Denver’s four-time (consecutive) National Golden Gloves Champion and three-time USA National Champion ‘King Louie’ Byrd says he’s “feeling like an Olympian” and has himself situated right where he wants to be heading into tonight’s winners bracket competition of the 2012 USA Olympic Boxing Team Trials.
Byrd can ‘kill two birds with one stone’ tonight when he takes on previous (2011) first round USA Nationals opponent Eros Correa (San Jose, California), who has been vocal in feeling he defeated Byrd, by silencing the ever confident Correa and moving into a berth in the finals.
Tonight Eros Correa gets his wish, claiming to want another shot at Byrd where “things will be different”, as he and ‘King Louie’ face off in a match determining who heads into Friday evenings finals in the 108 pounds (light flyweight) category.
Correa’s coach Candy Lopez said, “It was close (the 2011 USA Nationals bout), but Eros should’ve won that fight and the judges gave it to Byrd. Eros has been working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen again”.
Comments like this from prior opponents or their coaches have only added to the already heavily stoked flames ‘King Louie’ has in his belly to not only be the best, but to be considered the best by his piers, with convincing wins via head-to-head competition.
Colorado has several representatives remaining in the ‘challengers bracket’, meaning much more competition left for them before earning what would be a well deserved berth in the finals.
Tonight’s action will bring a tough bout between one of my personal favorites in the over 200 pounds (super heavyweight)class when Lenroy ‘Cam’ Thompson (Lenexa, Kansas) takes on Colorado’s Andrew Shepherd (Ft. Carson) with the winner earning a spot in the finals.
‘Cam’ will be the favorite (he well knows my allegiance to Colorado amateur boxers) but Shepherd will be leaving it all in the ring tonight making this another excellent matchup in competition.
The bouts tonight feature familiar names of amateur boxers that have been focusing on the Olympic Dream for most of their lives, and should be commended for their willingness to make the necessary sacrifices it took making it this far in earning the right to represent their country in London, England, next year at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Wednesday’s Olympic Trials Bout Sheets
108 lbs: Louie Byrd, Denver, Colo., vs. Eros Correa, San Jose, Calif.
114 lbs: Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio vs. Shawn Simpson, Chicago, Ill.
123 lbs: Joseph Diaz, Jr., El Monte, Calif., vs. O’Shanique Foster, Orange, Texas
132 lbs: Raynell Williams, Cleveland, Ohio vs. Jose Ramirez, Avenal, Calif.
141 lbs: Pedro Sosa, Bronx, N.Y., vs. Jamel Herring, Coram, N.Y.
152 lbs: Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas vs. Amir Imam, Albany, N.Y.
165 lbs: Jesse Hart, Philadelphia, Pa., vs. Antoine Douglas, Burke, Va.
178 lbs: Jerry Odom, Bowie, Md., vs. Marcus Browne, Staten Island, N.Y.
201 lbs: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev., vs. Jordan Shimmell, Staten Island, N.Y.
201+ lbs: Lenroy Thompson, Lenexa, Kansas vs. Andrew Shepherd, Fort Carson, Colo.
108 lbs: David Carlton, Cincinnati, Ohio vs. Santos Vasquez, Sparks, Nev.
114 lbs: Emilio Sanchez, Pacoima, Calif., vs. Oscar Cantu, Kingsville, Texas
123 lbs: Tramaine Williams, New Haven, Conn., vs. Luis Feliciano, Milwaukee, Wis.
132 lbs: Kenneth Sims, Jr., Chicago, Ill., vs. Toka Kahn Clary, Providence, R.I.
141 lbs: Duran Caferro, Helena, Mont., vs. George Rincon, Carrollton, Texas
152 lbs: Bryant Perrella, Lehigh Acres, Fla., vs. Samuel Vasquez, Fort Carson, Colo.
165 lbs: Luis Aris, Milwaukee, Wis., vs. Edgar Alvarado, Jr., San Bernadino, Calif.
178 lbs: Jeffery Spencer, Fort Carson, Colo., vs. Siju Shabazz, Las Cruces, N.M.
201 lbs: Steve Geffrard, Boca Raton, Fla., vs. Joseph Williams, Bronx, N.Y.
201+ lbs: Laron Mitchell, San Francisco, Calif., vs. Dominic Breazale, Alhambra, Calif.
Stephen Johnson writes for INSIDE BOXING.com, BORICUA BOXING.com, and UNTIL THE NEXT ROUND.com