Sunday, June 23, 2002

Jefferson wins third Golden Gloves championship

The Associated Press

        DENVER — There was plenty of motivation for Rashiem Jefferson in the finals of the National Golden Glove Championships Saturday.

        Claiming his third national title was enough motivation for the 18-year-old, but there was more.

        “I wanted this one badly,” said Jefferson of Philadelphia. “This one easily meant more than the other two because Torrence Daniels had beaten me at the U.S. Championships.”

        Jefferson, the 112-pound champion in 2000 and 119-pound titlist in 2001, lost that bout three weeks earlier in Colorado Springs. With the defeat fresh on his mind, he avenged it with a unanimous decision over Daniels of Fort Carson, Colo.

        “I thought I won that fight and was disappointed,” Jefferson said. “That fight weighed heavily on my mind and I paid more attention to detail in preparing for this fight.”

        Jefferson went to the jab in the opening minutes of the bout, deviating from that tactic in the closing minutes of the first two rounds when the two stood toe-to-toe and exchanged right hands in the center of the ring.

        “I'm not saying he made it easy for me,” Jefferson said. “He kept coming at me.”

        That was true at least until the final 20 seconds of the fight, when a combination following a right jab momentarily sent Daniels to the canvass.

        “Jefferson fought a better fight,” Daniels said. “He outboxed, outhit and had better execution that I did.”

        In an earlier 112-pound bout involving former champions, Ron Siler of Cincinnati won a 4-1 decision over Roberto Benitez of New York. Siler, the 106-pound champ in 2001, floored the reigning 112-pound champion twice for standing eight counts.

        “I think he slipped the first time,” Siler said. “The second time I put him down.”

        San Diego's James Parison won the 156-pound championship by split decision over Jason Briseno of Grand Rapids, Mich. Parsion won the 147-pound title a year ago.


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