Wilson wins, gets rematch tonight

HOUSTON — Mike Wilson got his points early and never looked back against Andrew Shepherd in the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team Trials on Thursday, earning a 22-7 decision and a rematch with Kimdo Bethel in the challengers bracket finals tonight.

It was Bethel, a husky 23-year-old from Albany, N.Y., who knocked the Central Point 24-year-old out of the winners bracket on Tuesday.

Bethel was dusted by 17-year-old national champion Michael Hunter, from Las Vegas, in the winners bracket finals on Wednesday.

Hunter gets to kick back Thursday and Friday while the challengers bracket is decided. Just as he had to do in the U.S. Championships, Wilson is fighting the maximum amount of fights possible to reach Hunter, who defeated Wilson by one point for the title in June.

That's fine with Wilson. While Hunter is relaxing for two days and Bethel for one, he is soldiering on, not allowing his "body to catch up" to him.

Wilson admits that he was too patient with Bethel on Tuesday but has a plan in place to correct the problem:

"Tomorrow against Kimdo, I'm going for blood, Round 1. I'm going to make it into a brawl," Wilson said. "Me and Kimdo are going to war."

Wilson was the early aggressor against Shepherd, an Army boxer out of Fort Carson, Colo., and jumped out to a 5-0 lead on his jab.

"I had a real good first round," Wilson said. "That's the whole key here and in international competition. You've got to be even or ahead after the first round."

Shepherd got pinned against the ropes in the second, came out of it swinging but landed few punches and put his hands in his pockets for the remainder of the round. Wilson led 11-4.

"I took my shots and made him miss," Wilson said. "I was just trying to catch him. I wasn't trying to throw hard. "¦ The Army guys are always in shape."

Wilson came out throwing in the third, smacking Shepherd with a good left hook followed by a body shot and increased his lead to 17-5 entering the fourth, where he put it away.

"He was sucking wind pretty hard towards the end," Wilson said.

Share This Story