The First Day of Action Concludes at the 2009 USA Boxing National Championships

June 08, 2009, 11:54 p.m. (ET)

The 2009 USA Boxing National Championships kicked off competition in full force on Monday at the Denver Coliseum in Denver, Colo. Over 40 bouts of action in the junior, open and women's divisions were contested on Monday afternoon.

2009 marks both the first time that all three divisions were combined at the 2009 USA Boxing National Championships, and the event's debut in Denver. In addition, the tournament marks a return to the three-three minute rounds in open division men's action. Open men have boxed four, two-minute rounds since the 2000 Olympic Games.

In junior division action, National Silver Gloves champion Steve Cross (Covington, Tenn.) pulled out a slim 8-7 victory over Eros Correa (San Jose, Calif.) in their first round contest to advance on to quarterfinal competition.

Two of the nation's top light heavyweights faced off in first round action in men's open division competition with 2008 Olympic Training Partner Siju Shabazz (Las Cruces, N.M.) battling returning champion Dorian Anthony (Lynwood, Calif.). Shabazz took the early lead in the contest, taking a 6-3 lead after the first round of action. He continued to build the lead in the second and enjoyed a 12-7 round with three minutes of action remaining. Shabazz added to his point total in the final round of action to win an 18-9 final decision.

Two former champions took the ring in women's competition on Monday with five-time national champion Sacred Downing and 2005 titlist Melissa Roberts (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) both claiming first round victories. Downing won a convincing 24-8 decision over Samantha Martinez (Fort Worth, Texas) in their featherweight contest while Roberts recorded a fourth round stoppage over Alyssa Star Garcia (Eagle Lake, Texas) in their lightweight match-up.

Welterweight Javontae Starks (St. Paul, Minn.) continued his winning ways by defeating Manuel Marquez (Ft. Meyer, Fla.), 19-12.  Starks, 2008 Future Stars National Champion, looks to add Welterweight National Champion to his resume, but will face tough competition in the stacked weight class.

Another 2008 Future Stars National Champion claimed a victory tonight.  Alexandria Cardenas (San Angelo, Texas) out-pointed Sudana Fowler (Detroit, Mich.) by a wide 27-2 margin.  Cardenas, a national champion in the featherweight division, moved up to the light welterweight division for this year's event.

Coming off a trip from Armenia as a 2009 Junior World team member, Ray Ximenez (Dallas, Texas) returned to the states to face his fellow countrymen.  The preliminary bout pitted him against Oscar Herrera (Aloha, Ore.) whom he defeated 11-1.

Action continues tomorrow at noon and 6 p.m. at the Denver Coliseum.  Tickets are currently available through and all King Soopers locations through the state of Colorado and start at only $7.50.