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Boxing Brings Siler From Prison to Olympics

Wednesday, August 18, 2004; Page D11

The hardest part for Ron Siler was when his kids came to visit. They had to see their father through the glass, at the prison where he was serving a sentence for assault. His once promising boxing career seemed over.

"He felt it. He knew what his kids were feeling," said Siler's father, Ron Sr.

American Ron Siler, left, gets on track with a win over Aussie Bradley Hore. (Rick Bowmer -- AP)

_____ Day 5 _____
Michael Phelps adds two gold medals to his total in Athens.
The U.S. women's gymnastics team wins silver.
The U.S. men's basketball team barely gets by Greece, 77-71.
The United States wins its first fencing medals in twenty years.
The U.S. men's relay team upsets Australia to win gold.
The U.S. softball team shuts out China.
The U.S. women's soccer team ties Australia, but advances to the quarterfinals.
U.S. pair Misty May and Kerri Walsh cruise in beach volleyball.
U.S. crews advance in individual and team events.
Notebook: U.S. sprinter Torri Edwards lost her appeal of a two-year drug ban.

_____ More From The Post _____
Michael Wilbon: Lamar Odom's timely and subtle contributions keep U.S. hopes alive.
Sally Jenkins: The IOC is concerned only with ceremony, not with words and acts.
Mike Wise: Boxer Rau'Shee Warren is small in stature, but big on desire.

_____ On Our Site _____
Athens Snippets: Turning fashion on its head.
Graphic: See the difference between swords in fencing.

___ Tuesday's Medals Results ___
Women's 200-meter freestyle
Men's 200-meter butterfly
Women's 200-meter IM
Men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay

Women's Artistic Team Final

Women's Individual Sabre
Men's Individual Epee

Men's 81kg
Women's 63kg

Men's 50-meter free pistol
Men's double trap

_____ Multimedia _____
Audio: Phelps collects two golds.
Audio: U.S. women's gymnastics team takes silver.
Audio: U.S. softball beats China.

_____ Photos _____
Day 5
Day 4
Day 3

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Siler's children -- he has five and a sixth on the way -- watched on TV yesterday as he opened his quest for a gold medal with a 32-18 decision over Australia's Bradley Hore in a first-round flyweight fight.

"My aunt said she was going to have a big party at her house so my family could all come over and watch," Siler said.

A bronze medalist in the 2001 world championships, Siler's chance of being an Olympian seemed over when he was sentenced to 17 months in a Cincinnati prison for assault following a brawl.

His father and others pleaded with the judge to let him out early, telling him that his only chance to stay out of street and gang life was to be a boxer. Siler, 24, was released in January 2003 after nine months, and his father took him to every tournament he could just to keep him busy and out of trouble.

It paid off when the 5-foot-3 boxer made the U.S. team.

"It means a whole new second chance in life for him and his kids," Ron Sr. said. "There wasn't anything he could do for his kids when he was locked up."

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