World Boxing Championships : Stevenson Has KO in 1st Round
The Cuban hammer is back. But Cuba’s winning streak ended Tuesday at amateur boxing’s World Championships.
Teofilo Stevenson reached back a couple of Olympiads for his fabled right hand and used it twice to score a knockout of a Bulgarian super-heavyweight in two minutes flat, and put himself in Friday’s semifinals.
Stevenson’s first-round afternoon victory was Cuba’s 20th straight at the tournament. When lightweight Adolfo Horta was given another disputed 3-2 decision in the night session, it was Cuba’s 21st in a row. And there it ended.
The Soviet Union’s classy, mustachioed Vasily Shishov, two-time European light-welterweight champion, used a superior right jab to run up a 5-0 decision on Cuba’s Eduardo Correa.
Middleweight Darin Allen became the first of two Americans to reach the semifinals and to clinch a medal. He decisioned Yugoslavia’s Nusret Redzepi, 4-1. Allen, a 21-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, found himself in a slugfest with a shorter foe and landed the higher volume of punches.
Said Allen afterward: “If I don’t beat this Cuban (Julio Quintana, his semifinals opponent), I’ll go to Cuba and live for 30 days.”
Super-heavyweight Alex Garcia from San Fernando, in Tuesday’s final bout, outclassed and stopped Yugoslavia’s Azis Salihu at 1:49 of the second round to reach the semifinals.
Garcia started slowly, picked up the pace early in the second and pounded his rotund opponent at will. When the referee began a second eight-count, Salihu’s coach climbed onto the ring apron and the referee waved off Garcia.
Stevenson, 35, who only Sunday said he’d assigned his right hand to the ready reserve list in favor of a more well-rounded offense, pulled the cannon trigger twice on Bulgaria’s slow, stationary Petar Stoimenov.
For the first 30 seconds, both super-heavyweights stalked and stared at each other, without a single punch thrown. Taipei referee Chen-Seng Hong stepped in and warned both boxers for non-action. Then: Action. Boom. The 6-6 Stevenson exploded the right on the 6-1 Stoimenov’s head, and the Bulgarian stumbled backward, into the ropes, where Hong gave him a standing-eight count. Seconds later, on the other side of the ring, Stevenson landed another right on the side of Stoimenov’s head and his knees buckled. Hong began another standing-eight, but this time he went all the way to 10 on the wobbly kneed Bulgarian, a knockout.
Next, Stevenson meets the USSR’s 25-year-old Vycheslav Yakolev, a 6-4, 220-pounder who decisioned Poland’s John Zarenkievia in the bout before Stevenson’s. Yakolev appears to be a mechanically competent boxer, but he showed little power. The two have met once, a 3-2 win for Yakolev in Poland last year after a one-year Stevenson layoff.
Garcia meets Italy’s Biagio Chianese in the semifinals.
The Cubans ended the day at 22-1, the USSR 15-4, East Germany 13-4, Bulgaria 14-5 and the United States 10-6. With one quarterfinals day to go, Cuba has five boxers in the semifinals, the USSR four, East Germany, the United States and Bulgaria two.
Stevenson was jubilant during his post-bout news conference. As he walked to the interview room he didn’t even notice the vanquished Stoimenov. The big Bulgarian sat slumped on a table being attended to by a doctor, who was examining the boxer’s nose, which bled freely.
Soviet Union team officials were justifiably furious Monday over the scorecard of a judge who worked heavyweight Alexander Yagubkin’s lopsided win over Canada’s Domenico D’Amico. Of the four judges who scored it for Yagubkin, the world’s top-ranked heavyweight, the closest margin was 60-56. But Sig Sanon of Berkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta, had it 59-58 for D’Amico. Result: “We sat Sig down for a few days,” said a tournament official.
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