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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Boxing

Only Reid Rises Above Bronze Tide

August 03, 1996|TIM KAWAKAMI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ATLANTA — David Reid. And that's it.

"I do feel kind of lonely right now," Reid said late Friday.

After watching teammate and light-heavyweight gold-medal favorite Antonio Tarver get upset by Vasilii Jirov of Kazakhstan and featherweight Floyd Mayweather drop a controversial decision to Tontcho Tontchev of Bulgaria, Reid seemed a little dazed by the situation.

Of the six American fighters who moved into the quarterfinal round, light-middleweight Reid, who knocked down then waltzed past Karim Tulaganov of Uzbekistan, 12-4, Friday night, is the only one who got to the gold medal match.

Five bronze medals, and the rest is up to Reid on Sunday afternoon, against Cuban Alfredo Duvergel, the reigning Pan Am Games champion.

"I'm very stunned, because I expected Tarver to be there," said Reid, of Philadelphia, who was not one of the squad's heralded fighters. "I wish he was."

Reid dominated Tulaganov with his straight-up-the-middle hand speed in the first round, and led, 5-1, after the round. In the second, Reid ripped a vicious overhand right that connected on the chin and sent Tulaganov flying backward to the canvas.

"I thought he was out," Reid said.

Was he at all affected by the judges' controversial decision against Mayweather?

"I was kind of angry, and I decided I was really going to beat this guy--I wasn't going to leave it in the judges' hands," Reid said.

In Tarver's loss--a huge blow to the U.S. team looking for at least two golds--the tall left-hander ignored his corner's advice to stay jabbing and jumped all over Jirov in the second round.

But Tarver landed few clean shots, got only two points for the 25-punch flurry, and seemed weak for the last four minutes.

"That's what happened when you give it your all," Tarver said. "You get tired."

Said Jirov, through an interpreter, "I was stronger."

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