Welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) became the first U.S. boxer to record his second victory at the 2008 Olympic Games, defeating Russia's elder statesman Andrey Balanov, 14-3, in second round action at the Workers Indoor Arena. The two met at the 2005 World Cup in Russia, Andrade's first international competition where Balanov claimed the decision, but the second time ended with a very different outcome.
Andrade controlled the ring and the pace from the opening bell as the two boxers spent the first minute of the contest circling one another and searching for an opening. The American boxer solved the puzzle first, unleashing shots in the final minute to take a 2-0 edge after one round. Andrade continued to increase his output, throwing a tremendous flurry late in the second round and building up his point total to claim a 7-1 lead at the halfway mark of the bout. "As soon as I found my range and my distance, I could do a lot of things," Andrade said. "I was finding myself, finding my distance, figuring out what punches to throw and my footwork. That allowed me throw uppercuts, body shots and work everything."
Balanov gained his only additional points in the third round after the referee took a point from Andrade for ducking his head and the bout went into the final two minutes with Andrade holding a commanding 11-3 advantage. He held Balanov scoreless throughout the fourth round while showcasing strong ring generalship, and went on to win a 14-3 final decision.
"That shows him in world championship form," Olympic Head Coach Dan Campbell said. "He is a world champion and that's what we expect from him. We expect for him to compete at that level at all times."
"I'm very pleased, the first fight was the rough one. I hadn't fought in six to eight months so I'm back in action. I feel good and I'm ready to rumble again," Andrade said.
Andrade will face Korea's Jung Joo Kim in quarterfinal competition on August 17 in the evening session with the winner advancing on to the medal rounds.
Featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) will return to the ring on Friday, facing off in a rematch with France's Khedafi Djelkhir in second round competition. The two boxers met at the 2007 World Championships with Williams earning a 28-18 decision over the Frenchman. The bout will take place in evening action, and will begin at approximately 9 p.m. A victory would advance Williams on to quarterfinal competition.
Demetrius Andrade Quotes
"I don't know what I scored, but I knew I was landing everything. I felt if I could do it in the last couple of seconds, I was going to get some points and that would put me in position to move in the third and fourth round like I was."
"My plan was to move, switch punches, use tight defense, work to the body and get him tired so that allowed me to rest more so he wouldn't come after me. A lot of fighters get their points and move, but the other guy is coming after them. I don't want my guy to come after me. I want him slowing down so I can run."
"Since the worlds, I have worked on strength and conditioning, power, picking the right punches, and figuring out what my opponent is doing."
"I felt a lot of pressure (after Rau'shee Warren lost), they took one king out of the situation, but they're not taking me out. That showed me a lot. Make sure you throw the right punches, put the defense up even if the referee says break because a lot of them will throw a sneaky punch in and they're giving them that point. Seeing that just gave me the fire, now everybody's fired up and ready to go."
"The whole team, we have five people left and everyone can do it. They just have to believe in themselves and go out there and take care of it. We all can make it."
"I can be a little sharper, it's just the second fight. As the fights go on, I will be sharper though."
"That's my roommate (Rau'shee Warren), we've been roommates for almost a year now. He just told me that they did him wrong. He said just go in there and box, box your butt off, fight, tight defense and don't let them do anything that they shouldn't be doing."
"Everybody expects me to win but the person who is expected to win doesn't always win so I'm going to make sure it happens. I'm going to go in there with a game plan. We have three days rest so from the time I got out of the ring, I'm working on the game plan for the next fighter."
"Maybe I'm the favorite. I don't really pay attention to that. I go in there with my mind clear."
"I fought him when I was 16 in Russia at the World Cup, things happen. I felt the score was outrageous, but things like that happen. You saw the Pan Ams, you saw Rau'shee Warren, things like that happen, and you just move forward. I knew I was going in here with that type of revenge because I didn't want him to think he really beat me when I was 16."
"That was my first trip; that was the first person I ever fought over 22. I was a little nervous, I'm only 16, I don't have any power, I can't hold him so I was a little nervous. I went in there and did my thing but it got me where I am today."
"Rau'shee's here, he's not leaving. He's a team supporter, even though he was one of the best on the team, he's not going to leave because he lost. He's going to stay here and give everybody the same amount of hope. I appreciate him, he comes to my room every night and lets me know what's going on and we talk together. It's always been me and him."
"It's been a tough year, every time you do something for the first time, its rough. They can call it dysfunctional. We're here working hard and that's all that matters. A lot of people can say a lot of things, but we're here and we're doing pretty good. We still have five in and we're wishing for the best for everybody.
Dan Campbell Quotes
"The main thing with all these guys is that we have a game plan and we need for them to follow it. We adjust it as we go. We know what these guys can do. These guys can box and we know that. These guys can box and they can fight when we have to. We had a plan to box and when we needed to, to fight. We wanted to really touch this guy with some hard punches, box a little while and then come back inside and bang him up a little bit more and Demetrius did exactly that.
"He's got to carry it, he's the other world champion and he's going after these guys with a vengeance. We had to calm him down a little bit because he really wanted to go after him really early, as soon as the bell rang. He got out there and realized it that this guy was trying to set him up for that one punch and he worked it out in his head and did the right thing."
"He stuck to the game plan and as we made adjustments, he made those adjustments also."
"Rau'shee is still a leader. He comes to the venue with the team, he goes back with the team, he hangs out with the team. He spent one day with his mother and came back to the team, he's still a leader."