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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Armed Forces television and ESPN2 are teaming up to bring the Armed Forces boxing championships to AFN viewers on Sunday, May 18, AFRTS and Armed Forces sports officials said.

The finals, taped Feb. 21 during the Armed Forces championships at Ventura County Naval Base, Calif., are scheduled for telecast at 4 p.m. Sunday in Japan and Korea and 8 a.m. Sunday in Central Europe on AFN-Sports, AFRTS sports programming director Tim Mattox said.

ESPN2, the rights holder for the championships, airs the finals in the United States at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday.

Airing the boxing finals on ESPN2 is a significant boost for the military’s boxing program, said Armed Forces sports secretariat Suba Saty, noting that the 3rd World Military Games are slated for later this year in Sicily.

“Many of our Armed Forces boxers have their sights set on making the 2004 Olympic team, which makes the Armed Forces competition even more intense,” Saty said.

Among those spotlighted will be several nationally ranked boxers: Jacob Garretson of the Marine Corps, the No. 6 lightweight; No. 3 light heavyweight Keith Mason of the Army; No. 5 super-heavyweight Keith Spencer of the Navy; and No. 10 lightweight Hector Ramos of the Air Force.

Women’s boxing was featured in this year’s championships as a demonstration sport. The telecast will also showcase the Marines’ Kimico Pugh, the nation’s No. 2 middleweight.

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