Garcia beats Robinson at U.S. Championships

Updated: March 8, 2006, 10:49 AM ET
Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Danny Garcia took on his friend and boxing mentor Ray Robinson in their 132-pound opening match Tuesday at the U.S. National Championships.

"I never thought I'd be fighting him," Garcia said of Robinson after their match at the Olympic Training Center.

"I always looked up to him."

Garcia and Robinson both are from Philadelphia, though Robinson has been living in Marquette, Mich., through the United States Olympic Education Center at the University of Northern Michigan.

Robinson returns to Philadelphia during the summer, they remain friends, and over the years they have been sparring partners. "I was about 13 and he was about 16," Garcia, now 17, said.

"He was always bigger than me and he helped me get better."

Garcia learned his lessons well. He scored a 17-14 decision over his erstwhile mentor and move into the next round of competition.

"I went to the body a couple of times and that kind of slowed him down," Garcia said. "Then I started some lefts and right hooks because he was a southpaw. I felt good, but I can do way better. I was kind of feeling the altitude today."

Garcia won the Under-19 Championships last fall, but is in his first U.S Championships. Robinson won a bronze medal in last year's tournament.

Though Garcia's win might be considered an upset, pre-tournament favorites generally ruled the day. Two-time super heavyweight champion Mike Wilson from Medford, Ore., used a vicious body attack to defeat Army soldier Andrew Shepherd of Newport News, Va., 23-12.

"These Army guys are always in shape," Wilson said. "I tried to slow him down early, then take it to him and pick up my points later."

Other returning champions posting wins were Mark Davis of Cleveland, Ohio, two-time winner Michael Evans of Dayton, Ohio, at 132 pounds; Karl Dargan, Philadelphia, 141; Demetrius Andrade of Providence, R.I. at 152; Edwin Rodriguez of Worchester, Mass., 165; and William Rosinsky, Richmond Hills, N.Y., 178.

Davis won a 19-11 decision over Enrique Nieves of Phoenix. Evans defeated Chris Howard of Crossville, Tenn., on a fourth-round stoppage. Dargan defeated Edward Brooks of Phoenix, 24-13. Andrade earned a 20-4 decision over Lucas Galle of Rio Rancho, N.M., Rodriguez defeated Abraham Han of El Paso, Texas, 17-11 and Rosinski took a 24-10 decision over Donta Woods of Atlanta, Ga.

Former Olympian and defending 112-pound champ Rau'Shee Warren of Cincinnati had a bye.

In women's action, Ronica Jefferey of Brooklyn, N.Y., defeated Cynthia Talmadge of San Francisco, Calif., 15-11 at 125 pounds. Maimunah Holland of South Nyack, N.Y., defeated Yelena Binder of Brooklyn, N.Y., 16-10, at 132 pounds. Ana Julaton of Alameda, Calif., defeated Ashlei Jaquay of Imperial, Pa., 23-6, at 125 pounds. Triva Pino of Wahiawa, Hawaii stopped Autumn Anderson of Omaha at 138 pounds.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press