Daily News from New York, New York on July 18, 1988 · 59
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Daily News from New York, New York · 59

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Monday, July 18, 1988
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ro i ( r ..if .1 I y ! 1 1 1 Monday .July 18, 1988 ; ' DAILY SPORTS NEWS 59 I jw-w " . w -v i r . 1 1 g v ft m r am a I2 s Loyjy wis m By MICHAEL KATZ Daily News Sports Writer LAS VEGAS Three weeks after his sister was stabbed to death on the crack-ridden sidewalks of Bedford-Stuyvesant, three months after major surgery on his right hand, 12 days after suffering a hairline fracture in his right ankle, Riddick Bowe overcame his toughest obstacle yesterday and won a place on the United States Olympic boxing team. The obstacle wasn't Robert Salters, the Army sergeant who stopped him in the national championships in March and outpointed him in the final of the Olympic Trials at , Concord, Calif, a week ago. The obstacle was a scoring system that had one disgusted trainer stopping just short of hollering "fix!" Bowe defeated Salters in the Box-offs Saturday, forcing yesterday's rubber match. It was close, but Bowe seemed to win handily, yet he was given the nod by only three of the five judges appointed by the U.S. Amateur Boxing Federation. Four-time Glove champ Yesterday's bout wasn't close. The 20-year-old four-time Daily News Golden Gloves champion re-established his position as this country's best super-heavyweight with a stinging jab and a versatile body attack There might be some crazy decisions in the Olympics but it seemed here that the Americans were playing by the same rules of unfair play. that had the harder-punching 246V4-pound Salters backing up. Yet, when the decision was announced at the Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion, it was "by a 3-2 margin . . ." Salters, who had little chance during the three rounds, had his hopes revived. "I really didn't think I had It," he said. "But there's nothing wrong with praying." Two judges scored it for the Army sergeant, who was in only his 23d amateur fight Two had it for Bowe, a three-time national champion. The fifth, unidentified, scored the bout, 58-58. He gave it to Bowe on unidentified subjective grounds. "As long as I got it, I don't care how. I got it," said Bowe. Maybe Kelcie Banks doesn't care, either. But the 1987 Pan-Am champion, a 1986 world champion, got his Olympic berth gift-wrapped in contro versy. Ed Hopson, a 17-year-old St Louis high school junior who had beaten Banks in the Trials, appeared to have outpointed him again in Saturday's Boxoff, only to lose a 4-1 decision in the 125-pound division. Yesterday, maybe Banks deserved the 3-2 verdict but Hopson's outraged coach, Roger Bloodsworth, said the vote had nothing to do what took place in the ring. "We knew we were going into a fight we weren't going to win if it went to a decision," said Bloodsworth. "That was the word around the hotel. They had made up their mind they weren't going to take Ed. "I'm not saying it's fixed. Don't get me wrong. But people put the word out that everything is Eddie's fault (numerous fouls, including a point deducted for slapping). Notice they didn't call anything on Banks, all those elbows." f f : ' i f : ' " - l' 1 MtMM CHWin DAlU NEWS BOWE-DACIOUS: Riddick Bowe delivers right to the Army's Robert Salters Saturday as Bowe won forcing rematch. LAS VEGAS Hank Johnson, the successful Army coach who had five of his charges win titles at the trials but was passed over for the head job of the divided team, said again yesterday he would not take the offered position as an assistant "I don't feel I could coach under these conditions," said the older brother of former three-time world light-heavyweight champion Marvin Johnson. He was referring to the ouster of Ken Adams, another Army coach, from the top spot, and his replacement by Tom Coulter of Syracuse, previously the first assistant When Coulter, who earned more varsity letters than even Jim Brown at Syracuse University, moved up, Larry Ramirez of Fontana, Calif., was promoted from second assistant to first Johnson was not the only Army coach to turn down the second assistant spot So did his aide at Fort Bragg, N.C., Alton Merkerson. Coulter, who has been criticized for lack of discipline by Army fighters who were under his command on a trip to Moscow, said Johnson would have been "a tremendous addition, but he chose not to take it" Coulter explained his promotion as simply "when somebody leaves, you move up." The easy-going Coulter, who was raised in Elmhurst, Queens, promised a "relaxed, open camp" at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., an Army base. Coulter, in amateur boxing 38 years since deciding it was better to train indoors in a gym than run track outside in a Syracuse winter, owns a Syracuse tavern known as the Final Remedy. It has year-round Christmas decorations, toilet seats on the walls and a one-ton bomb that a friend says "we guess is live, but no one cares." Coulter may be dealing with a live bomb with a divided squad, but said after a 12-week training camp, he was sure there would be good team spirit Katz The word was that the 5-4 Hopson, who often leads with his head and holds and slaps, who started the year as a novice fighter still learning the rules, would be quickly disqualified in Seoul. The word was that maybe the country would be better served by a Banks with great international experience. There might be some crazy decisions in the Olympics, the Communist bloc and the South Korean hosts may have the deck loaded against the United States, but it seemed here that the Americans were playing by the same rules of unfair play. "I was Just up there for decoration," said Hopson. There were two other close decisions In the other two Boxoffs. Kennedy McKinney, the Trials winner beaten Saturday on a controversial 4-1 decision, did not fight as well today in outpointing Michael Collins, 4-1, in the 119-pound division. Andrew May-nard won his second straight BoxofT match against 178-pound Trials winner Andrew Cole by a 4-1 count Yesterday's Boxoff winners complete the 12-man squad. They Join Michael Carbajal (106 pounds), Arthur Johnson (112), Romallis Ellis (132), Todd Foster (139), Kenneth Gould (147), Roy Jones (156), Anthony Hem-brick (165) and Ray Mercer (201). Bowe had been figured all along to be on this team. He had hand problems, but the strapping 6-5 boxer was accused of having more head troubles undisciplined, lazy. "Robert," he said, patting Salters at the post-fight press conference, "I'm quite fond of the guy. He's brought out the best in me. I hadn't had this type of competition for some time. I thought they were all pushovers. Unfortunately, we both can't go to Seoul. "A lot of people didn't think I could do it. That was like giving me gasoline." He said the death of his sister, Brenda, 33. "motivated me." She was stabbed after refusing to buy crack, then refusing to give the dealers her purse. He gave Salters a kiss on the cheek, promised to "bring the gold back home to Brooklyn," and In 112-degrce temperatures, said "if I never saw another piece of ice again, it'll be too soon." "I had my hand in ice, my ankle in ice," he said. "I'm tired of ice." Hopson cooled off another way, jumping in a swimming pool before changing his mind and meeting the press. He left the ring, went by the press tent, decided "I ain't going in there, I'm goin home," and left the Sports Pavilion. He returned to "give my side." "If I was on TV, say, 'America, you decide.' Ring, ring, 800 ... " he said. "I got up and figured, I know they ain't got the heart to take it from me twice. But they did." "They tore out his heart," said Bloodsworth. Hopson said he wouldn't think too seriously about the 1992 Olympics In Barcelona, "not after these two nights, they were nightmares." Right to pros "I Just want to get Banks in the pros," said Bloodsworth. "After the fight, he didn't say anything. I said, - 'You know you won the fight,' he said, 'I know it' I said, 'You know they're going to take the decision. He said, 'I know if " Maybe Hopson would have been robbed in Korea. His countrymen beat the foreigners to it

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