Chicago:McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico took another step toward qualifying for the Beijing Olympics when he defeated Ukraine middleweight Vitaliy Volkov during the Saturday morning session at the World Boxing Championships in Chicago.
In early flyweight bouts, US Olympian Rau'shee Warren defeated Mexican Avila Juarez Braulio, Violito Payla of the Philippines, another Olympic fighter, beat defeated England's Khalid Said, and Kazakhstan's Mirat Sarsembayev downed Faber Frantinek of the Czech Republic.
Arroyo, who won gold at the 2007 Pan American Games, established an early lead in the close-fought match. Volkov mounted a comeback late in the fourth, but failed to make up enough ground before losing 23-14.
Arroyo, who is holding off his celebrations until he earns the one more win that will earn him an Olympics berth.
"I'm not happy just yet," Arroyo. "It would be a dream come true to make it to the Olympics."
Arroyo fed off of the energy of the local Puerto Rican fans in attendance, who have supported him throughout the championships.
"Chicago has proven to be a great spot to put on any world class event," Arroyo said.
Warren, who competed at the Athens Games, looked like an experienced fighter in Olympic form during his bout.
Juarez Braulio threw flurries of punches throughout the fight, but Warren dodged or blocked almost all of them, ultimately winning the match 23-3 when he outscored his opponent by twenty points in the third round.
Sarsembayev, who won bronze at the 2005 world championships, scored the first point with a left hook that sent Frantinek staggering. The Kazakh never looked back, fighting a quicker bout than his opponent, and ultimately winning the match by a score of 16-6.
Payla who competed in the 2004 Olympics, had little trouble dispatching Said 29-15.
Saturday was the fifth day of competition at the World Boxing Championships in Chicago. The top eight finishers in the light flyweight (48kg) to light heavyweight (81kg) divisions, and the top four from the heavyweight and super heavyweight classes qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
Chicago was elected to host the World Boxing Championships after Moscow lost the event earlier this year.