(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – USA Boxing’s junior men are now taking center stage following an impressive performance by their female counterparts last week in Finland. Thirteen young athletes are representing Team USA in the Victory Day Tournament in Uman, Ukraine. Over 140 athletes are competing in the tournament, which will provide the United States’ athletes with valuable experience against unique styles and one of the strongest nations in Olympic-style boxing in Ukraine.
Competition began today with 10 U.S. athletes taking the ring, and the United States squad enjoyed a strong first day with seven victories. The four smallest U.S. boxers each grabbed unanimous decision victories in their opening bouts with each of them defeating a home nation boxer from Ukraine. Pinweight Jordan White (Waldorf, Md.) defeated Sergej Guk with light flyweight Danny Gonzalez taking the win over Max Zuravskij. Both advanced to the semifinals where they will both face a second Ukrainian foe with White facing Vladislav Zarechnij and Gonzalez battling Nikolaj Pojko. Light bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) claimed a 3-0 victory over Ukraine’s Anurej Klemovskij and bantamweight Devin Haney (Las Vegas, Nev.) continued the winning streak with a 3-0 decision over Pavel Gula. They will both look to repeat their victories over home nation athletes in semifinal bouts on Saturday as Stevenson takes on Jaroslav Pishik and Haney challenges Andrej Lovnichij.
An environment far from his Hawaiian roots didn’t deter lightweight Keoni Adric (Haleima, Hawaii). He won a 3-0 decision over Ukraine’s Ivan Osipov to move on to a semifinal contest with Poland’s Eric Jermak on Saturday.
Two southern California boxers enjoyed success as well with welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.) and light middleweight Alexis Rocha (Santa Ana, Calif.) both earning quarterfinal wins on Friday. Estrada won a 2-1 decision over Ukraine’s Andrej Kudrjavtsev to advance to a semifinal showdown with Ukraine’s Bogdan Prokopenko while Rocha took a 2-1 victory over Pavel Galanchenko to move on to a semifinal match-up with Ukraine’s Andrej Maksimenko.
Featherweight Michael Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio) dropped a 3-0 decision to Ukraine’s Seduk Derman while light heavyweight Suray Mahmutovic (Daly City) fell to Richard Gomesh of Ukraine by a 3-0 margin. Due to a cut over his eye, light welterweight Brandon Trejo’s (Napa, Calif.) bout with Ukraine’s Alexander Schet, was stopped in the second round.
Three more United States boxers will compete for the first time on Saturday with flyweight Evan Sanchez (Fresno, Calif.), middleweight Eric Murguia and heavyweight Pano Tiatia (St. George, Utah) each taking the ring.
Coaches Ed Rivas (Abilene, Texas), Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) and Omar Sanchez (Parlier, Calif.) are guiding the U.S. squad in Ukraine with Doctor Rodney Muhammad (Washington, D.C.) serving as the team physician.
Friday’s Quarterfinal Results