in the 3rd round with Concepcion preferring to let Kearney lead in order to land counterpunches.  Behind on the scores, Kearney looked to land his big overhand rights and found openings for a few, but after some misses he ran out of steam and came up just short.

Heavyweight:  Adam Willett over David Carey, 17-8…  Carey had the height advantage but couldn’t find his range as Willett landed with shorter solid punches.  Willett likes to lull his opponent by appearing lazy walking around the ring with hands at his waist.  Carey tried to get busy applying pressure and throwing punch combinations but Willett ducked and slipped most of them in building a healthy lead and coasting into the next round.

Super Heavyweight:  Mike Wilson over Andrew Shepherd, 22-7…  Wilson found his rhythm and confidence in controlling the pace of this fight.  He was busier and initiated the action, while landing a variety of punches.  Shepherd preferred to counterpunch but was unable to slip punches and got hit too much.