MOBILE, Ala. – Cincinnati's Rau'shee Warren moved one step closer to qualifying for his third Olympic Team with a convincing 34-20 win over Chicago's Shawn Simpson in the flyweight division of the U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials on Wednesday night.
"I'm 24 and he's 17, so he's got a lot to learn," Warren said. "I was 17 once, and I was defeating grown men. But I take my hat off to him for being confident."
Simpson came out strong at the beginning of the fight, but Warren picked up the pace in the second round with a vicious set of combinations. Warren went up 22-12 after the second round by answering his younger opponent's attack with more combinations and numerous jabs.
In round three, Simpson came out swinging, but Warren answered with jabs and more combinations. Warren then went to Simpson's body.
"He came to me, but it was something I was expecting," Warren said. "When I got hit, I felt that I had to get the point back. A lot of times I was off balance, and I was still delivering blows."
Another favorite, Errol Spence of Desoto, Texas, defeated Amir Imam 19-14 in the welterweight division, while Philadelphia's Jesse Hart used movement and a powerful jab to defeat Antoine Douglas 14-8 to advance in the winners bracket of the middleweight division.
Hart fought as a light heavyweight before moving down in classification, and the competition he faced at that weight level was beneficial.
"(Fighting at) 178 was a test," he said. "I wanted to fight different fighters and I wanted to get a lot of different work."
Hart kept Douglas off balance in the first round, and in the second, utilized the jab to score. Douglas got in a few punches in the third, but Hart's speed proved to be too much.
"God is good," said Hart, who was fighting in memory of his older brother, Damon Williams, who died last year. "I heard everybody say, 'Use the jab,' and my brother Chip told me that nobody can contain the jab. All we talked about was using the jab. I knew that he (Douglas) had a left hook, and the plan was to make him miss and make him pay."
While Hart used finesse, heavyweight Michael Turner of Las Vegas used power. In a dominating performance, Turner outpointed Jordan Shimmell of Hudsonville, Mich., 23-8. Turner landed some very hard punches during the bout, forcing Shimmell into a couple of eight-counts.
Several fighters advanced in the challengers' bracket. Some of the notable fighters who advanced included Santos Vasquez, who defeated Cincinnati's David Carlton 26-14 in the light flyweight division, Emilio Sanchez, who defeated Oscar Cantu 38-21 in the flyweight division, and Joseph Williams of the Bronx, who scored a 19-15 upset over Steve Geffard 19-15 in the heavyweight division.