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Estrada first in boxing ring for U.S.

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BEIJING -- Shawn Estrada of East Los Angeles will be the first U.S. fighter to enter the ring here when he squares off against Argentina’s Ezequiel Maderna in the fourth bout of the Olympic boxing competition Saturday afternoon at Beijing Workers’ Gymnasium.

Estrada, a middleweight, needed to go to the final session of the final regional qualifying tournament in Guatemala, where he won a 4-1 decision over Maderna, to earn his ticket to Beijing last spring.

Welterweight world champion Demetrius Andrade of Providence, R.I., will make his Olympic debut Sunday afternoon against Georgia’s Kakhaber Jvania, who was third in the 2006 European championships, as will 18-year-old light welterweight Javier Molina of Commerce, who meets the defending Olympic bronze medalist, Bulgarian Boris Georgiev, in his opening bout. Georgiev knocked off American Rock Allen en route to his medal in Athens

On Monday, featherweight Raynell Williams of Cleveland faces Italy’s 24-year-old Alessio di Savino, and lightweight Sadam Ali of Brooklyn takes on Romania’s Popescu Georgian, 23, while on Tuesday Olympic veteran Rau’shee Warren of Cincinnati gets a tough first-round flyweight challenge in Korea’s Oksung Lee, a former world champion.

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Light flyweight Luis Yanez of Duncanville, Texas, and heavyweight Deontay Wilder of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the lightest and heaviest members of the American team, make their Beijing debuts Wednesday with Yanez, a strong medal contender, meeting 21-year-old Jose Kelvin de la Nieve of Spain and Wilder squaring off against Algeria’s Abdelaziz Touilbini, a 29-year-old African champion.

The final American fighter, bantamweight medal contender Gary Russell Jr., was dropped from the competition before Friday’s draw after he collapsed during a Thursday workout as he struggled to make the 119-pound weight limit. Two other boxers, 2007 lightweight world champion Frankie Gavin of Great Britain and flyweight Molla Getachew Ambaw of Ethiopia, also failed to make weight.

Second-round competition will begin Aug. 14.

-- Kevin Baxter


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