Elite Athletes to Return to Spokane for the 2014 USA Boxing National Championships

Dec. 02, 2013, 4:58 p.m. (ET)

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – For the third time in three years, top boxers from across the United States will showcase their skills in Spokane, Wash. The Northern Quest Resort & Casino will once again play host to major Olympic-style boxing action as the 2014 USA Boxing National Championships are contested January 20-25, in Spokane. The 2014 edition of the event will feature male and female boxers in the elite division (19-40-years-old) battling for a highly coveted national championship. 

Each Olympic-style boxing event in Spokane over the last three years has featured a slightly different format and the 2014 USA Boxing National Championships are no exception. After the historic Olympic Team Trials for the Women’s Boxing in 2012 and three different competitive divisions at the USA Boxing National Championships last year, the 2014 tournament will focus solely on the age group which is contested in Olympic action. Both the men’s and women’s divisions will feature all 10 weight divisions, with top Olympic hopefuls competing for gold in the first elite event of 2014. 

2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) will return to the site of her U.S. Olympic Team Trials win as she vies for her first elite national championship title in Spokane. Due to changes made to Olympic-style boxing’s age divisions last year, Shields was too young to compete in the elite division in 2013. The 18-year-old was named the youth middleweight champion in Spokane before winning yet another international gold medal at the inaugural Junior and Youth Women’s World Championships in October. Yet her 2013 accolades didn’t end there. AIBA, the international federation for Olympic-style boxing, selected Shields as the Youth Female Boxer of the Year for yet another phenomenal showing in the ring. The Olivet College freshman is looking forward to returning to action in Spokane in her first elite division tournament. 

Her Olympic teammates Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) both claimed elite national titles in Spokane last year and they will be back to defend their turf in 2014. The Olympic trio will headline a hotly contested field in the women’s division, particularly in the flyweight (112 lbs), lightweight (132 lbs), and middleweight (165 lbs) classes, which are featured in Olympic action. 

The female athletes won’t be the only Olympic hopefuls taking the ring in Spokane. For the second straight year, the United States’ top elite men will compete in Spokane as well with several reigning champions expected to return in 2014. The smallest and largest men’s champions will both vie for a second straight USA Boxing national title when the pair returns to action in Spokane. Three-time USA Boxing national champion and 2012 Olympic Trials gold medalist Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) will defend his super heavyweight title while Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.) attempts to retain his light flyweight crown. 

Athletes began registering online for the 2014 USA Boxing National Championships on Friday, November 22 and will have the opportunity to sign up for the major national tournament through January 19, 2014. Preliminary action will begin on Monday, January 20 and run through Thursday, January 23 at the HUB Sports Center. The event will move to the Northern Quest Hotel & Casino on Friday, January 24 as tournament action opens semifinal round competition. Championship round bouts will take place in both the men’s and women’s divisions on Saturday, January 25 at the Pend Oreille Pavilion. Tickets for the event are on sale now and start at only $5. Don’t miss your chance to see the current and future stars of the sport, buy your tickets now via this link.

The 2014 USA Boxing National Championships will feature all of the recent rule changes with the elite men boxing without headgear and the new 10-point scoring system being utilized throughout the tournament.

The first list of registered athletes will be released on Wednesday, December 18 and updated weekly on USA Boxing’s website, www.usaboxing.org.

The USA Boxing National Championships began in 1888 and many of the greatest champions in the history of the sweet science got their start in the nation’s premier national championship event, including: Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Andre Ward.  2014 USA Boxing National Championships Schedule

Monday, January 20 - Preliminary Bouts (HUB Sports Center)

Tuesday, January 21 - Preliminary Bouts (HUB Sports Center)

Wednesday, January 22 - Preliminary Bouts (HUB Sports Center)

Thursday, January 23 - Quarterfinal Bouts (HUB Sports Center)

Friday, January 24 - Semifinal Bouts (Northern Quest Resort & Casino)

Saturday, January 25 - Championship Bouts (Northern Quest Resort & Casino)