Just like we used to say in the oilfield the only easy day was yesterday and so that Louisiana adage holds true in the Olympic Boxing trials for the Tokyo Summer Olympics next year.
Wednesday in the Lake Charles Civic Center some competitors proved their worth with their second consecutive win while others were relegated to the Challenger’s bracket for one last shot at achieving their dreams as the competition moves round by round toward the ultimate cut that sends some disappointed youngsters home sooner rather than later for Christmas.
The world of boxing is a one on one and tersely executed intensely physical sport and at some point the the ferocious energy of the exaltation of the victor is amplified in the physically drained ashen pain of the fallen whose Olympic dreams of medal glory have been drowned on our lakeshore.
Naomi Graham fighting out of Fayetteville, N.C., and the top seed in the women’s 165 lbs. division, looked strong in a unanimous decision victory over Alexis Gomez from South San Francisco, Calif. Graham advances to face Morelle McCane from Browns country in Cleveland, Ohio, who defeated Kendra Reeves of Twin Falls, Idaho by a 4-1 decision. Gomez and Reeves drop to the Challenger’s bracket to face Melody Popravak from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Pasene Asuega hailing from Wilmington, N.C., respectively.
According to Graham: My confidence is raising more and more. I feel like I can take the whole tournament. I am going to take the whole tournament. It takes a lot of mental recovery. I spend more time on mental than physical right now because the work has been put in already.
Tense Competition in Men's 201+ lb Division
The price of admission though already met by the evenings action was bonused by the
drama continued in the men’s 201 lbs. division as lower seeds continue to dominate. Eight seed Darius Fulghum out of Rosharon, Texas, clinched a spot in the next round with a 4-1 decision win over Najee Lopez from Ellenwood, Ga. On the other side of the bracket, Jamar Talley a fighter out of Camden, N.J. secured a big unanimous decision win over Joshua Edwards of Houston. Lopez will be up against four seed Brandon Moore of Lakeland, Fla., in the Challenger’s bracket and Edwards will have to get past Devon Young of Aiken, S.C.
A confident Talley remarked: I don’t see nobody stopping me, I’ll take this all the way to the number one seed. I’m gonna be the number one seed by the time we leave here. I promise you. Heart and confidence is the first two-piece, baby. Remember that.
While Wednesday nights losers aren’t out of the tournament completely, they will have to prove they belong Thursday in the Challenger’s bracket. Competition begins at 6 p.m. CST at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
While the Olympic Boxing Trials will take place in December in Lake Charles the next three years, this years inaugural event is proving to be as exciting as expected and more so with the various surprises, upsets, twists, turns, comebacks and stories of sheer human bravery and endurance played out moment by moment live in front of you.
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