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(BEIJING, CHINA) – Featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) stepped through the ropes at the Workers Indoor Arena, hoping to move one victory closer to his goal of a gold medal, but he didn’t accomplish his mission, dropping a 9-7 decision to France’s Khedafi Djelkhir. The Frenchman’s win avenges his loss to Williams at the 2007 World Championships.
Williams seemed to command the ring from early on, moving and popping combinations in Djelkhir’s face but the bout was tied at 1-1 after the first. He stepped up the heat slightly in the second round, landing long punches and attempting to move out of harm’s way but trailed by a 4-1 score after two rounds of action. Williams came out firing in the third round, adding to his point total but not denting his deficit and faced a 7-4 disadvantage as the fourth round began. The 19-year-old pressed the action in the fourth round, firing off combinations but Djelkhir began to circle the ring and he Williams couldn’t overcome his deficit. Djelkhir went on to win a 9-7 final decision.
“I felt like I was moving great. I thought I was moving great and getting my punches off but I guess they thought otherwise,” Williams said. “That’s what the judges saw, so I guess I have to go with what they say. I felt like I was throwing a lot of punches but I guess it didn’t count for a lot. I did my best, that’s all I can ask for.”
Light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) and middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) will be the final two boxers to compete in second round action on Saturday at the Workers Indoor Arena. Estrada will compete in the afternoon session, taking on Great Britain’s James Degale. His bout is scheduled to take place at 4:15 p.m. Yanez will box in the evening session, facing Serdama Purevdorj of Mongolia at approximately 8:15 p.m. It will be the first match-up with their opponents for both U.S. boxers.