(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA’s winning streak is alive and well at the 2013 Women’s Continental Championships in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. The U.S. boxers added four more victories to the docket with flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.), welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) and light heavyweight Tiffanie Hearn (Oxnard, Calif.) all winning their bouts on Friday.
Esparza won her second bout of the tournament on Friday, defeating Canada’s Mandy Bujold, 20-16, in their semifinal contest. The victory advances Esparza, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, to the flyweight finale.
2012 Olympian Underwood won her second bout of the event on Friday as well, facing off with Canada’s Stephanie Walker. Underwood claimed an 18-9 victory over Walker in the quarterfinal contest to earn a berth in the lightweight semifinals. She will face off with 2011 Pan American Games champion Kiria Tapia of Puerto Rico in semifinal action on Saturday.
Wolf took the ring for the first time at the Women’s Continental Championships on Friday, battling Venezuela’s Carolina Quevado in the welterweight quarterfinal round. The American welterweight won a 16-8 decision over Quevado to earn a berth in the semifinals with Kimberly Gittens of Barbados.
Hearn won a convincing decision in her first bout of the 2013 Continental Championships, defeating Chimere Taylor of Trinidad to earn a berth in the light heavyweight championship bout.
In addition to Underwood and Wolf, light flyweight Elisha Halstead (Philadelphia, Pa.), bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), featherweight Jennifer Hamann (Seattle, Wash.), light welterweight Bertha Aracil (Yonkers, N.Y.) and middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) will all compete in Saturday’s action. Halstead will face Venezuela’s Tayonis Cedeno with Cruz battling Brazil’s Marcia Silva. Hamann will take on Canada’s Caroline Veyre and Aracil returns the ring in a bout against Bolivia’s Maria Ortega. Crews will conclude the day’s U.S. action against Venezuela’s Francelis Carmona.
2000 U.S. Olympic Coach Israel Acosta (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Benny Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) are serving as the U.S. coaches for the 2013 Women’s Continental Championships.
More than 60 athletes from 15 countries are competing in the event in all 10 women’s weight divisions. The women’s continental championships is the third international event in the last three weeks for USA Boxing with U.S. junior athletes winning a combined 16 medals, including eight gold, in the Prikka and Victory Day Tournaments earlier in the month. The elite men will be the final group to compete with 10 male athletes heading to Puerto Rico on Sunday.
Friday’s U.S. Results
112 lbs: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA dec. Mandy Bujold, CAN, 20-16
132 lbs: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash./USA dec. Stephanie Walker, CAN, 18-9
152 lbs: Danyelle Wolf, San Diego, Calif./USA dec. Carolina Quevado, VEN, 16-8
178 lbs: Tiffanie Hearn, Oxnard, Calif./USA dec. Chimere Taylor, 21-5