Duncanville High School product Luis Yanez turns a whopping 19 on Thursday, and as an early birthday present, the kid is the recipient of a flattering and lengthy profile in today's USA Today. Flattering -- that's putting it mildly. Look at the headline: "Light-flyweight Yanez could be USA's next big thing." So, yes, by all means, happy birthday to the 5-foot-3, 106-pound boxer who thus far has to his credit a sliver medal won at the Cadet World Championships and a gold medal earned at the Junior Olympic International Invitational. And a perfect 89-0 record in the U.S. Nothing much.
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USA Boxing expects big thing from the light-flyweight who beat the hell out of all comers during U.S. Olympic trials two months back. He gets into the Beijing Olympics real simple: All he has to do is finish in the top eight at the AIBA Men’s World Championships that start today in Chicago. (Yanez and his teammates were on hand last night for the opening ceremonies, during which they got to meet Muhammad Ali.) Shouldn't be hard: Notes USA Today, Yanez hasn't lost a fight on U.S. soil since he was, oh, 14. "Some guys are on the edge of falling short of qualifying," USA Boxing's director of coaching Dan Campbell tells the paper. "I don't think Luis is one of them." --Robert Wilonsky