Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) lost his heavyweight boxing bout with Clemente Russo of Italy 7-1 Friday afternoon at Beijing's Workers' Gymnasium. The loss gives Wilder a bronze medal, which is the 100th medal won by the United States during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The U.S. is on the verge of surpassing the 102 medals won at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The record for medals won in an Olympic Games held outside the United States is 108, set at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) stepped through the ropes at the Workers Indoor Arena, hoping to move one victory closer to his goal of a gold medal, but he didn’t accomplish his mission, dropping a 9-7 decision to France’s Khedafi Djelkhir. The Frenchman’s win avenges his loss to Williams at the 2007 World Championships.
Williams seemed to command the ring from early on, moving and popping combinations in Djelkhir’s face but the bout was tied at 1-1 after the first. He stepped up the heat slightly in the second round, landing long punches and attempting to move out of harm’s way but trailed by a 4-1 score after two rounds of action. Williams came out firing in the third round, adding to his point total but not denting his deficit and faced a 7-4 disadvantage as the fourth round began. The 19-year-old pressed the action in the fourth round, firing off combinations but Djelkhir began to circle the ring and he Williams couldn’t overcome his deficit. Djelkhir went on to win a 9-7 final decision.
“I felt like I was moving great. I thought I was moving great and getting my punches off but I guess they thought otherwise,” Williams said. “That’s what the judges saw, so I guess I have to go with what they say. I felt like I was throwing a lot of punches but I guess it didn’t count for a lot. I did my best, that’s all I can ask for.”
Light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) and middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) will be the final two boxers to compete in second round action on Saturday at the Workers Indoor Arena. Estrada will compete in the afternoon session, taking on Great Britain’s James Degale. His bout is scheduled to take place at 4:15 p.m. Yanez will box in the evening session, facing Serdama Purevdorj of Mongolia at approximately 8:15 p.m. It will be the first match-up with their opponents for both U.S. boxers.
Raynell Williams Quotes
“Stick to the same game plan, just try to box and hopefully they’ll score your punches.”
“Actually, I thought I did way better (than the world championships).”
“I’m very disappointed, I wanted to bring home that gold medal, but I guess not.”
Dan Campbell Quotes
“I thought I was seeomg things, but I called back to the tape room and they saw the same thing. He was clearly landing three punches to one. In the first round, we are sitting here staring at the monitors, watching this kid’s head go back and he’s not getting a point. The kid touched him one time and got a point.”
“When stuff like this happens, I don’t know what transpired. I just know that the judges aren’t blind and for whatever reason, they decided not to push his button. That was obvious. It was clear, there was no doubt about that one.”
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."
BEIJING -- Two-time Olympian and flyweight World Champion Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) has waited four years for the opportunity to step through the ropes at the Olympic Games and his wait ended in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday. Warren opened the 2008 Olympic Games in a tough match-up with 2005 Flyweight World Champion Ok Sung Lee of Korea, in a rematch from the semifinals of the 2005 World Championships, in which Lee emerged victorious. The second bout duplicated the first with Lee winning a 9-8 over the reigning world champion.
The bout was close from the opening bell with Warren getting on the board first, taking a 2-0 lead. Yet Lee quickly pulled the bout to a 2-2 tie and the round ended with the two world champions deadlocked at four. The punch output slowed slightly in the second round with Warren looking for openings and landing quick combinations, but once again the round ended with the two boxers tied. Warren came out strong in the third, throwing quickly early flurries but receiving no points for his output. Each boxer scored one point in the third round and they went into the fourth round tied at 7-7. Both boxers came out in the fourth looking to grab the momentum, and it was Lee taking the first lead of the round. Yet Warren came right back to tie the bout at eight. Lee quickly regained the lead, but with the noise in the arena, Warren didn’t hear the shouts from the crowd letting him know he was trailing. The final 40 seconds ticked away and Warren dropped a heartbreaking 9-8 decision.
"I feel like I should have been up every round and every round was tied. I felt like the scoring wasn’t right because I worked so hard for this and to come this far and lose in the first round, it isn’t right. It doesn’t seem real to me,” Warren said. "I didn’t really know (the score) because there was so much going on in the crowd, everybody was yelling and screaming. I was looking at my teammates and it sounded like they were saying move and it also sounded like they were saying fight. I just thought I was up because I was scoring. When I was moving, he was coming forward.”
Olympic Head Coach Dan Campbell was shocked by the early loss of the team co-captain and heart of the U.S. team. "It’s very stunning. The thing we will keep letting the guys know is they will have to try to keep it out of the hands of the judges. Our kids are always young and these guys have been around forever,” said Olympic Head Coach Dan Campbell. "We just have to get out front and stay out front. The hardest part is to get out front from what we’ve seen in the past couple of days.”
Opening round competition of Olympic boxing will finish on Wednesday with two U.S. boxers taking the ring at the Workers Indoor Arena. Heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) will be the first to compete, facing off with Abdelaziz Toulibini of Algeria in afternoon action. Wilder’s bout is scheduled for 4 p.m., and will be the first meeting between the two boxers. Light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) will be the final U.S. boxer to compete, challenging Jose Kelvin de la Nieve of Spain in evening competition. Yanez’s contest will take place at approximately 7:30 p.m. and will be the first match-up between Yanez and De la Nieve.
Rau’shee Warren quotes
"I didn’t know I was down, I thought I was up because when I started moving, the crowd started cheering. When I looked in the corner and the coach told me to start throwing punches, and that I was down. I scored a shot with the hook at the last second, but I didn’t get a point.”
"I went in the corner and I asked the coach what the score was and he said I lost by one point. It really upset me. I started showing bad sportsmanship, I started throwing my headgear and stuff because people don’t understand that we work just as hard as the other countries do. We are always the underdogs that have to fight harder, every time we go to a tournament.”
"It was a good fight, I felt like he was going to be one of my toughest opponents but I still thought I won.”
"It was hard, just thinking about every day, every week, the years that I’ve been working so hard for this and I came this far to lose in the first round again. It should be the right scoring and it should be fair to everybody.”
"I’m used to the style, I fight a lot of people that have that type of style.”
"I wasn’t worried, I was really confident going into the fight. I felt like a lot of my punches should have been scored.”
"I didn’t feel real. I didn’t feel like I lost in there. I was fighting hard, I was letting everything go. I was doing everything the coaches told me to do. To get this far, and to lose is upsetting for me.”
Dan Campbell quotes
"One of the things that we try to impress upon our guys is that the judges can actually change the outcome a fight. Every time Rau’shee would score, somehow this kid got points also, which changed the strategy Rau’shee had to use to stay in the fight.”
"There were two things that I saw, which were, when Rau’shee hit him, he got a point. Twice, Rau’shee threw punches and scored and he also got points.”
"I was confused about why he stopped. We were screaming to him to throw punches. He said he heard someone saying for him to move. He was looking up in the stands. I don’t know what he thought they were saying. He thought they were saying move. I know we were screaming.”
"He did what we would hope other young boxers would do. He stayed around four more years and the other thing is how hard he worked in camp. For him to lose could be disheartening for some other guys. That is our biggest fear.”
"There were a couple of let downs. There was one problem that we had that was not in our control. I don’t know what to say about this bout, I’m almost speechless. Some things you don’t ever want to say, but it was weird the way the scoring went.”
"This guy presents certain problems for Rau’shee because of his long arms and his height. He doesn’t do anything special but throw punches. Half the punches he threw, he got points for. Some of the punches Rau’shee threw, the Korean got points. Rau’shee had to become a kamikaze boxer because he has to get in there and score when he should be outside boxing this guy.”
BEIJING -- American Rau'shee Warren lost in the 51kg bout to Korea's Lee Oksung, 9-8. The score was tied at the end of each of the first three rounds, with the decision coming when Lee won the final round 2-1.
Warren was a gold medal contender.
BEIJING -- The opening act was not pretty for Demetrius Andrade but it was effective as he outscored Kakhaber Jvania of the Republic of Georgia, 11-9 in the first round of the welterweight division today at Boxing Workers’ Gymnasium.
The lefthander from Providence started slow as the Georgian’s plan of attack was to crowd and attempted to brawl against the disciplined top-ranked fighter.
Throughout the bout there was a series of missed shots and plenty of clinches in the four-round bout.
Andrade advances to fight Russia’s Andrey Balanov Thursday in the second round.
USA welterweight boxer Demetrius Andrade will begin competing in the Olympics on Aug. 10 against The Republic of Georgia’s Kakhaber Jvania. Andrade, a Providence native, is considered the favorite in the welterweight division. Georgiev knocked off the United States’ Rock Allen at the 2004 Olympic Games. The eight members of the United States Olympic Boxing team learned their first round opponents at the official Olympic draw on Friday at the Asia Hotel.
Look for contributions from the following Globe Staffers in Beijing:
- John Powers
- Shira Springer
- Bob Ryan
- Marc J. Spears
- Gregory Lee
- Scott LaPierre
- Patricia Wen