Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Demetrius Andrade to Fight Andrey Balanov in Second Round on Thursday

Demetrius Andrade is scheduled to fight Andrey Balanov in the second round of the welterweight boxing division. The fight will take place on Thursday night in China, which is 9:30 AM Eastern Time here in the US. The fight is scheduled to air on CNBC sometime between 5-8 PM ET on Thursday. You can check out your local tv listings here to see where the fight airs in your area.

Here is the scoop on the fight and some quotes from Andrade's blog about his first round and upcoming fight:

Andrade, the 20-year-old left-hander from Providence, will box Andrey Balanov, 32, of Russia in the second round of the welterweight division Thursday night (Thursday at 9:30 a.m.). If Balanov studied Andrade’s first bout, he will avoid Kakhaber Jvania’s clutch-and-grab strategy. Andrade remained patient and defeated Jvania, 11-9, in a bout that was similar to their showdown for the world championship last year. “We just wanted to wear him down in he early rounds so I could go in there and box, and it came out well,” Andrade told USA Boxing. “I don’t want to talk about the scoring system, but things happen.” Andrade is the top-ranked welterweight (152 pounds) in the United States and one of the best in the world. The last American to win a gold medal in this weight class was Mark Breland at Los Angeles in 1984. “My confidence is good,” Andrade said. “I’m going in as I always do as the underdog. People don’t expect the United States to win, but I’m going to prove them wrong.” (Providence Journal)

If his first fight on the way to a hoped-for gold medal in boxing was any indication, Demetrius Andrade should receive a medal for patience. The Providence native was never in real danger of losing to Kakhaber Jvania of Georgia during his 11-9 victory in the first round of the welterweight division yesterday at Workers' Gymnasium. However, the fight was filled with grabs and clinches as the Georgian attempted to frustrate the lefthanded Andrade. Still, Andrade advanced to fight 32-year-old Andrey Balanov of Russia Thursday in the second round of the field of 32." He pretty much just prepared me for everybody else," said Andrade, a 6-foot-1-inch, 152-pounder bidding to become the first American to win a gold medal in the weight class since Mark Breland did it in 1984 in Los Angeles. "I fought him in the world championships [Andrade beat him, 22-11, last year in the first round] and he did the same things; that's why I try to go to the body a lot to try to slow them down. Nobody here wants to box me. So I will have to slug it out." The fight opened with the usual feeling-out phase until Andrade, the top welterweight in the International Amateur Boxing Association, landed a left to score the first point. He quickly added the second with a left body shot that knocked Jvania back to the corner post. After the first period (there are four, two-minute sessions), though, Andrade led only by 2 points. He believes another concern is how the judges will score his bouts during the tournament. United States coach Dan Campbell noted his corner could not see the scoreboard monitor after one period. "I'm never a nervous person," said Andrade, the 2007 world champion. "I just have worries with the surroundings and the judges. I don't think the score was fair. They do what they do, and I got to do what I got to do. So far so good." During the second period the action picked up a bit until a series of clinches occurred again. It got so rough, Andrade was pushed down with 1:16 left. But the 20-year-old recovered with a stiff right to Jvania's face, giving him a 4-2 lead at the halfway mark. Early in the third period, Andrade scored 2 quick points to take a 7-2 lead, but the Georgian was not going away as he attempted to draw Andrade into a brawl by claiming the next 2 points. "That's how it's always been," said Andrade. "I hit him with a good punch. He felt it. He wanted to try to come back and get me, but I put up my hands and locked up and stayed busy. If it comes, it comes." Andrade landed a jab for an 8-4 lead, then finished the third with a flurry to lead, 10-6. He played it safe in the fourth, avoiding contact by controlling the tempo and moving well. "I have four more fights to bring the gold to Providence, R.I.," Andrade said. Boston.com

After all the anticipation I finally fought yesterday. I really wasn't too nervous when I got in the ring, however I felt a little rusty because I hadn't fought in so long. I started out slow, which is normal. From the opening bell I knew Jvania would be rough and dirty. I fought him once before and he doesn't try to box me, he tries the football player approach. I thought by the end I was up by at least 8 points, and was surprised it was as close as it was. The computer monitor broke between rounds, so we weren't too sure what the score actually was. I couldn't hear my dad yelling instructions, hopefully he will be closer for Thursdays fight against the Russian boxer, Andrey Balanov.My dad and Dave are going to come up with a good game plan for the next fight. My first fight is always my worst, I'm gonna bring it to this kid! I expect to be sharper for this one on Thursday, and move one step closer to getting the gold! Balanov is going to play rough, but I'm gonna give him a boxing lesson! (NBC Olympic Blogs - Demetrius Andrade)

Also, funny story here that Demetrius Andrade keeps getting mistaken for Kobe Bryant at the Olympics:

American middleweight boxer Demetrius Andrade looks a little like basketball's Kobe Bryant. A shorter, skinnier, less muscular version....OK, he looks nothing like Bryant. But try telling that to the Chinese, who mobbed Andrade when he left his seat at the boxing venue Monday and stepped onto the concourse. Instantly a crowd of several hundred people gathered, pointing, taking pictures or just simply gawking. The crowd eventually backed up the tunnel and into the arena before a squadron of security people, some with flashing lights and warning klaxons, formed a protective semi-circle around him. "It's happened a couple of times before," Andrade said with a laugh. Heavyweight Deontay Wilder is routinely mistaken for LeBron James, by the way. But at least he's 6-foot-7. (LA Times Blog)

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