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(BEIJING, CHINA) – Welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) became the first U.S. boxer to record his second victory at the 2008 Olympic Games, defeating Russia’s elder statesman Andrey Balanov, 14-3, in second round action at the Workers Indoor Arena. The two met at the 2005 World Cup in Russia, Andrade’s first international competition where Balanov claimed the decision, but the second time ended with a very different outcome.
Andrade controlled the ring and the pace from the opening bell as the two boxers spent the first minute of the contest circling one another and searching for an opening. The American boxer solved the puzzle first, unleashing shots in the final minute to take a 2-0 edge after one round. Andrade continued to increase his output, throwing a tremendous flurry late in the second round and building up his point total to claim a 7-1 lead at the halfway mark of the bout. “As soon as I found my range and my distance, I could do a lot of things,” Andrade said. “I was finding myself, finding my distance, figuring out what punches to throw and my footwork. That allowed me throw uppercuts, body shots and work everything.”
Balanov gained his only additional points in the third round after the referee took a point from Andrade for ducking his head and the bout went into the final two minutes with Andrade holding a commanding 11-3 advantage. He held Balanov scoreless throughout the fourth round while showcasing strong ring generalship, and went on to win a 14-3 final decision.
”That shows him in world championship form,” Olympic Head Coach Dan Campbell said. “He is a world champion and that’s what we expect from him. We expect for him to compete at that level at all times.”
“I’m very pleased, the first fight was the rough one. I hadn’t fought in six to eight months so I’m back in action. I feel good and I’m ready to rumble again,” Andrade said.
Andrade will face Korea’s Jung Joo Kim in quarterfinal competition on August 17 in the evening session with the winner advancing on to the medal rounds.
Featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) will return to the ring on Friday, facing off in a rematch with France’s Khedafi Djelkhir in second round competition. The two boxers met at the 2007 World Championships with Williams earning a 28-18 decision over the Frenchman. The bout will take place in evening action, and will begin at approximately 9 p.m. A victory would advance Williams on to quarterfinal competition.