Gomez advances to championship bout
MILAN -- Light welterweight Frankie Gomez won a close contest with Hungary's Gyula Kate at the world championships on Friday, sending the only remaining American into the gold-medal match against Olympic bronze medalist Roniel Iglesias.
Gomez defeated Kate 8-7, landing a jab in the closing minutes of the final round to pull out the victory. Kate had evened the match moments earlier.
"It means a lot to get there," Gomez said. "It's a lot of pressure, but I like the pressure. It helps me fight better and I'm confident about tomorrow."
Olympic super heavyweight champion Roberto Cammarelle of Italy needed just 35 seconds to knock out Viktar Zuyeu, and he'll join six Russians fighting for gold on Saturday.
David Ayrapetyan will fight Serdamba Purevdorj of Mongolia in the light flyweight final, Eduard Abzalimov faces Detelin Dalakliev of Bulgaria in the bantamweight category, and Sergey Vodopiyanov meets Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine for the featherweight gold.
Andrey Zamkovoy takes on Jack Culcay-Keth of Germany for the welterweight title, Artur Beterbiev is against Elshod Rasulov of Uzbekhistan in the light heavyweight final, while Egor Mekhontsev needs to beat Osmai Acosta Duarte of Cuba to win the heavyweight gold.
"There is a kind of tension and pressure in the team to do better than the others," Russia coach Nikolay Kromov said. "Not only to win, but to be great. The aim is not only to win medals, but to make big scores."
Cammarelle, the defending world champion, landed a heavy left hook on Zuyeu that forced the Belarusian's corner to throw in the towel after a standing count by the referee.
Cammarelle's opponent in the final will be Ukraine's Roman Kapitonenko, who beat Olympic silver medalist Zhang Zhilei of China 5-2.
"It was what I was after, but it came sooner than I thought it would," Cammarelle said. "I would have preferred the Chinese to be honest. It is easier to see what he is doing with his movement."
The only other Italian left in the competition also made it through to his final. Domenico Valentino beat Koba Pkhakadze of Georgia 15-2, and will fight Puerto Rico's Jose Pedraza for the lightweight gold medal.
Valentino was too quick for Pkhakadze and used good footwork to score points and avoid punches. He scored immediately after the first bell and led 4-2 at the end of the first round.
In the second round, he raced away to a 9-2 lead, then saved energy while finishing it out.
"Tomorrow I hope to make history for Italian boxing," Valentino said. "I want to add my name to those who have won medals for Italy at a world championships, like Clemente Russo and Roberto Cammarelle. Tomorrow I have to show that I am a champion."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press