KKTV 11 News | Colorado Springs, Pueblo | Sports

USA Boxing Crowns National Champs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) Olympic flyweight Rau'shee Warren of Cincinnati complained this week that he hadn't really been tested at the national boxing championships.

He'll have to wait for the Olympic trials now because his opponent in Friday night's title bout received a medical disqualification for fractured ribs, leaving Warren with a walkover and his third straight 112-pound championship.

Aaron Alafa of Visalia, Calif, sustained the injury during his 19-13 semifinal win over John Franklin of Fort Carson, Colo., on Thursday.

Warren hopes to get more action at the Olympic trials in August. He is seeking to become the first American boxer to fight in two Olympics since Davey Lee Armstrong in 1972 and '76.

At 17, he was the youngest U.S. athlete at the Athens Games, where he lost to China's Zou Chiming 22-9 in his opening fight. Afterward, he decided to delay turning professional for a shot at Beijing in 2008.

Warren said Alafa's DQ only delays their meeting in the ring.

``Basically, it just rolls off my back because I'll see him at the (Olympic trial) box-offs,'' Warren said. ``He can't dodge that.''

The top eight finishers in each of 11 weight classes at these championships get a shot at making the U.S. team at the box-offs in August at a location yet to be determined.

That's made it easy for some boxers to bow out of their bouts this week as three defending champs did Wednesday.

Warren said he didn't doubt Alafa's injury but wondered how serious it was. Alafa, the two-time defending Golden Gloves champ, lost to Warren in the 2005 national championship when the fight was stopped in the third round.

Ten other title bouts were fought Friday night at the Antlers Hilton Hotel ballroom, including the super-heavyweight fight between Mike Wilson of Central Point, Ore., and Michael Hunter of Las Vegas. Wilson won the last three titles but his 2006 championship was taken away after he tested positive for marijuana.

Luis Yanez of Duncanville, Texas, got things started by successfully defending his light flyweight title by beating Daniel Lozano of Bowling Green, Fla., 19-8.

``Just another day at the office, I was looking great,'' the brash Yanez said.

The only other boxer officially defending his national title Friday night was light heavyweight Christopher Downs, a 32-year-old soldier from Fort Carson, Colo., the oldest fighter to reach this year's finals. He beat Yathomas Riley of San Diego 28-14.

In the evening's most rousing bout, Fernando Guerrero of Salisbury, Md., won the middleweight title just a year after become a U.S. citizen. He beat Golden Gloves champ Shawn Porter of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, 33-17.

Guerrero, whose parents moved to America from the Dominican Republic when he was 11, came up through the junior ranks and was set to represent the United States at the 2004 World Junior Olympics before he was disqualified because he was not a U.S. citizen.

Guerrero, who was a legal permanent resident, instead fought for the Dominican Republic, carrying the flag as that country's lone representative and winning the 145-pound title by beating Porter in the championship bout.

With the gold medal around his neck Friday night, Guerrero said he was proud to be an American.

``I always fought for the U.S.,'' he said. ``Only, they didn't let me back then. Now, they have to.''

Guerrero, a southpaw, and Porter, a righty, traded powerful roundhouses, straight punches and devastating hooks in all four rounds with each of them rallying to fire up the crowd. Guerrero wore down Porter in the end, however, hurting him with two straight lefts and knocking him to the canvas in the fourth round.

``All my life people have been calling me the underdog,'' Guerrero said. ``I was never the No. 1.''

Until now.

In other fights:

Ronny Rios of Santa Ana, Calif., won the bantamweight title, 25-14 over David Clark of San Diego.

Raynell Williams of Cleveland beat Rico Ramos of Los Angeles 16-9 in the 125-pound bout.

Diego Magdaleno of Las Vegas won the lightweight title, 13-12 over Jerry Belmontes of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Light welterweight Javier Molina of Commerce, Calif., beat Brad Solomon of Douglasville, Ga., 17-13.

Charles Hatley of Dallas beat Mahlon Kerwick in the welterweight division when the referee stopped the fight in the second round after Hatley reached a 20-point advantage.

(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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