Monday, August 20, 2007

Downs wins first bout at boxing trials

Three Fort Carson boxers, including light-heavyweight favorite Christopher Downs, won preliminary bouts 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, scored an 8-7 decision over Angel Concepcion. If Downs makes the 2008 Beijing Games, he'll become the oldest known American boxer to compete in the Olympics.

"I grade myself a C-minus," Downs said of his trials debut. "My opponent was trying to make me come forward, and I gave up too many points."

Fort Carson's Boyd Melson, a gold medalist at the 2004 World Military Championships, beat WCAP teammate Mahlon Kerwick 19-8 in the welterweight division. In a second bout of Fort Carson soldiers, Andrew Shepherd downed William Moore 17-13 in the super-heavyweight division.

"I hate boxing my teammates," Melson said. "I got over the hump more than last time (against Kerwick). ... I got my rhythm down in the third (round). When I get my rhythm down, it's very difficult to break it."

Three Fort Carson boxers lost their preliminary bouts: Alexis Ramos was stopped by reigning National Golden Gloves champion Ronny Rios in the third round of the bantamweight division; James Villa lost to Mason Menard 34-9 in the lightweight division; and Jeffrey Spencer dropped a 12-10 decision to Cymone Kearney in the light-heavyweight division. Three Fort Carson soldiers - flyweight John Franklin, heavyweight Joe Guzman and middleweight Zacchaeus Hardrick - will box later today in the double-elimination event that lasts through Sunday.

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