Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Olympic Festival on Menu, Thedford Must Watch Diet

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

With Olympic Festival on Menu, Thedford Must Watch Diet

Article excerpt

For Germaine Thedford, getting a chance to pinch-hit at the Olympic Festival was the easy part.

Thedford, the only St. Louisan among the 48 Festival boxers, landed in with a rugged crew at 178 pounds.

As an added handicap, Thedford was walking around at 190 when added to the Armed Forces entry 10 days ago, said president Steve Holley of St. Louis Amateur Boxing.

Thedford, 23, planned to turn pro if the Festival did not come calling. He is a natural cruiserweight who has had trouble slimming down to 178.

He was a two-time Armed Forces champ in the Marines, which is how he qualified for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials. Thedford was discharged honorably last year. His addition to the Armed Forces team - officially the East squad - was partially a hometown favor.

The vacancy was created when an Air Force boxer could not get leave, a USA Boxing official said.

Although a civilian, Thedford was on deck as the next highest rated light-heavy. He is ranked No. 6 nationally at 178 by USA Boxing.

The field includes Anthony Stewart of Chicago, Antonio Tarver of Orlando and Byron Mitchell of Ozark, Ala. Stewart and Mitchell shared the bronze at this year's U.S. National Championships in Colorado Springs, each losing in the semifinals.

Mitchell lost in a walkover due to circumstances only a boxer could create. After winning his quarterfinal bout, he did a back flip in the ring, jammed his knee and went home.

Tarver lost in the quarterfinals, but rebounded later in the spring to win the Golden Gloves national title in Milwaukee.

Thedford lost in the quarterfinals of the U.S. championships to eventual champ Benjamin McDowell 46-8 in the computerized scoring system.

Stewart, by the way, lost to McDowell in the semis 8-4.

Computer Controversy: Local fight fans here will get their first peek at the computerized scoring system being used for only the second Festival. The system, now used at the Olympics, is supposed to record all clean punches landed.

But three of the five judges must hit their computer button within a one-second interval for a punch to be counted. …

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