Kennedy McKinney, sick of silver medals, beat U.S. champion Jemal Hinton on Saturday and took a big step toward making the Olympic boxing team.
The 22-year-old McKinney, of Killeen, Texas, got the 18-year-old Hinton, of District Heights, Md., in serious trouble in the third round and won a 5-0 decision in 119-pound final of the Olympic Trials."I got tired of going home and telling everyone I lost in the finals," said McKinney, runnerup in the finals of the U.S. Amateur Championships three times, including on a 3-2 decision to Hinton this year.
"I got enough silver," McKinney said.
"I want the gold, no more silver. No one remembers the second place finisher."
To get a chance at the gold, McKinney and the 11 other Trials champions must survive the box-offs next weekend at Las Vegas, Nev., against a "most worthy opponent" to be selected by a six-man committee.
The other six finals will be held Sunday at the 3,500-seat Concord Pavilion.
In the final bout Saturday, Ray Mercer, 27, a soldier stationed in Germany, used a good left jab in the first round, then landed several smashing shots to the head in the final two rounds to win the 201-pound title on a 5-0 decision over Michael Bent of New York.
Mercer made the 22-year-old Bent take a standing eight-count in the second round when he landed a left-right, a right and another left-right to the head.
Kenneth Gould, who won a world amateur title in 1986, took a big step toward the Olympics at Seoul, South Korea, with a victory in the 147-pound final.
The 20-year-old Gould scored with flurries of head and body punches in scoring a 5-0 decision over Rod Morgan, 20, of Cincinnati.
"Now it's three down (three fights here) and one more to go," said Gould, of Rockford, Ill.
"Next step, going for the gold in Seoul."
Anthony Hembrick, 22, stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., used a good left jab and right-hand counters for a 5-0 victory over 23-year-old Darin Allen of Columbus, Ohio, in the 165-pound final.
It was the second win for Hembrick in six bouts against Allen, who also won a world title in 1986.
Romallis Ellis, the 20-year U.S. champion from Ellenville, Ga., won the 132-pound title with a 5-0 verdict over Lyndon Walker of Washington, D.C.
"Walker is the toughest one out there in the 132 weight class besides me," said Ellis, who dominated Walker with right jabs and 1-2's to the head.
Michael Carbajal, 20, a U.S. champion from Phoenix, boxed his way to 5-0 decision over Erick Griffin, 20, of Houston, in the 106-pound final.