Thursday, August 14, 2008
Duncanville boxer Luis Yanez wins first Olympics bout
Yanez defeated Spain's Jose Kelvin de la Nieve in a much-needed win for the U.S. boxing team.
The scrappy Duncanville boxer that almost didn’t get to go to Beijing has been USA Boxing’s best fighter so far. Flyweight Luis Yanez won his bout today against Spain’s Jose Kelvin de la Nieve. Yanez outpointed his opponent 12-9. And boy, did USA Boxing need this win. Flyweight Rau’shee Warren, considered the team’s best hope for a medal, lost in embarrassing fashion. Warren, thinking he was ahead on the scorecard, stopped throwing punches while his coach, Dan Campbell, yelled from the sidelines for Warren to keep fighting.
Another medal hopeful, Gary Russell Jr, never got to throw a punch. Russell passed out in his room Friday morning where his roommate Yanez found him. It’s suspected he pushed himself too hard trying to make weight. Two other USA boxers were totally outclassed in their fights.
Enter Yanez, a boxer who had been at odds with his coach for not reporting for mandatory training in Colorado. Many of the team’s fighters were unhappy with Campbell’s training regimen but Yanez missed three weeks of camp. Yanez said he was taking care of his sister, who was in drug rehab, and her children. Campbell said other athletes on the team told him Yanez said he never had any intention of going to Colorado for training.
Campbell kicked Yanez off the team, the coach calling Yanez “the biggest liar I’ve ever met.” The team eventually reached a compromise that would allow Yanez to go to Beijing. It’s obviously a good thing they did. Campbell’s training regimen and coaching credentials are now in question as the only Olympic boxer having success is the one that didn’t do what Campbell said.
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