2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials: Day Three
Story and photos by Scott Foster
Pictured right: Oscar Cantu vs. John Franklin.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials continued on Tuesday with the unbeaten boxers in the champions bracket receiving a well deserved rest, while those saddled with a loss contested the second round of the double elimination challengers bracket.
2011 silver medalist Oscar Cantu (Kingsville, TX) and 2011 National champion John Franklin (Fort Carson, CO) began the night session at 114lbs, both hoping to emerge from the challengers bracket to face Flyweight heir apparent Rau’shee Warren. The 27-year-old Franklin deflected Cantu for the better part of the opening round, relying on an active jab and good lateral movement. Cantu continued to press Franklin in the 2nd, cutting both the distance and the ring, and his pressure paid off late in the round with a concussive right hand, dropping Franklin for a resounding knockdown. Cantu sustained his rally well into the 3rd, but the bout resulted in a 15-15 tie, with the nod going eventually to Cantu, 78-73.
2011 Middleweight National champion Chris Pearson (Trotwood, OH) looked to claw his way back into the champions bracket, eyeing a possible rematch with long-time friend Jessie Hart, who bounced him into the challengers bracket in the opening round. But he would have to get past fellow 2010 National Champion Luis Arias (Millwaukee, WI), who opened their bout with controlled aggression, consistently pressing Pearson and sweeping the round, 5-3. Pearson closed the gap in the 2nd and was awarded a point after Aries received several warnings for holding, but still trailed by 2 points leading into the final round. Aries pace slowed considerably, showing signs of fatigue, but he was able to weather Pearson’s rally, ending the fight in a 16-16 tie. Total punch count swayed the bout to Aries, 87-78, presumably the bulk of that scoring occurring in the 1st round.
The highlight of the night session came at 132lbs, with Toka Kahn Clary (Providence, R.I.) battling 3-time National Golden Gloves champion Erick DeLeon (Lincoln Park, Mich). DeLeon came out of the gate quickly, pressing Clary to earn a slight lead. Clary nearly swung the bout in the 2nd, controlling DeLeon behind a southpaw jab and excellent hand speed. In the final round, DeLeon increased his lead, but was caught late with a heavy hook, eliciting a well deserved 8-count. Clary’s charge came up short, however, losing a tight decision, 20-18.
At 141lbs, Semajay Thomas (Chicago, IL) was hoping to right a perceived wrong with a strong showing in the challengers bracket, but his journey ended before even stepping into the ring. Failing to make weight one day after suffering a razor-thin loss, Durran Caferro (Helena, MO) was awarded the win via walkover, effectively ending Semajay’s Olympic dreams.
Day three results:
6 p.m. session
108 lbs: David Carlton, Cincinnati, Ohio, dec. Gregory Outlaw, Glenarden, Md., 15-11
108 lbs: Santos Vasquez, Sparks, Nev., won on disqualification over Marco Rangel, Scottsdale, Ariz., DQ
114 lbs: Emilio Sanchez, Pacoima, Calif., dec. Stephon Young, St. Louis, Mo., 23-22
114 lbs: Oscar Cantu, Kingsville, Texas, dec. John Franklin, Fort Carson, Colo., 15-15 (78-73)
123 lbs: Luis Feliciano, Milwaukee, Wis., dec. Joet Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif., 14-12
123 lbs: Tramaine Williams, New Haven, Conn., dec. Joe Perez, Fountain, Colo., 15-8
132 lbs: Kenneth Sims Jr., Chicago Ill., dec. Louis Cruz, Bronx, N.Y., 31-16
132 lbs: Toka Khan Clary, Providence, R.I., dec. Erick DeLeon, 20-19
141 lbs: Duran Caferro, Helena, Mont., won on disqualification over Semajay Thomas, Chicago, Ill., DQ
141 lbs: George Rincon, Carrollton, Texas, dec. Michael Reed, Waldorf, Md., 23-23 (110-108)
152 lbs: Bryant Perrella, Lehigh Acres, Fla., dec. Willie Jones, Charlotte, N.C., 10-11
152 lbs: Samuel Vasquez, Fort Carson, Colo., dec. Arturo Trujillo, Easton, Pa., 19-10
165 lbs: Edgar Alvarado, San Bernadino, Calif., dec. D'Mitrius Ballard, Temple Hills, Md., 26-24
165 lbs: Luis Arias, Milwaukee, Wis., dec. Chris Pearson, Trotwood, Ohio, 16-16 (83-78)
178 lbs: Jeffery Spencer, Fort Carson, Colo., dec. Shaborn Ryals, Capitol Heights, Md., 12-11
178 lbs: Siju Shabazz, Las Cruces, N.M., dec. Caleb Plant, Ashland City, Tenn., 15-15 (87-80)
201 lbs: Steve Geffrard, Boca Raton, Fla., dec. Robert Jekabson, Chicago, Ill., 23-20
201 lbs: Joseph Williams, Bronx, N.Y., dec. Andrew Tabiti, Las Vegas, Nev., 26-14
201+ lbs: Laron Mitchell, San Francisco, Calif., won on disqualification over Brett Rather, Las Vegas, Nev., DQ
201+ lbs: Dominic Breazale, Alhambra, Calif., dec. Jonathan Hamm, St. Paul, Minn., 20-10