HELSINKI -- Robert Helenius stared out an open window, momentarily transfixed by the cold, concrete jungle of his home country and its quickly fading light. After answering questions for nearly 45 minutes in a dimly lit lounge tucked inside the Radisson Hotel, Helenius had one of his own: Why are Americans so down on boxing?
U.S. boxer Rau'shee Warren made history at the world championships this week, becoming the first athlete to qualify for three U.S. Olympic boxing teams. The 24-year-old from Cincinnati locked up an Olympic spot for the U.S. in the 114-pound flyweight division this week by winning his third-round bout at the world championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. After beating Shawn Simpson in the finals of the U.S. trials in Mobile in August, Warren needed to finish among the top 10 at worlds to secure his third Olympic berth. He outpointed Rey Saludar of the Philippines, 22-12, to guarantee a top-10 finish in his weight class and, therefore, a U.S. slot in that class.
The International Olympic Committee told CNN Friday that they are waiting on the result of an investigation by amateur boxing's world governing body into allegations that huge bribes were paid so Azerbaijan can win gold medals at the London 2012 Games.
Usain Bolt may bolt from another event, depending on the source you choose to believe. Although Bolt's coach, Glen Mills, says the sprinter will not run in the Jamaican team trials for the Commonwealth Games next week, Mills now says the quadrennial competition, set to open in Delhi on Oct. 3, was never actually on his schedule in the first place. That comes as news to organizers, who have been promoting Bolt's appearance since last year.
The thing about Charlie Mohr was that never looked much like a fighter. He was long and lanky, and he wore horn-rimmed glasses and jackets and ties. For much of his short life, he dreamed of becoming a priest. It was easy to misjudge him. One day more than half a century ago, he showed up at a community center in Red Hook, Brooklyn, at an informal program of unsanctioned boxing matches. He toted his gym clothes and his books in a valise, and when a neighborhood tough guy spotted this square peg amid the crowd, he said, "I want that bleeping bleep."
With 30 seconds left in the fourth and final round of his Olympic-opening bout, Rau'shee Warren, the U.S.' reigning flyweight world champ, looked to his teammates in the stands. They were gesturing wildly, and Warren swore he heard them yell, "Move! Move!" So Warren danced around on the outside until the referee told him to engage. By then, only four seconds remained.
The left hook from Deontay Wilder connected quickly and violently, its sheer blunt force sending the recipient of the blow, Chinese Olympic heavyweight Nijiati Yushan, toppling like falling redwood face-first to the canvas. As a dazed and disoriented Nushan staggered to his feet, the referee wisely embraced him, calling a halt to the Olympic exhibition match in the second round.
At Civics: This is basically a walk-in scrapbook, with the additional advantage of a liquor license. The walls of the Youngstown, Ohio, establishment are covered in framed newspaper pages, all of them narrating the career of a South Side scrapper, pale and bony (so pale, he's called the Ghost), who grew up around the corner. PAVLIK BURSTS ONTO SCENE reads a 2001 headline from The Vindicator of Youngstown. KEYSTONER AREA BOXER IS GETTING A W. PA. FOLLOWING is from a month earlier. PAVLIK SET TO FIGHT JULY 1 AT CAFARO FIELD. And on and on they go, wall after wall, a fight here, an appearance there, some bit of news, a ray of hope. No act of aspiration unpublished.
Name: Suzanne Grassel School: Syracuse Age: 21 Major: Magazine journalism and sport management Job: Media Intern, USA Boxing, USOC Paid/unpaid: Paid School Credit: Yes Hours: 8-5, Monday-Friday Duration: May 30-Aug. 27 (with a week off in the middle)