BOXING: Shawn Estrada Records an Opening Round Win While Christopher Downs Drops Bout
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.)-Middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) notched his first win at the second Americas Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala, but light heavyweight Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) dropped his first round contest. Estrada won an 11-3 decision over Trinidad's Andrew Fermin in their middleweight match-up while Downs dropped a 5-3 bout to Julio Cesar Castillo Torres of Ecuador. As the Americas Qualifier was the final opportunity to earn a Beijing berth, Downs' loss ends eliminates him from contention for the 2008 Olympic Games. In middleweight action, Estrada fell behind by a slim 1-0 margin after the first round, but his deficit didn't last long. He picked up his output in the second round, holding Fermin scoreless to take a 4-1 advantage at the midway point of the contest. Both boxers doubled their scores in the third round of action, giving Estrada an 8-2 advantage as the final round began. He eliminated any chance of a comeback, winning an 11-3 final decision. Estrada will face Colombia's Alexander Brand in Sunday's action. Downs struggled to get going in his light heavyweight preliminary bout with Castillo Torres, falling behind by a 3-0 deficit after the first two rounds of boxing. He began to mount a comeback in the third round, pulling to 3-2 with one round remaining. Yet he couldn't claim the lead, and he lost a 5-3 final decision, eliminating him from the tournament. Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) will open competition on Sunday with a bout against Canada. Over 130 boxers from 27 countries are scheduled to compete in the second Americas Qualifier with Nicaragua leading the way in athletes competing at 10 boxers. Competition will run from April 25-30 with 23 Olympic spots up for grabs in 10 weight classes in Guatemala. The trio of U.S. boxers are hoping to join their eight qualified teammates: light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas), flyweight Rau'shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio), bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) , featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio), lightweight Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.), light welterweight Javier Molina (Commerce, Calif.), welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.), and heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) No U.S. boxers will be in action on Saturday.