Originally created 03/10/99

Three-time winner knocked out of boxing championships



COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- DaVarryl Williamson, seeking to become only the fourth man to win four straight titles at the U.S. Boxing Championships, was eliminated from the competition by an upstart Tuesday.

Jason Estrada, an 18-year-old from Providence, R.I., who was making his debut in these championships, outpointed Williamson 13-6 in their 201-pound bout.

Veteran observers called Estrada's victory the biggest upset in the tournament's recent history.

Williamson, 30, had won the last three championships and, despite his age, appeared to be a top contender for a spot on the United States Olympic Team next year.

Estrada, who appears shorter than his listed height of 6 feet, was able to work inside against the 6-3 Williamson, who seemed uncomfortable with the difference in size.

Until Tuesday, Estrada's main claim to fame was a first-place finish in the 1996 Junior Olympics.

"I knew I had the fight won before it started," Estrada said. "I'm only surprised I didn't knock him out. That's what I was planning to do, just to show everybody who was mouthing off and had me losing before I even came in the door."

Estrada said his strategy worked.

"I wanted to box, stay away from the right hand, and that's what I did," he said.

Williamson said he never felt comfortable against Estrada.

"I knew he was shorter, but I didn't know he was that much shorter than me. I never did find my rhythm," said Williamson, who hadn't lost a bout in this tournament since being outpointed in the 1995 final.

"I should have done more boxing -- make him come to me. Make him pay the price. But I didn't," Williamson said. "I saw him slowing down after the second round. I felt I was catching him with some shots. That's why I'm totally surprised at that 13-6 score."

Williamson said he would talk with his fiancee before deciding whether to fight in the May 9-15 National Golden Gloves tournament in Syracuse, N.Y.

"I hadn't prepared myself to lose. This is a setback," he said. "My family will sit down and look at it, and say, `What are we going to do?' I don't know. We have some serious answering to do."