(MOBILE, ALA.) – The 2013 Junior Olympic National Championships concluded with 22 championship round contests on Saturday afternoon at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, Ala. All of the competitors boxed their hearts out, hoping to win a highly coveted Junior Olympic National title. With two rings of action being contested simultaneously and multiple razor-thin bouts, the intensity was high throughout the final session.
The pinweight class (101 lbs) kicked off final round action in both male and female divisions and the first gold medal of the day went to Dylan Price (Sicklerville, N.J.). The 14-year-old phenom earned his first Junior Olympic National title with a 2-1 decision over Kawelo Alcos (Wapahu, Hawaii) in their high-paced final round contest. Price took home not only the gold medal but also the Male Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament award for his efforts in Mobile.
Junior World Team Open pinweight champion Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.) took the ring for the first time in Mobile in final round action, facing off with Aiyana Callas (West Hartford, Conn.). She wasted no time getting started in her championship bout with Callas, applying pressure early and often. Orosco added a second national title to her 2013 resume, winning a unanimous decision victory over Callas to take the gold medal.
Light flyweight (106 lbs) Aaron Perez (Albuquerque, N.M.) claimed the gold medal in the male division with a 3-0 decision over Derek Ochoa (Sanger, Calif.) in their final round match-up. In female action, Juliette Ladisa (Bronx, N.Y.) took the championship bout by a 2-1 decision over Kianna Hernandez (Dallas, Texas) to win light flyweight gold.
Flyweight (110 lbs) Vergil Ortiz (Grand Prairie, Texas) scored a win for Texas in a Junior Olympic boxing version of the Red River shootout. Ortiz won a 2-1 decision over Aaron Morales (Eufala, Okla.) in their championship bout to take the gold medal. The Lone Star state didn’t enjoy the same success in women’s action with Kristyn Juarez (Los Angeles, Calif.) claiming a 2-1 win over Jacklyn Deras (Weslaco, Texas) in their final round contest.
Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) fell one win short of taking Junior Olympic gold in 2012 but he made sure that he didn’t suffer the same fate in 2013. Just one day after his 16th birthday, Stevenson won a Junior Olympic National Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Darren Cunningham (St. Louis, Mo.) in the light bantamweight (114 lbs) finale.
The female light bantamweight crown went to a young boxer from the opposite side of the country. Odalys Camacho (Bakersfield, Calif.) took the gold medal with a 3-0 decision over Kristy Rodriguez (Naperville, Ill.).
Bantamweight (119 lbs) Ruben Villa (Salinas, Calif.) entered the tournament as one of the few defending champions in the event and he refused to let someone steal his crown. Villa became a two-time Junior Olympic National Champion with a split decision victory over Junior World Team Open titlist Devin Haney (Las Vegas, Nev.).
Female returning champion Melody Montes (Kissimmee, Fla.) didn’t have the same luck in her bantamweight finale with breakout star Jayda Thomas (Detroit, Mich.). Thomas was one of the standouts in the tournament throughout the week and Saturday’s final round bout was no exception. The 15-year-old Thomas defeated Montes by a 3-0 margin to win bantamweight gold as well as the Female Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament award.
Isidro Ochoa (Fresno, Calif.) became the second returning champion to claim another gold medal in Mobile. Ochoa, who moved up to the featherweight class (125 lbs) for the 2013 event, defeated Junior World Team Open Champion Michael Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio), by split decision in their championship bout.
Female featherweight Anna Crutchfield (Greenville, S.C.) has long dreamed about becoming a Junior Olympic champion and she accomplished her goal on Saturday. Crutchfield won a unanimous decision over Jermesha Poke (St. Louis, Mo.) in final round action to take home the featherweight gold medal.
Two Junior World Team Open champions claimed Junior Olympic National Championships gold in the lightweight division (132 lbs). Male competitor Keoni Adric, Jr. (Haleima, Hawaii) boxed all four days in Mobile and his full week of boxing culminated with a 3-0 decision victory in his final round contest with Andres Cortes (Henderson, Nev.). Iesha Kenney (Alexandria, Va.) took gold in the female lightweight division with a unanimous decision win over Cynthia Arellano (Phoenix, Ariz.).
The male light welterweight division (138 lbs) crown went to Mark Dawson (Philadelphia, Pa.) following Dawson’s unanimous decision win over Mykquan Williams (Hartford, Conn.) in final round competition. In the female division, McKayla Hamilton (Hamilton, Mont.) pulled out a 3-0 victory over Jayden Gilden (Ingleside, Texas) to win her first Junior Olympic National Championship.
Charles Conwell (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) won gold in a closely-contest championship bout in the male welterweight division (145 lbs). He pulled out a 2-1 split decision over Hans Perez (Staten Island, N.Y.) to take the 2013 Junior Olympic National Championships title. Female welterweight Jordanne Garcia (Albuquerque, N.M.) won the lone TKO of the day in her contest with Victoria Ramirez (Lubbock, Texas). Garcia ensured the bout didn’t go to the judges, staying aggressive throughout the bout and causing the referee to call a halt to the contest in the third round.
2012 Junior Olympic National Championships silver medalist Edgar Berlanga (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hoped to take the final step up the medal stand at the 2013 event, but his opponent Ferdinand Kerobyan (N. Hollywood, Calif.) had other ideas. Kerobyan won a 2-1 split decision victory over Berlanga to claim gold in the junior middleweight division (154 lbs).
Berlanga’s Veles Cup teammate, Manjaro Hills, Jr. (Baker, La.) fell just short in his championship bout with Vernon Lee (Rock Island, Ill.) as well. Lee won the middleweight final round contest by the slimmest of margins, pulling out a tiebreaker victory on his 2-1 judges’ poll edge.
The final two bouts of the tournament went to split decisions in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. Light heavyweight (176 lbs) Sergio Flores (Overland Park, Kansas) claimed gold in his weight class with a 2-1 victory over Mario Hernandez (Sparks, Nev.) in their championship bout showdown.
In the last bout of the tournament, Taifer Rigaud (Arlington, Mass.) won a 2-1 victory over Marcus Carter (Detroit, Mich.) to take heavyweight gold.
The Junior Olympic National Championships took place in Mobile for the third straight year, and the competition is the fourth event in the city in the last three years.
Saturday’s Final Round Results
101 lbs/male: Dylan Price, Sicklerville, N.J., dec. Kawelo Alcos, Wapahu, Hawaii, 2-1
101 lbs/female: Caitlin Orosco, Anaheim, Calif., dec. Aiyana Callas, West Hartford, Conn., 3-0
106 lbs/male: Aaron Perez, Albuquerque, N.M., dec. Derek Ochoa, Sanger, Calif., 3-0
106 lbs/female: Juliette Ladisa, Bronx, N.Y., dec. Kianna Hernandez, Dallas, Texas, 2-1
110 lbs/male: Vergil Ortiz, Grand Prairie, Texas, dec. Aaron Morales, Eufala, Okla., 2-1
110 lbs/female: Kristyn Juarez, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Jacklyn Deras, Weslaco, Texas, 3-0
114 lbs/male: Shakur Stevenson, Newark, N.J., dec. Darren Cunningham, St. Louis, Mo., 3-0
114 lbs/female: Odalys Camacho, Bakersfield, Calif., dec. Kristy Rodriguez, Naperville, N.J., 3-0
119 lbs/male: Ruben Villa, Salinas, Calif., dec. Devin Haney, Las Vegas, Nev., 2-1
119 lbs/female: Jayda Thomas, Detroit, Mich., dec. Melody Montes, Kissimmee, Fla., 3-0
125 lbs/male Isidro Ochoa, Fresno, Calif., dec. Michael Nelson, Mansfield, Ohio, 2-1
125 lbs/female: Anna Crutchfield, Greenville, S.C., dec. Jermesha Poke, St. Louis, Mo., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Keoni Adric, Jr., Haleima, Hawaii, dec. Andres Cortes, Henderson, Nev., 3-0
132 lbs/female: Iesha Kenney, Alexandria, Va., dec. Cynthia Arellano, Phoenix, Ariz., 3-0
138 lbs/male: Mark Dawson, Philadelphia, Pa. dec. Mykquan Williams, Hartford, Conn., 3-0
138 lbs/female: McKayla Hamilton, Hamilton, Mont., dec. Jayden Gilden, Ingleside, Texas, 3-0
145 lbs/male: Charles Conwell, Cleveland Heights, Ohio dec. Hans Perez, Staten Island, N.Y., 2-1
145 lbs/female: Jordanne Garcia, Albuquerque, N.M., won on TKO over Victoria Ramirez, Lubbock, Texas, TKO-3
154 lbs/male: Ferdinand Kerobyan, N. Hollywood, Calif., dec. Edgar Berlanga, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2-1
165 lbs/male: Vernon Lee, Rock Island, Ill., won on tiebreaker over Manjaro Hills, Baker, La., TB
176 lbs/male: Sergio Flores, Overland Park, Kansas dec. Mario Hernandez, Sparks, Nev., 2-1
176+ lbs/male: Taifer Rigaud, Arlington, Mass., dec. Marcus Carter, Detroit, Mich., 2-1
176 + lbs/female: Payton Childers, Huntington, W. Va., won unopposed