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Las Vegas’ Magdaleno stuns Warren in U.S. boxing semifinals

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Associated Press

Las Vegas’ Jesus Magdaleno celebrates his stunning victory over Rau’shee Warren during their semifinals bantam weight bout at the U.S. Boxing Championships in Denver, Thursday, June 11, 2009.

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Beyond the Sun

Rau'shee Warren stormed out of the ring, leaping over a barrier and flying through a row of seats.

He wasn't really sure where he was going, just allowing his fury to guide him.

The two-time Olympian was agitated and dispirited over a loss in a tiebreaker to Jesus Magdaleno during a semifinal bantamweight bout Thursday night at the USA boxing national championships.

Warren thought he'd landed enough punches to earn the win after the fight ended tied at 19.

But the judges gave the 17-year-old Magdaleno the victory by a one-blow difference.

"If you get the tape and look at it and see how many punches I threw -- I won the fight fair and square," Warren said. "Ain't no way he threw more punches than me."

Trailing 19-14 in the third and final round, Magdaleno landed a series of combinations and tied the match up with seconds remaining.

When the referee held up his hand in the ring, Magdaleno was stunned. He didn't know how to react as the crowd chanted his name.

"It's a little nerve-racking" going against Warren, said Magdaleno, who's from Las Vegas. "I give a lot of props to him, he's a wonderful fighter. Tonight was the night that somebody else had to step in and steal the spotlight."

Magdaleno's win was a complete shocker to Luis Rosa, who won his bantamweight bout in the adjacent ring. Rosa has been training with Warren in mind.

This changes everything.

"I was hoping to fight him," Rosa said. "He's an Olympian and has plenty of experience. But he lost so I've got to take the next person."

A letdown?

"Not really," said Rosa, who's never fought Magdaleno. "I'm so pumped I don't have any words for it."

Warren didn't mince his words after the bout.

"I'm ready to be done with USA boxing," Warren said. "All I did for USA boxing, this is what they do to me?"

The three-time national champion is respected in this setting. He's found peace on the amateur level.

That's one of the reasons he passed on several lukewarm professional prospects soon after the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. He still enjoys hanging out at these big amateur bouts, watching the up-and-comers.

This, though, clouds his perception.

"I can't go through this no more," Warren said. "I can't deal with it no more."

He said events like this could change his mind on attempting to qualify for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

"The way stuff is going right now, it's going to be a lot of these kids going pro," he said.

Including him?

He just shrugged, not wanting his emotion to get in the way of his decision.

"I was up five, ain't no way that he scored five points in a minute!" Warren said, exasperated.

Magdaleno knew he was in dire need of points late in the bout, and just started throwing punches.

"I used my speed, used what I knew I could get him with -- more aggression," he explained. "He wasn't expecting it. He's not a back-up fighter. I put a lot of pressure on him."

This loss conjures up memories of his defeat at the Olympics.

Believing he was up a point in his first-round match in Beijing, Warren danced around and didn't pounce in the waning seconds. He even raised his glove in victory after the bell.

Warren was stunned by the 9-8 loss to South Korea's Lee Ok-sung. He broke into tears after the bout.

But the loss no longer eats at him.

"That's the past. I think about the future," Warren said.

Still, it opened his eyes to what he needed to do next.

Warren has been working on packing more power into his punches. He ramped up his use of weights and plyometrics to increase his strength.

He now feels speedy and strong, displaying that Thursday as he jumped out to a big lead against Magdaleno, landing a flurry of body shots.

But Warren couldn't hold it.

"He's a good fighter, he's strong," Warren said of Magdaleno. "He ain't beat me -- that's how I see it. He caught me with a couple of good shots in the third round, that I knew he hit me with. Come one, I was up five points. I was up, and in the end, 19-19? He did not score that many points on me."

Also on Thursday, Michael Hunter Jr. fought his way back into the USA boxing national championships picture.

Hunter, who was disqualified from his championships bout the day before for using too much gauze on his hands, hired a lawyer to plead his case to an arbitration panel.

After nearly five hours, the arbitrators ruled in his favor, restoring the super heavyweight into the semifinals of the championships.

Due to the delay, the super heavyweight bouts were moved to Friday night. Hunter will face J'Von Wallace, while Javier Torres takes on Trevor Bryan.

The dispute started soon after Hunter beat Lenroy Thompson 8-7 in a quarterfinal match Wednesday, earning the decisive final point on a punch with 2 seconds remaining in the last round.

However, a protest was filed over how much gauze Hunter used to wrap his hands.

The grievance committee rendered a verdict to disqualify Hunter, giving his spot to Thompson.

But on Thursday, the ruling was overturned.

"It was a long process and I think each party had a good point of view," Hunter said. "But I think the right thing happened."

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