US Boxing Medal Count Up to Five
ED SCHUYLER JR.
Jul. 31, 1996
ATLANTA (AP) _ Antonio Tarver and David Reid, a pair of U.S. Pan Am Games gold medalists, are on track for Olympic boxing gold.
Both advanced to the semifinals Wednesday and assured themselves of bronze medals. U.S. boxers now have five medals, with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to box Wednesday night against Cuba's Lorenzo Aragon. Americans won only three medals four years ago at Barcelona.
Tarver, also a world 178-pound champion, started slow and was tied 1-1, before cutting lose and stopping Enrique Flores at 1:54 of the third round.
``If I don't know my opponent, I don't want to find out he had a hard punch by having him land one on my head,'' Tarver, of Orlando, Fla., said of his first-round caution. ``I try to feel a guy out.''
``I'm too away from my dream,'' added the 27-year-old Tarver, whose semifinal opponent Friday night will be Vasim Jirov of Kazakstan, who outpointed Canadian Troy Ross 14-8. Tarver outpointed Jirov 9-6 in a semifinal bout at the world championships last year.
``It means a whole lot,'' the 22-year-old Reid of Philadelphia said of his bronze medal victory, a 13-8 decision over Mohamed Salah Marmouri of Tunisia at 156 pounds. Reid's semifinal opponent will be Karim Tulaganov of Uzbekistan, who stopped Rival Cadeau of the Seychelles in the first round.
Reid benefited from a two-point penalty assessed against Marbouri for throwing a punch while the referee had the action stopped. He also gave U.S. fans a scare when he was giving a standing 8-count in the third round.
Cuba got its fifth and sixth semifinalists when Maiko Romero outboxed Elias Recaido of the Philippines 18-3 at 112 pounds, and Hector Vinent, a 1992 Olympic gold medalist, outpointed Edward Zaharov of Russia at 139 pounds.
Besides Aragon, there were two other Cubans on the night program.
Tarver was far ahead when his bout was stopped. He built a 5-1 lead early in the second round, then the left-hander let loose with both hands. In a matter of seconds it was 11-1. When the barrage ended, Flores was given a standing 8-count.
Two lefts to the head by Tarver forced Torres to take a standing 8 with 1:28 left in the third round. Ten seconds later Tarver landed a left to the jaw, which led to another standing 8. The referee then stopped the fight.
Of Reid's slow first round, U.S. coach Al Mitchell, said ``To me, he didn't start slow, he was just looking for a knockout punch.''
Reid, who joined fellow-Philadelphian Terrance Cauthen, 132, in the semifinals, did not appear hurt when he was given the standing 8. He led 11-8 at that point and clinched the win with two scoring rights.
``I was surprised,'' he said. ``I wasn't hurt at all, but the guy caught me with a good shot. I had to keep my composure and not lose my head.''
Of the penalty assessed against the Tunisian in the second round, Reid said, ``I looked at the referee and he tried to hit me.''
``The referee really interfered,'' Marmouri said of Theodore Vidalis of Greece, who often stopped the action for various infractions. ``He stopped the fight every time I landed a blow.''