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Security Forces sergeant fighting his way to Olympics

by Nick Stubbs
Thunderbolt staff writer

The Sweet Science of boxing, with all the physical training and work that goes into the perfection of the techniques, has the simplest of objectives, said Staff Sgt. Angel Landrau, 6th Security Forces Squadron. It's hurt the other guy without getting hurt yourself.

An amateur boxer for the last four years, Landrau has his sights set on the 2004 Olympics. To get to the trials, he will have to win a major tournament in his weight class and the 23-year-old middleweight thinks he can do it.

He recently lost a chance to advance to the final four in the National Golden Gloves tournament in Las Vegas. But he felt it was a bad decision by the judges and has not lost his determination. His next stop will be a Police Athletic League tournament in Ohio this September. If he doesn't qualify there, he still has a shot at the Olympics if he can win the Armed Forces title.

"My goal is to win the PAL tournament," said Landrau, who arrived at MacDill in April. "If that doesn't work out I will definitely be going for the armed forces title."

With a record of 19-6, Landrau describes himself as a calculating fighter. He doesn't like to go in looking for a knockout as it more often than not will get a fighter into trouble.

"I you're looking for it (the knockout) you can get sloppy," said Landrau. "Your opponent knows what you are trying to do and he fights even more defensively so it's better to just let it happen naturally because most knockouts come out of opportunity by surprise."

Landrau's fight plan is to "stay busy" and keep throwing punches. If you do that, he says, "things can turn your way." Landrau, who considers his left hook his signature, said Felix Trinidad is the boxer he admires most. It isn't just his fighting style, said Landrau, but his attitude and work ethic.

"He has the heart and the willingness to work," said Landrau, who notes dedication to the sport is the key to success. Landrau's dedication is evident, as he maintains a strict workout schedule even on days where he is doing 12-hour shifts with the Security Forces Squadron. On those days his workouts are lighter but he gets stated earlier, with perhaps some roadwork or weight lifting, but he feels you have to stay on top of the conditioning to be competitive.

"You have to be in shape," said Landrau, who eventually would like to turn pro. "It's tough but it's something you've got to do if you want to make it."

Landrau said there is some precedent for Air Force boxers making it to the Olympics. Air Force team fighter Ron Simms was a qualifying Olympic Team alternate a couple of times, he said, adding that the military has fielded some great fighters over the years.




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