Twenty-Four Junior Olympic Champions are Crowned in Marquette

Oct. 06, 2008, 11:44 a.m. (ET)
(MARQUETTE, MICH.) - The 2008 Junior Olympic National Championships concluded on Friday with 24 title bouts at the Superior Dome in Marquette, Mich. Championship round action took place in both men's and women's action in all of the contested weight divisions.

The afternoon started with two nail-biters as both the 90 and 95 pound title bouts went to tiebreakers. In the 90-pound weight division, Steven Cross (Tampa, Fla.) and Rondarious Hunter (Atlanta, Ga.) battled to a 10-10 tie following three intense rounds of boxing. The score was deadlocked at five after the first and Hunter and Cross split the following two rounds to finish the bout at a 10-10 tie. Cross was named the victor, based upon his 23-22 total punch count edge.

Joshua Jones (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Michael Norato (Pacoima, Calif.) boxed to a tiebreaker decision as well in their 95 pound championship bout. It was Norato claiming the early lead in the bout, taking a 3-1 edge after the first round. Yet Jones chipped away it his opponent's advantage, winning both the second and third rounds by one point to tie the bout at 11-11 at the end of the final round. Following a long period of suspense, Jones was announced the winner on a 28-27 total punch count advantage.

The decision was more definitive in the men's pinweight championship bout with Zebastyan Ulloa (Lawndale, Calif.) winning a 15-6 decision over Anthony Tulley (Akron, Ohio). After a tied first round, Ulloa took over in the second, winning the round by an 8-1 margin to take an 11-4 lead into the third and final round. He extended his lead over the final two minutes to win the 15-6 victory and the pinweight title.

Reigning titlist Cassandra Mendoza (Greeley, Colo.) once again walked away with Junior Olympic gold, winning a second round stoppage victory over Jessica Barron (Topeka, Kansas) in the women's light flyweight championship bout. Mendoza came out flying, building up a 12-1 lead after the first two rounds of boxing. She continued to add to her point total in the second, moving out to a fifteen point edge at the 1:39 mark of the round to win the mandatory stoppage victory.

On the men's side, Anthony Burgin (Philadelphia, Pa.) was crowned the light flyweight champion following an 18-14 decision over Edwin Sandoval (Bakersfield, Calif.) in final round action. Burgin took a slim early lead in the bout, and held a 5-3 advantage after the first round. He added one point to his lead in each of the following two rounds to win the 18-14 final decision and the light flyweight title.

Defending champion Seniesa Estrada (Los Angeles, Calif.) won her second straight Junior Olympic title with a convincing victory in her flyweight bout with Samantha Martinez (Fort Worth, Texas). Estrada took the early momentum, and held an 8-1 lead after the first. Following a tied second round, Estrada regained control in the third to move out to a 28-13 final decision and the flyweight championship.

Carlos Chavez (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) grabbed his first Junior Olympic National Championship with a 17-10 victory over Miguel Cartegena (Philadelphia, Pa.) in their flyweight title bout. The score was tied at 2-2 after the first round but Chavez turned it up in the second and enjoyed a three point edge as the final round began. He moved out to a 17-10 final victory to win the gold medal.

Daisy Gutierrez (Salinas, Calif.) enjoyed a quick afternoon in her final round contest with Sierra Terry (Rawlins, Wyo.) She jumped out to a quick start in the light bantamweight contest, building up a 15-point lead with one second remaining in the first round to win a first round stoppage victory over Terry and claim the light bantamweight crown.

The first defending champion fell in light bantamweight action as Antonio McGruder (Suitland, Md.) won a 10-5 victory over Luis Cortez (Las Vegas, Nev.). McGruder jumped out to the early advantage in the bout, holding Cortez scoreless over the first two minutes of boxing and it made the difference in the bout. Cortez got on the board in the second and matched McGruder point for point over the final two rounds but couldn't overcome his deficit. McGruder went on to win the 10-5 victory and the light bantamweight title.

Sau Chazzette (Kihei, Hawaii) claimed the second stoppage win of championship day, taking a second round victory over Serina Aguilar (San Jose, Calif.) in bantamweight action. Chazzette jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first round and she wasn't finished there. She added another 10 points to her point total in the second to move out to a 15-point lead and win the stoppage at the 1:15 mark of the round.

On the men's side, Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.) walked away with a gold medal in the bantamweight division. Ramirez won a 9-3 decision over Ricky Rodriguez (Evans, Colo.) in the championship bout to take the title. Following a low scoring first round, Ramirez turned up the heat in the second to move out to a 7-1 lead with one round remaining. His pace slowed in the third but Rodriguez couldn't overcome his deficit and Ramirez won the bout and the bantamweight title.

It was Karla Herrera (Los Angeles, Calif.) winning the women's featherweight championship in a battle with Tanayris Negron (Orlando, Fla.). Herrera enjoyed a strong opening round, taking a 6-1 lead after the first. Following a close second round, Herrera once again controlled the round to win a 13-5 decision and the featherweight title.

Eric DeLeon (Lincoln Park, Mich.) was crowned the national champion in the men's featherweight division. DeLeon recorded a 13-9 decision over Joel Diaz (Palmdale, Calif.) in final round action to take the gold medal. He trailed by one point to Diaz with one round remaining, but came on strong over the final two minutes to win the final decision and a national title.

In women's lightweight action, Valerie Farley (Port Huron, Mich.) pulled out a close decision over Asia Stevenson to win a Junior Olympic National Championship. Farley took a 9-5 lead after the first round, and held a four point advantage at the end of the second as well. Stevenson managed to chip one point off Farley's lead but couldn't overcome her deficit and Farley won the lightweight title.

On the men's side, Michael Finney (Smiths, Ga.) won Junior Olympic gold, taking a 15-9 victory over Manuel Rojas (Dallas, Texas). The bout was close through the first two rounds with Rojas holding a one-point lead as the third stanza began. Yet Finney was on fire in the final two minutes, winning the round by an eight to one margin to win a 15-9 final decision and the lightweight championship.

Defending champion Zeddie Adams (Cleveland, Ohio) added a second Junior Olympic title to his resume with a 25-8 victory over Julius Butler (St. Louis, Mo.). Butler kept it close in the opening round but Adams stepped it up in the second to take an 18-6 advantage into the third round. The final two minutes told a similar tale and Adams went on to win the 25-8 final decision and the light welterweight crown.

Pedro Sosa (Bronx, N.Y.) closed his 2008 Junior Olympic National Championship experience with a stoppage win over Juan Betancourt (Phoenix, Ariz.) in their welterweight contest. Sosa dictated the pace from the opening bell, taking an 11-1 advantage after the first round. Sosa kept his foot on the gas in the second round, moving out to a 15-point lead at the :40 mark of the bout to win his first national championship.

In women's welterweight action, Amounix Stamps (Wisconsin) won the final female title of the night, defeating Sharline Mendez (Reading, Pa.) by a 6-4 margin. The bout was low-scoring throughout with Stamps enjoying a 4-1 edge at the end of two rounds. Mendez picked up the pressure in the third but couldn't dent Stamps' lead and she went on to win the 6-4 final decision.

The light middleweight division final bout didn't go the distance as Eddie Gomez (Bronx, N.Y.) won a retirement victory over Corey Walker (St. Peters, Mo.). The first round was a close battle between the two with Gomez holding a 3-2 lead. Yet due to a jaw injury to Walker in the second, Gomez won the bout at the :31 mark of the round to take the light middleweight crown.

Donald Anderson (Columbus, Ohio) closed his run through the tournament with a convincing victory over Izaak Cardona (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in middleweight final round action. Anderson jumped out to the early lead, taking an 8-2 edge after one round. He pushed his edge to 16-2 at the end of the second round before moving out to a 22-3 final victory.

In light heavyweight action, Faleauto Manutulila (Honolulu, Hawaii) won a commanding victory in his championship bout with Otis Brown (St. Louis, Mo.). Manutulila kept his opponent's point total down throughout the bout before winning a 13-1 final decision and the light heavyweight title.

At 189 pounds, Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) put an early end to his title bout with Mike Russell (Petaluna, Calif.). The bout was tied at 3-3 after the opening two minutes of boxing, but the only four scoring blows in the second round were landed by Temple before the bout was halted due to an injury to Russell. The victory gave Temple the 189 pound title.

At heavyweight, it was Garret Simon (Puyallup, Wash.) taking the gold medal with a third round stoppage of Michael Stillabower (Columbia, Ind.) Simon held Stillabower scoreless throughout the bout, enjoying a 6-0 lead as the third round began. Yet Simon didn't let the contest go to the judges, stopping Stillabower at the :19 mark in the final round to win the bout and the heavyweight title.

The final bout to be contested was in the super heavyweight division. Daniel Smith (Garden City, Mich.) won a 19-12 victory over Tino Dominguez (Dualte, Calif.) to win the final gold medal of the event. Following a close first round, Smith took control in the second, holding a 15-8 lead as the final round began. He held on to his advantage through the final two minutes to win the 19-12 final decision and the super heavyweight title.

Cassandra Mendoza (Greeley, Colo.) and Valerie Farley (Port Huron, Mich.) took home the Outstanding Boxer titles on the women's side while Joshua Jones (Philadelphia, Pa.), Pedro Sosa (Bronx, N.Y.) and Donald Anderson (Columbus, Ohio) won the award on the men's side.