Saturday, August 25, 2007

Downs claims title at Olympic boxing trials

Christopher Downs has taken another step toward Beijing.

The Fort Carson boxer defeated 2006 National Golden Gloves champion Yathomas Riley 21-11 to win the light-heavyweight division of the U.S. Olympic team trials today in Houston.

Downs, a 32-year-old member of the World Class Athlete Program who has served in Iraq, led 5-1 after the first round. He was ahead 12-2 following the second round and took an 11-point lead into the fourth round.

To qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games, Downs must finish in the top eight at the World Amateur Boxing Championships, which are Oct. 23 to Nov. 3 in Chicago. He also has chances to qualify at two continental events next year in the Americas.

“It’s always a good win for the oldest guy in USA Boxing,” said Downs, who can become the oldest known American boxer to compete in the Olympics. “I need to thank all my teammates for pushing me. It was an extremely tough bracket, and all eight competitors earned their way here.”

Other trials winners were Luis Yanez in light-flyweight; Rau’shee Warren in flyweight; Sadam Ali in lightweight; Javier Molina in light-welterweight; Demetrius Andrade in welterweight; Shawn Estrada in middleweight; Deontay Wilder in heavyweight; and Michael Hunter in super-heavyweight. Championship fights in bantamweight and featherweight will be held Sunday.

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