(COLORADO SPRINGS, CO) – Thursday brought an impressive day of competition for Team USA at the Klitchko Brothers Tournament in Berdichev, Ukraine. In quarterfinal action, flyweight Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) advances against Masud Yusifzada of Azerbaijan. Welterweight Kareem Martin (Clinton, Md.) enjoyed similar success against Gidayat Nurzhan of Azerbaijan. Alex Rincon (Carrollton, Texas), who had a bye in preliminaries for the middleweight bracket, was more than ready to enter the ring on Thursday. He earned the victory over Shagabutdin Alburiev of Russia. Vargas, Martin, and Rincon will all compete in the semifinals on Friday.
The flyweight division was already in semifinal action on Thursday, and Gilbert Renteria (Houston, Texas) was defeated in a close decision. Last year, Renteria served as a training partner for Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) prior to her impressive bronze medal finish at the 2012 Olympic Games. Renteria will return home with a bronze medal – his first of international competition. He had positive, determined words to share via Twitter, “I loved the competition and gained great experience from this tournament. Next time, I’ll be walking out with the gold not bronze.”
Team USA is guaranteed to bring home five medals from Ukraine – four of which will be determined over the next two days. Lamont Roach (Upper Marlboro, Md.) will join his three teammates in semifinal competition today.
Three experienced coaches and the team physician continue to provide strong support and expertise in and out of the ring – 2000 Olympic Coach Israel Acosta (Milwaukee, Wis.), Bernard Roach (Temple Hills, Md.), Jose Renteria, Jr. (Houston, Texas), and Doctor Timothy Beste (Flower Mound, Texas).