(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA enjoyed a busy finals night with five American boxers advancing to championship night at the 2013 Independence Cup in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Flyweight Shawn Simpson (Chicago, Ill.) and light welterweight Erickson Lubin (Kissimmee, Fla.) each won their championship night contests to claim gold medals for the United States. Light flyweight Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.), lightweight Kenneth Sims, Jr. (Chicago, Ill.), and welterweight Rashidi Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) all won silver medals following championship round losses to Cuba on Friday.
Simpson won flyweight gold in his championship bout with the Dominican Republic’s Hector Luis Garcia. It was the second straight bout against a home nation boxer for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Training Partner and once again, he emerged victorious. Simpson won a 13-11 decision over Garcia to take home gold for Team USA.
Once again, Lubin impressed the Independence Cup crowd with a standout performance. One night after upsetting Olympic bronze medalist Yasniel Toledo Lopez of Cuba, the 17-year-old dominated his Puerto Rican foe in the light welterweight final. Lubin won a 34-5 decision over Puerto Rico’s Jose Rafael Lopez Rosario to claim gold in his first senior international competition.
Davila was the first U.S. boxer to take the ring in Friday’s finals as the light flyweight battled Cuba’s Yosvany Veitia Soto in the championship round bout. The American boxer dropped a 14-8 decision to Veitita Soto, taking a silver medal in his first major international competition.
Sims was the only American competitor to box every day of the 2013 Independence Cup, winning four times en route to Friday’s lightweight final. He faced Cuba’s Ivan Onate Louit in the lightweight finale, looking for his fifth victory of the tournament. Sims fell just short, losing an 18-15 decision to Louit to earn a silver medal for Team USA.
Ellis faced the toughest test of the evening, battling reigning light welterweight Olympic gold medalist Roniel Iglesias of Cuba. The 19-year-old kept it close in the first round, but Iglesias began to pull away over the final two rounds. He won a 23-12 decision over Ellis in the welterweight championship bout, giving the American boxer the silver medal.
Team USA finished second in overall team points with two gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the 2013 Independence Cup. Female lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) and female middleweight Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) won the two bronze medals for the United States.
The Independence Cup was the first major international event for the United States in 2013 and marks the start of a busy international schedule for USA Boxing. Coaches Ed Rivas (San Antonio, Texas) and Jason Galarza (Orlando, Fla.) led the U.S. squad at the event following a preparatory training camp at the Olympic Training Center with USA Boxing International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque.
108 lbs: Yosvany Veitia Soto, CUB, dec. Leroy Davila, New Brunswick, N.J./USA, 14-8
114 lbs: Shawn Simpson, Chicago, Ill./USA dec. Hector Luis Garcia, DOM, 13-11
132 lbs: Ivan Onate Louit, CUB, dec. Kenneth Sims, Jr., Chicago, Ill./USA, 18-15
141 lbs: Erickson Lubin, Orlando, Fla./USA dec. Jose Rafael Lopez Rosario, PUR, 34-5
152 lbs: Roniel Iglesias, CUB, dec. Rashidi Ellis, Lynn, Mass./USA, 23-12