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ATHENS 2004

Escobedo's Slow Start Leads to One-Sided Loss

August 21, 2004|Steve Springer

ATHENS — Vicente Escobedo, despite being the aggressor for the first 90 seconds of the third round of his 132-pound match against Rovshan Huseynov of Azerbaijan, was rewarded with one punch by the judges.

But while judging in the bout at the Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall on Friday was questionable, it's not the reason Escobedo lost a 36-18 decision. The fighter from Woodland, Calif., was eliminated from the tournament because he started slowly and failed to take command of the fight against the clever, smooth, counterpunching style of Huseynov.

"It's tough to swallow," said U.S. Coach Basheer Abdullah. "I might not disagree with whether Vicente won or not, but I do disagree with the wide margin of the scoring."

Said Escobedo: "I felt like I was going at his pace. He fought smart. He smothered my punches and I couldn't put together my combinations."

The loss leaves five U.S. boxers in the tournament. Two of them will be in the ring today: 112-pounder Ron Siler against Tulashboy Doniyorov of Uzbekistan, and 165-pounder Andre Dirrell against Nabil Kassel of Algeria.

-- Steve Springer

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