BOXING: Shawn Estrada Wins Semifinal Bout at Americas Qualifier, Claims Olympic Berth
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.)-Middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) became the ninth member of the U.S. Olympic boxing team to qualify for the 2008 OIympic Games, winning his semifinal bout at the second Americas Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala on Tuesday. Estrada earned a 12-7 victory over Brazil's Yamaguchi Florentine in their semifinal round match-up. The bout was close throughout the first three rounds with the boxers tied up after each of the first two rounds. The score was 1-1 at the midway point, but the pace quickened in the third round with Estrada pulling out to a 7-6 lead as the contest moved into the definitive final round. Estrada simply wouldn't be denied, piling on the points over the last two minutes of action to claim the 12-7 win and a berth in the 2008 Olympic Games. Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) will compete in semifinal action on Tuesday evening, facing Venezuela's Jose Payares in the qualifying contest. If Hunter wins his semifinal bout on Tuesday night, he will become the tenth member of the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team with only light heavyweight Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) failing to qualify. Estrada will take on Argentina's Ezequiel Maderna in championship round competition on Wednesday.