Last Saturday, August 9, 2008, middleweight Shawn Estrada got the U.S. boxing team off to a great start, winning his preliminary bout against Ezequiel Maderna of Argentina by a final score of 10-2. Estrada could not have asked for a better draw, having previously beat Maderna at the Americas Qualifier in Guatemala by a score of 4-1 earlier this year.
Estrada used the ring well boxing to an early lead of 7-1 at the end of round two. The taller Maderna was unable to use his height advantage and struggled to score points.
Round three was a low scoring round with each fighter gaining only one point. Estrada smothered himself on the inside, which prevented him from throwing clean punches. He scored two additional points in the fourth round and gave the U.S. boxing team their first win, advancing to the Round of 16 where he will face James DeGale of Great Britian.
On the second day of Olympic boxing, the light welterweight and welterweight fighters took center stage and the U.S. had mixed results, going one and one.
The eighteen year-old U.S. light welterweight Javier Molina faced off against tough twenty-five year-old Boris Georgiev of Bulgaria, who had won a Bronze Medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Molina gave Georgiev some early opportunities, leaving his head open by bouncing his left hand from his chest to his leg, creating openings for the Bulgarian, which he capitalized on by ending the first round with a 6-0 lead.
Georgiev moved around the ring well and was able to land fast combinations, stepping in to get the point and moving out. As Georgiev moved around freely, Molina was unable to cut off the ring effectively, chasing him to try to score points.
Later in the bout, Molina was now keeping his left up and was more aggressive, coming forward, but Georgiev counterpunched and kept increasing his point tally. Georgiev won by a final score of 14-1.
In the welterweight division, the current reigning world champion, U.S. boxer Demetrius Andrade, won his first bout of the tournament, against Kakhaber Jvania of Georgia by a final score of 11-9.
The U.S. southpaw was clearly the faster of the two boxers as he landed multiple combinations in the first round, but most were not landing clean enough to show the efforts on the scorecard, which only read 2-0 in his favor at the end of the round.
In attempt to slow down Andrade, Jvania made the fight more physical by holding and wrestling. Andrade responded in the third round by increasing his points by covering up, blocking and landing quick combinations.
After his victory, Andrade later commented that he felt he was a little rusty but feels that he will be even better in his next bout, where he will face Mujandjae Kasuto of Namibia in the Round of 16.