The Playback brings you exclusive coverage of our two Bay Area boxers as they fight for a shot to make the 2012 Olympic Team this weekend.
In the opening round of the U.S. Olympic Trials at Mobile, Ala., the Bay Area's two entrants went a combined 1-1. San Jose light flyweight Eros Correa had no problems overwhelming Norberto Torres of Orlando 30-14, while super heavyweight LaRon Mitchell of San Francisco's Ring of Fire Gym was edged out by top-seeded Lenroy Thompson of Kansas, 14-11.
The tournament is double-elimination, meaning that both fighters remain in contention. Correa heads to the winners' bracket, while Mitchell moves to the losers' bracket.
Correa broke down the victory over Torres.
"I just used my jab, and I got him with that right hand over and over again," Correa said. "I hit him with some good body shots and he got tired fast."
Now the recent 18-year-old Overfelt High graduate focuses his attention on Marco Rangel of Scottsdale, Ariz.
"Rangel’s a good fighter," Correa said, proudly representing the San Jose PAL. "He beat me last year by one point, but I thought I had won that. This time, I won’t let him get inside. I plan to stay on the outside and outbox him."
Mitchell reflected on the close loss to Thompson.
"I felt kind of flat," the 31-year-old S.F. State graduate said. "I wasn’t throwing combinations. I really didn’t get hit with nothing that hurt, but I felt like I was heavy. I weighed in at 252. He was just faster footspeed-wise."
Despite a stinging right hook and straight left hand that induced a standing-eight count of Thompson, in addition to the Kansas fighter getting docked a point for excessive holding, Mitchell found himself on the wrong end of the scorecards.
"I felt like he did win the fight, but with the deduction and standing-eight, I thought it was closer than that," Mitchell reflected. "I should’ve left no doubt, but tomorrow is a new day."
Tomorrow brings a new challenge in Donovan Dennis of Davenport, Iowa.
"Dennis is left handed, quick," Mitchell said. "He was in the World Series of Boxing for Miami. I got the rust off today, and I'm ready to go for tomorrow. I know I got a fight on my hands."