Team USA Advances Nine Boxers to the Finals at the 2008 Women’s Pan American Championships

Oct. 06, 2008, 11:38 a.m. (ET)
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Team USA has enjoyed an outstanding three days at the 2008 Women's Pan American in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, advancing nine participants to final round action. The United States has won nine of ten bouts since competition opened on Friday, October 3. The Pan American Championships is the first international event of 2008 for the women.

Former Pan American Championships gold medalist Cheryl Houlihan (Santee, Calif.) opened the action for the United States team, holding Ecuador's Miaria Arcos scoreless in the contest to win a 14-0 decision. Light welterweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) followed Houlihan's victory with a double digit win of her own, claiming a 13-2 decision over home country boxer Wendy Allen of Trinidad. Late entrant Vanessa Jackson (Columbus, Ohio) completed the trifecta for the opening day, winning a 17-2 victory over Ecuador's Celinda Mejia in welterweight action to keep the United States undefeated on Friday

The bouts were closer for all three U.S. boxers taking the ring on day two of competition in Port of Spain. International veteran Sacred Downing (Trenton, N.J.) continued the winning streak in her light bantamweight bout with Jeimy Gomez of the Dominican Republic, winning a 6-2 victory over Gomez to advance on in the tournament. Featherweight Jody Ann Weller (Brooklyn, N.Y.) won an exciting comeback decision in her bout with Trinidad's own Jamila Jones. Despite facing a 4-1 deficit as the fourth round began, Weller held Jones scoreless over the final two minutes while scoring four points of her own to win a 5-4 decision. Middleweight Meredith Della Giustina (Versailles, N.Y.) suffered the lone loss for the U.S. team, dropping a 16-10 decision to Trinidad's Chimere Taylor.

The United States went undefeated in Sunday's action, beginning with bantamweight Cynthia Moreno (Phoenix, Ariz.), who won an 11-4 decision over Ecuador's Liseth Loma in her international debut. Lightweight Carrie Barry (Colorado Springs, Colo.) claimed a convincing victory over Canada's Jennifer McConnell in their match-up, winning a 15-5 decision. Underwood won her second straight bout of the tournament, stopping Nadias Ballot in the second round of their light welterweight contest. Defending champion Franchon Crews (Capitol Heights, Md.) won on walkover Ecuador's Veronica Anguasha in her 2008 opener.

Final round action will be contested on Tuesday, October 7 with Monday, October 6 serving as an off day. The U.S. team is being led by Christy Halbert (Brentwood, Tenn.), Ray Kerwick (Spokane, Wash.) and Daniel Vassar (Spokane, Wash.). 

Final Round Bout Sheet
106 lbs/48 kg:
Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA vs. Daniela Suza, BRA

110 lbs/50 kg: Cheryl Houlihan, Santee, Calif./USA vs.  Mandy Bujold, CAN

114 lbs/52 kg: Sacred Downing, Trenton, N.J./USA vs. Loren Capecce, BRA

119 lbs/54 kg: Cynthia Moreno, Phoenix, Ariz./USA vs. Elisangela Maartinelli, BRA

125 lbs/57 kg: Jody-Ann Weller, Brooklyn, N.Y./USA vs. Tayna Cardoso, BRA

132 lbs/60 kg: Carrie Barry, Colorado Springs, Colo./USA vs. Adriana Araujo, BRA

138 lbs/63 kg: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash./USA vs. Katie Dunn of Canada.

145 lbs/66 kg: Vanessa Jackson, Columbus, Ohio/USA vs. Mary Spencer of Canada.

154 lbs/70 kg: Franchon Crews, Capitol Heights, Md./USA vs. Andreia Bandeira of Brazil.

View Team USA Results here