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  Boxing

No Jamaican boxers for Beijing Olympics

 
Jamaica will not be represented in boxing at this year's Beijing Olympics.

The island's last two hopes, featherweight Nicholas Walters and welterweight Rikardo Smith, were eliminated at the preliminary stage of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Guatemala. Walters was beaten 14-9 by Colombian Miguel Marriaga while Victor Castillo of Ecuador defeated Smith 14-6.

The outstanding Bahamian Taureno Johnson heads a trio of English-speaking Caribbean boxers through to the semi-finals. Johnson, boxing in the welterweight division, defeated Brazilian Pedro Lima in his quarter-final bout on Sunday night to advance to the last four in his 69kg weight division.

Middleweight Clarence Joseph and light heavyweight Julius Jackson, both of the US Virgin Islands (USVI), also won their quarter-final bouts in the second and last Olympic qualifying boxing event for this region.

Yesterday was a rest day and semi-final bouts are slated for today.

A total of 23 Olympic places are on offer in Guatemala, and this tournament will complete the list of boxers from the Americas — the Caribbean, North, Central and South America - participating in the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

Johnson, one of the most outstanding amateur boxer out of the Caribbean in the past decade, out-boxed Lima to record his second win in two days while avenging his loss to the Brazilian in the AIBA qualifiers in Trinidad last month.

The former Caribbean Amateur Boxing Association (CABA) Championship "Most Outstanding Boxer Award" winner defeated Lima 10-6 on points.

Identical points margin

It was the identical points margin he secured in defeating Argentina's Diego Chavez on Saturday in the preliminary round.

Lima had edged Johnson 14-13 in Trinidad last month in a second-round bout.

Jackson, the son of former world (professional) champion Julian Jackson, won his 81kg light heavyweight bout when Nicaragua's Jhonatan Davila retired in round four.

Jackson's teammate Joseph swiftly ended his 75kg middleweight contest when he stopped Dimas Yaret, of Honduras, in the first round.

The USVI already has the only English-speaking boxing qualifier for Beijing, Jackson's younger brother John Jackson, who booked his spot from the first AIBA qualifiers in Trinidad and Tobago.

Other English-speaking Carib-bean boxers were eliminated Sunday night in quarter-final bouts, including Common-wealth Games bronze medallist and reigning CABA heavyweight champion Anderson Emmanuel, of Barbados.

Canada's Lois Sylveira-Jaques defeated Emmanuel, stopping the top Caribbean man in the third round.

Emmanuel's Barbadian teammates Bradley Redman and Damian Sealy also lost.

The featherweight Redman was beaten on points by the Dominican RepublicÕs Roberto Navarro, who tallied a comfortable 22-8 advantage, and Brazilian Gleison Silva defeated Sealy 11-3 in the super heavyweight class.

Sealy had beaten Nicaragua's Juan Sandoval in the preliminaries.

Trinidad and Tobago lightweight Prince Lee Isador was beaten 15-5 by EcuadorÕs Alexis Lara, and ArgentinaÕs Gumersindo Carrasco edged the USVI's light welterweight Livingstone Joseph 10-9 on points.

The Americas have already booked 37 boxers for Beijing — 14 of them coming from the 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships Chicago, and the remaining 23 from the box-offs last month in Port of Spain.

Powerhouse Cuba have the highest number of boxers already qualified at nine.

So far, the USA (8), Venezuela (5), Ecuador and Puerto Rico (3) are the most prolific with fielding qualifiers.

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