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U.S. Welterweight Advances

From Les Carpenter:

Andrey Balanov never really seemed to have a chance. The Russian welterweight came at Demetrius Andrade with what appeared to be just one weapon: a left uppercut that he tried to throw repeatedly at the last great U.S. boxing hope left in these Olympics. It was a punch Andrade neatly dodged every time. Exposed, Balanov became a standing target for Andrade's barrage of right and left hooks and Andrade sailed to a 14-3 second round victory that puts him only two wins away from the gold medal fight.

"I didn't even know what the score was," Andrade later said. "I knew I wasn't going to lose."

Andrade has risen quickly in the USA Boxing program. Last fall he won the world championships in Chicago and immediately became a favorite for this Olympics, despite a broken jaw suffered in the late spring. Now that America's other two top medal hopes -- bantamweight Gary Russell Jr. and flyweight Rau'Shee Warren -- are out, Andrade is the most significant U.S. boxer remaining.

"Everybody expects the world champion to perform like a world champion," U.S. Coach Dan Campbell said. "Even though Rau'Shee fought a very strong fight, mistakes took him down. Demetrius is the other world champion. We need him."

By Tracee Hamilton  |  August 14, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
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