United States Breaks Its Streak While Cuba Just Breaks Everybody
The Americans broke a four-bout losing streak with three convincing victories, and a powerful Cuban team raised its win streak to 14 Sunday at amateur boxing’s world championships in Reno.
U.S. welterweight Ken Gould pinned a 5-0 decision over Japan’s Kunihiro Muira; middleweight Darin Allen rolled up a 5-0 on Dominican Riquerme Berroa, and super-heavyweight Alex Garcia from San Fernando stopped South Korean Paik Hyun-Man with two seconds left in the second round.
The United States is now 5-5.
Cuba, many ringsiders thought, got a gift on its way to 14-0 Sunday. Its world champion lightweight, Adolfo Horta, appeared to have been upset by a hard-hitting Puerto Rican, Fernando Maldonado. In a half-dozen stretches in the three-round bout--easily the most exciting of the more than 100 bouts so far--the tireless Maldonado’s scoring blows outnumbered Horta’s by margins of 5 to 1.
Nevertheless, judges from Peru, Bulgaria and Indonesia had it for the Cuban. United States judge Tony Filipelli and an Australian judge called it for Maldonado.
Allen sounded a brave challenge after his win over Berroa. Some might say cocky. In fact, we might have another Muhammad Ali in bloom here.
“As far as anyone beating me in this tournament, that’s impossible--not the Cubans, not the Russians, not nobody,” he proclaimed.
Allen, who lost as a light-middleweight in the 1985 Olympic Trials to eventual gold medalist Frank Tate, unloaded on Reno fans. Or lack of same.
Paid attendance at the best amateur boxing tournament since the 1982 World Championships has yet to break 300 at any of the sessions at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center.
“When I was on the U.S. team in Russia, we had 10,000 coming out every night to see us box. But these crowds here--it embarrasses me.”
The Cubans achieved their 14th win in a row late Sunday night when middleweight Julio Quintana pasted a 5-0 decision on the Soviet Union’s Dmitri Boliguzov. The USSR is now 8-3.
Gould won all three rounds on all five judges’ scorecards. The scores: 60-54, 60-55, 60-55, 60-56, 60-57. The Rockford, Ill., left-hander, is one of the U.S. team’s most experienced international boxers with just eight international bouts. Kelcie Banks, the U.S. featherweight, leads the team with 14. Some Eastern Bloc boxers have more than a hundred bouts against international competition.
Gould weighed in for the 147-pound bout Sunday morning mysteriously light, 143 1/2.
“I don’t know why I was light, but I was a little worried I’d be weak in the fight,” Gould said. “But I was strong. I felt strong and fresh at the finish.”
Gould hopes to succeed Olympic champion Mark Breland as America’s 1988 Olympic welterweight. They’re opposites. Breland was 6-3, utilized a long left jab and a big right hand. Gould is 5-6, doesn’t frighten anyone with his jab but moves in busily and scores effectively to the body.
After hearing U.S. head coach Pat Nappi tell the U.S. boxers who are still alive here that they must be busier to impress international judges, Gould took it to heart.
In every round, he carried the action to Muira, backing him up with body shots and short hooks to the head.
With a first-round victory in the bank, Gould now appears to have a reasonable chance of reaching the finals of the 23-man welterweight competition. He meets France’s Laurent Boudovani in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
The two welterweight ringers here are Cuba’s Candelario Duvergel and the USSR’s Israel Akopkokhian, ranked No. 1 in the world. Both, however, are in the opposite end of the bracket from Gould.
For three days, it was the Americans who were doing most of the squawking about the judging. But on Sunday evening, it was the Puerto Ricans’ turn, after they watched their lightweight, Maldonado, lose a hotly disputed 3-2 to Horta, Cuba’s fabled 28-year-old who is trying to win his third world title here.
Many ringsiders thought Maldonado won every round. So did Maldonado.
“I know I won the fight,” he said. “I feel bad. They should have given the decision to me because I proved I was the best.”
Horta’s win, the first bout of the night session, raised the Cuban win streak to 12. He meets a tough opponent in the quarterfinals in East German Daniel Maeran, who has won two 3-2s.
Joon-Sup, the Olympic middleweight champion, showed lots of strength and power against the more technically sound Maske. But Maske, as the judges saw it, showed superior counter-punching skills.
The Cubans made it 13-0 midway through the Sunday night card when their world class welterweight, Candelario Duvergel, stopped Tunisia’s Refai Khemais early in the second round.
Including gold medalist Shin Joon-Sup, who lost to East German Henry Maske Sunday, there are seven Los Angeles Olympic medalists here. . . . The only two boxers to ever win three Olympic boxing gold medals are both at the tournament: Cuba’s Teofilo Stevenson, and Hungarian coach Lazlo Papp, who won golds in 1948, ’52 and ’56. The boxer Papp defeated in ‘56, American Jose Torres, is also here. . . . The ring being used for the World Championships is the L.A. Olympic ring. . . . On the backs of the Venezuelan boxers’ shirts: “Invest in Venezuela.” . . . U.S. heavyweight Michael Bent should be as lucky as his father, a New York subway worker, who hit the New York lottery last month for $2 million. . . . According to Associated Press boxing writer Ed Schuyler Jr., a recent tally showed the 1984 U.S. Olympic team boxers’ combined records as pros is 103-0-2.
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