Saturday, March 17
Top-ranked lightweight Malignaggi wins

Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Unranked middleweight Andre Ward defeated No. 1 Eric Kelly 18-8 in the finals of the U.S. Amateur Boxing Championship on Saturday.

Ward, 17, of Oakland, Calif., relied on his hook to defeat Kelly, of New York.

"Hooks are my favorite punch and he just kept walking into them," Ward said.

Ward was welterweight champion in the 1999 Junior Olympics.

Top-ranked lightweight Paul Malignaggi of New York used his reach and his uppercut to win a 12-2 decision over Luis Merced, of Palm Bay, Fla.

"My plan was to use my reach because I knew he is shorter than me, counterpunch, work my jabs, work my combinations off the left jab and throw a lot of right uppercuts because I could see he was leaning down," Malignaggi said.

Army light heavyweight DeAndrey Abron defeated Air Force's Joseph Pastorello 16-6.

No. 1-ranked Abron, an All-Army and All-Armed Forces Champion, has defeated Pastorello in three consecutive bouts.

"I knew he'd come out excited because it was Army-Air Force," said Abron. "I wanted to box him. I didn't want to outbrawl him."

Heavyweight B.J. Flores, of Mesa, Ariz., won an 18-12 decision over second-ranked Devin Vargas, of Toledo, Ohio. Flores was previously rated No. 2 in the light heavyweight class.

Sixth-ranked super heavyweight Jason Estrada, of Providence, R.I., defeated No. 5 Diallo Lawson, of Oakland, Calif., 37-6.

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