(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - The Junior Olympic National Championships will return to Marquette, Mich., in 2008, marking the 37th edition of the event. Over 200 of the nation's elite junior Olympic boxers will face off for a national championship, June 17-20, at the Superior Dome on the Northern Michigan University campus. The United States' top 15 and 16-year-old boxers will convene in Marquette for the event, which consistently showcases the future stars of boxing.
In its 37th year, the Junior Olympic program continues to provide a critical pipeline for USA Boxing's future stars. Six of the nine boxers who will compete in the Beijing Olympic Games were Junior Olympic champions prior to earning spots on the Olympic Team. The program continues to produce future champions, often immediately upon their advancing to the senior level as evidenced by 2007 Junior Olympic National Champion Louie Byrd (Denver, Colo.) who claimed a gold medal at the 2008 Future Stars National Championship in March. 2006 Junior Olympic National Champion Javier Molina (Commerce, Calif.) earned a berth on the United States Olympic Team only one year after winning his JO title.
Three male returning champions will vie for their second straight title in Marquette with 95 pounder Julio Garcia (Los Angeles, Calif.), pinweight Luis Cortes (Las Vegas, Nev.) and light welterweight Zeddie Adams (Cleveland, Ohio) all returning to Marquette for a second gold medal.
For the fourth straight year, the females will compete with the male boxers, and three returning titlists will compete for a second straight national championship on the women's side as well. Reigning pinweight champion Jessica Ponce (Napa, Calif.), and defending featherweight titlist Karla Herrera (Los Angeles, Calif.) are both back in 2008 to duplicate their 2007 feats. 2007 Light Flyweight champion Seniesa Estrada (Los Angeles, Calif.) will move up to the flyweight division this year, and hopes to claim her second straight gold medal in 2008.
The future stars of the sport will compete for a prestigious junior Olympic title at the Superior Dome on the Northern Michigan University campus, June 17-30. Preliminary bouts will be contested at noon and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, quarterfinal boxing will take place and noon and 6 p.m. on Wednesday with semifinal action at noon on Thursday. Final round bouts will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Superior Dome.