BOXING: Michael Hunter Drops Semifinal Bout at the Americas Qualifier

April 30, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.)-Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) suffered a devastating loss in his semifinal bout with Venezuela's Jose Payares at the Americas Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The defeat eliminates Hunter from Olympic contention. Hunter, who had been battling an illness throughout his time in Guatemala, fell behind by one point after the opening two minutes before the Venezuelan extended his lead to a 5-2 margin after two rounds of boxing. Payares moved out to a four-point advantage in the third before winning a 10-3 decision over Hunter. With Hunter and Downs failing to qualify, the United States will take nine boxers to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The nine boxers is the same size squad that represented the United States in Athens at the 2004 Olympic Games. The nine boxers competing in the Olympic Games will be 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.), middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) and heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.).