Cubans dominate first day of boxing
United States' Williamson, Mosely win impressively
Posted: Tuesday July 28, 1998 01:43 AM
NEW YORK (CNN/SI) -- Cuban boxers gave the world a glimpse of how good they are tonight as they won all six of their bouts at the Goodwill Games in New York.
Heavyweight Felix Savon, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, led the sweep with a dominating performance over Dmitri Gerasimov of Russia in the evening session.
Americans DaVarryl Williamson posted an impressive first-round stoppage of Igor Kshinin of Russia in an afternoon heavyweight bout and highly touted welterweight Larry Mosley also was victorious.
"I was off balance a little bit, but I tried to maintain my composure and calm down," said Mosley, who defeated Serei Dzinkziruk of the Ukraine, 6-3. "He is one of the best boxers I fought."
The 25-man United States team posted a 7-6 record which included Stanley McClain's victory over countryman Malcom Tann in a heavyweight bout.
Savon put on a boxing exhibition in his contest against the overmatched Russian. Landing explosive overhand rights, he piled up a 10-0 lead. In the fifth round, another overhand right forced American referee Gene Reese to halt the bout.
But Savon might have a serious challenger in the heavy-handed Williamson, who will meet the Cuban for the gold if he defeats Kshinin. Williamson landed two clubbing overhand rights to the head of Italy's Giocachino Mocerino, freezing the shaken fighter who collapsed to the canvas.
"I thought I hurt him with the first right," said Williamson. "I was excited since this was my first fight and I wanted to get the jitterbugs out. The coaches wanted me to stay behind the jab. I did that and caught him with the next right. I don't think I looked that good, but I did throw a lot of punches."
American light flyweight Jose Navarro, whose brother, Carlos, won a gold medal at the 1994 Goodwill Games, opened the afternoon session by dropping a 9-2 decision to Roel Velasco of the Philippines.
"Going in the fight, I knew he was a good fighter ranked No. 2 in the world," said Navarro. "I learned a lot in this fight and I just have to be smarter and throw more punches. I didn't get the win, but I learned a lot."
Bantamweight Antonio Rodriguez, one of two members of the U.S team from Hawaii, landed the cleaner punches to outpoint Turkey's Soner Karaaoz.
"I just went in and fought smart, said Rodriguez. "He was a strong fighter and he took my best shots, but I thought it would have been a lot tougher."
Bantamweight Walder Font, the lone Cuban to fight in the day session, got off to a slow start in the opening round, but went on to outclass a game Mikhail Anazin of Russia.
"I felt pressured because he was crowding me in the first round and I could get my punches," said Font through an interpreter. "In the second round, I felt a bit more comfortable because I was getting my punches in. I felt a little tentative because I was the first Cuban to box today."
France's Jean-Paul Baptiste put together the most dominating effort in the afternoon session when the referee stopped his middleweight bout with American Randy Griffin in the second round.
Tuesday, five world-ranked Cubans advanced to the semifinals. Top-ranked light flyweight Maikro Romero, 132-pounder Mario Kindelan, welterweight Roberto Guerra and middleweight Ariel Hernandez will fight again Wednesday.
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