David Jackson got a trip to Sydney
because another boxer quit the U.S. team.
Today, he became more than just a replacement. The 24-year-old boxer from Seattle became a winner at the Olympics.
“It’s a great feeling, nothing like it,” Jackson said after beating Naoufel Ben Rabah of Tunisia 19-7 at 132 pounds. “It’s great to be an Olympian right now. I’m looking for the gold.”
Jackson replaced Marshall Martinez of Fontana, Calif., who turned pro.
“We call him ‘Nine Lives’ because he’s lucky to be here,” said Tom Mustin, head coach of the U.S. team.
Jackson, who returned to the sport this year after a two-year absence, set up his punches with a good left jab and took complete control after leading only 5-4 in the second round. By the round’s end, Jackson led 12-4.
Next up for Jackson is Selim Palyani of Turkey.
Craig, Vinson Also Advance
Dante Craig of Cincinnati shook off first-round jitters and became the second U.S. boxer to advance when he stopped Fadel Showban Showban of Egypt on the 15-point rule Saturday night. The 22-year-old Craig, ahead 3-1 after one round, led 17-2 early in the fourth round when the 147-pound match was halted. Craig next will box Bulent Ulusoy of Turkey.
“I just had to get used to being in the ring again,” said Craig, who had not boxed in five months because of surgery on his right hand.
Clarence Vinson, 22, of Washington, D.C., advanced at 119 pounds Saturday afternoon with a 9-2 decision over Rachid Bouaita of France.
Romero Wins Tough Bout
In one of the best bouts of the first two days, Liborio Romero of Mexico, trailing 13-6 in the third round, swarmed all over Mebarek Soltani of Algeria and won their 106-pound bout 16-15 with a scoring blow right before the bell.
In the first two rounds and part of the third, Romero, several inches shorter than Soltani, had trouble getting inside as the Algerian scored with counter punches. Then Romero’s pressure began to tell, and in the fourth round Soltani could not keep him off.
“In the last second with the last punch I knew I had won,” Romero said.
La Paene Masara of Indonesia counter-punched his way to a 10-5 win over Ivan Calderon of Puerto Rico in the final 106-pound bout on the day card.
A third Latin fighter also advanced when Patrick Lopez, a Pan American Games bronze medalist, trounced Norman Schuster of Germany 24-10 at 132 pounds. Lopez, of Venezuela, forced Schuster to take a standing 8-count in the third round.
In the first fight of the day, Kim Un-Chol, the only North Korean in the boxing competition, stopped Sebusiso Keketsi of Lesotho in the third round on the 15-point rule (17-2).
Alexandr Maletin of Russia, a world champion in 1997, was too experienced for Makhach Nuriddinov of Azerbaijan, winning 14-5 at 132 pounds.