McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico took another step toward qualifying for the Beijing Olympics when he defeated Ukrainian middleweight Vitaliy Volkov on Saturday at the World Boxing Championships in Chicago.
In flyweight bouts, US Olympian Rau'shee Warren defeated Mexican Avila Juarez Braulio, Violito Payla of the Philippines beat England's Khalid Said, and Kazakhstan's Mirat Sarsembayev downed Faber Frantinek of the Czech Republic.
Arroyo, who won gold at this year's Pan American Games, established an early lead in the close-fought match. Volkov mounted a comeback late in the fourth, but failed to make up enough ground before losing 23-14.
Arroyo, who is holding off his celebrations until he earns the one more win that will earn him an Olympics berth.
"I'm not happy just yet," Arroyo. "It would be a dream come true to make it to the Olympics."
Warren, who competed at the Athens Games, looked like an experienced fighter in Olympic form during his bout.
Juarez Braulio threw flurries of punches throughout the fight, but Warren dodged or blocked almost all of them, ultimately winning the match 23-3 when he outscored his opponent by twenty points in the third round.
Sarsembayev, who won bronze at the 2005 world championships, scored the first point with a left hook that sent Frantinek staggering. The Kazakh never looked back, fighting a quicker bout than his opponent, and ultimately winning the match by a score of 16-6.
Payla who competed in the 2004 Olympics, had little trouble dispatching Said 29-15.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
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