Four heavyweights qualify for Beijing

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Russia showed its power in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Championships, winning eight of nine matches on Thursday.

Updated: November 03, 2007 11:41 IST
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Russia showed its power in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Championships, winning eight of nine matches on Thursday.

Super heavyweight Islam Timurziev defeated American Michael Hunter 22-15 and heavyweight Rakhim Chakhkeiv beat Eichin Alizade of Azerbaijan 17-6 sending both big men to the Beijing Olympics.

Also winning for Russia on Thursday was 2004 Olympic gold medalist Alexey Tishchenko, who beat Pichai Sayota of Thailand in the lightweight match that was stopped in the third round with Tishchenko leading 24-4.

The lone quarterfinal loss for Russia was by Georgy Balakshin, who was beaten 23-13 by American flyweight Rau'shee Warren.

Heavyweights Clemente Russo of Italy, Nijiati Yushan of China and John M'Bumba of France all won their matches to earn an Olympic berth.

Russo was a 15-3 winner over Milorad Gajovic of Montenegro, Yushann easily handled Jozsef Daniel Darmos of Hungary 28-11 and M'Bumba eliminated Mihail Muntean of Moldova 22-13.

Other super heavyweights making the Olympics were Vyacheslav Glazkov of Ukraine, Zhilei Zhang of China and Roberto Cammarelle of Italy.

Glazkov's match with Jaroslav Jaksto of Lithuania was stopped in the third round.

Zhang knocked down Daniel Beahan of Australia with one second remaining in the second round, ending the fight. Cammarelle won by a walkover against David Price of England.

And 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Shiming Zou of China easily advanced to the semifinals with a 22-8 win over Patrick Barnes in the light flyweight division. Zou won the gold medal at the 2005 world championships.

Before the afternoon session at the University of Illinois-Chicago, AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu said he pleased by the progress his organization has made to clean up the sport.

Noting that 38 different countries had fighters in the quarterfinals, Wu said it reflected sweeping changes implemented since he took over the post. He unseated longtime head Anwar Chowdhry of Pakistan in last year's election.

More countries are doing well, Wu said, because there is universality in how the matches are being officiated.

"If the sport can't achieve fairness, the sport isn't worth it," Wu said. "It shows the standard of boxing and the quality of the referees and judges. Most important is the judging of the competition. Because it's fair, nobody can dominate. Nobody can manipulate."

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