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Olympic Boxing: U.S. Boxers Finish Opening Round Strong

 DeontayWilder42 Olympic Boxing: U.S. Boxers Finish Opening Round Strong
© Jim Everett / Saddo Boxing

The U.S. boxing team had a strong finish on Wednesday, August 13, 2008, ending the opening round bouts with both their heavyweight and light flyweight fighters moving into the next round of competition.

The first victory came from the raw and inexperienced hands of 6’9” Deontay Wilder from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who has less than three years experience in boxing. Wilder was fortunate to get a great draw facing 6’2” Abdelaziz Touilbini from Algeria .

During the first round, Touilbini scored a point early in the bout while Wilder was tentative, throwing only one punch at a time. Wilder was clearly tight and was down 2-0 at the end of the round.

At the opening of round two, Wilder was a little more relaxed, throwing his first combination. Touilbini began holding a lot as he tried to get on the inside of Wilder who finally registered a point landing a two punch combination utilizing the jab to set up his right, ending the round at 2-1.

The third round opened up with some clinches between the fighters. Wilder, now getting his groove, lands two consecutive one-two punch combinations with the first set landing flush and scoring against Touilbini, who appeared hurt and wobbled.

The U.S. heavyweight followed up with a one-two combination, scoring again and taking the lead for the first time in the fight.

Just after taking the lead, Wilder was issued a warning by the referee and Touilbini was awarded two points by the judges. It was unclear what the warning was for, but the fighters were broken up from a clinch where both appeared to land punches to the back of the head.

Wilder was not fazed by the penalty and responded with his first three punch combination, utilizing his jab, right and left hook which landed strong and hurt Touilbini, who received a standing eight count from the referee. The score at the end of the round was a tie at 4-4.

Wilder came out confident and aggressive in the fourth round, scoring with a one-two punch, another three punch combination scored with the left hook again wobbling Touilbini. Wilder backs Touilbini into the corner, throwing five power shots, landing the last right-left combination and causing the referee to give Touilbini another standing eight count.

Wilder leads 8-4 with 1:20 left in the round. Wilder lands another right, then a left hook that lands strong, staggering Touilbini back to the ropes and follows up with another left that scores again, ending the bout with a final score of 10-4.

As Wilder celebrates heading back to his corne,r a camera man catches his face as he yells to his daughter, “I love you, Naieya.”

When asked how he was able to score so heavily in the last round, the U.S. heavyweight replied, “My coach would tell me to boost it up, they know I got dog in me, so I like to hear that, when they let the leash off, that’s my go ahead to bring the dog out!”

Due to the smaller field in the heavyweight division, Wilder moves one fight away from the medal round, facing Mohammed Arjaoui of Morocco in the Quarterfinals.

All the way south of the heavyweight division in the light flyweight class, Luis Yanez of Duncanville, Texas, defeated Jose Kelvin de la Nieve of Spain .

The U.S. southpaw came out jabbing in round one, utilizing good hand speed and scoring with a double right hook. Nieve tied the score by landing a left hook at the end of a three punch combination.

A lead right, left hook scores again for Nieve, to which Yanez responds with his own two punch combination. Yanez scores again with a left counter and Nieve catches Yanez at the bell, ending the round with a score of 3-3.

In the second round, Yanez was moving well from side to side, scoring while boxing. Both fighters score again, ending the round at 5-4 in favor of the U.S.

Yanez came out blazing in round three, throwing fast combinations that register a point to which Nieve responds with his own point. The U.S. southpaw is still moving side to side and moving in, landing a combination, then getting out, utilizing his superior hand speed and scoring points, ending the round at 10-6 in his favor.

Yanez opens the fourth round landing a counter right that scores. Nieve moves in on Yanez and scores by landing a nice combination. Yanez responds with fast punches while Nieve was desperately moving forward, trying to press the action. Both fighters scored points, ending the bout with a final score of 12-9 in favor of Yanez.

The excited Yanez, smiling after the fight, said, “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, I went in and had fun, let my hands go, I stayed up. I want to thank one person, I want to thank my dad!”

The U.S. light flyweight moves to the Round of 16 where he will face Serdoma Purevdorj of Mongolia .

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