(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – More than 450 boxers from 100 nations across the globe have convened in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the 2013 Elite Men’s World Championships. Flyweight Malik Jackson (Washington, D.C.) will open competition for the United States squad in the first session of preliminary round action at the Boluan Sholak Cultural & Sports Palace on Monday. The U.S. teenager is one of 10 American athletes competing for the gold at the third straight World Championship event for Team USA.
Jackson will take on Angola’s Vilvaldo Rodrigues in the first bout of the tournament during Monday’s afternoon session. While Jackson is the lone American boxer to compete in the first day of competition, two U.S. athletes will box in Tuesday’s preliminary session. Lightweight Kenneth Sims, Jr. (Chicago, Ill.) and light welterweight Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas) will both take the ring on the second of competition as Sims takes on Sri Lanka’s Sisira Gedara and Alday battles Guinea’s Mamadov Keita. Alday is enjoying new motivation at his first World Championships following the birth of his son this past week while he was in training camp in Italy.
Wednesday’s competition will feature the World Championships’ debuts of welterweight Jamontay Clark (Cincinnati, Ohio) and light heavyweight Geremias Torres (Holyoke, Mass.) Clark will take on Moldova’s Vasili Belous in preliminary competition with Torres facing off with Mongolia’s Erdenebayer Sandagsuren in first round action.
It will be bantamweight Eduardo Martinez (Aurora, Ill.) and middleweight LeShawn Rodriquez (Shirley, N.Y.) taking the ring for first time in Almaty on Thursday. Martinez will open the tournament in a showdown with Turkey’s Selcuk Eker in his opening contest. Rodriquez will battle Belarus’ Vitali Bandarenka in middleweight competition on Thursday as well.Heavyweight Michael Hilton (Trenton, N.J.) received a first round bye and will await the winner of a first round contest between Brazil and Estonia in his opening bout on Friday.
The smallest and largest members of the United States squad will begin their run to gold in Saturday’s action. Light flyweight Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.) and super heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) will be the final U.S. boxers to compete, taking on North Korea’s Chung Ri and Argentina’s Facundo Ghglione respectively.
For the list of full tournament brackets, go to: http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Boxing/Events/2013-Elite-Mens-World-Championships/AIBA-Elite-Mens-World-Championships-Brackets.
The event will be contested under the AIBA’s new rules with athletes born between 1973 and 1994 being eligible for the tournament. In addition, the athletes will compete without headgear and the new 10-point must scoring system will be utilized.
The 2013 event will be the first World Championships for nine of the 10 members of the United States squad. Awesome (as Lenroy Thompson) competed in the 2011 World Championships, winning his first two bouts before being eliminated.
AIBA began holding the men’s world championships in 1974 and the United States leads the all-time medal standings with 43 medals in the tournament’s history. Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Demetrius Andrade (Providence, Rhode Island) were the last U.S. boxers to win world titles, taking gold in the 2007 event in Chicago.
Ed Rivas (San Antonio, Texas), Kenneth Sims, Sr. (Chicago, Ill.), Kevin Benford (Cincinnati, Ohio), Edward "Mike" Murphy (Port Jeff Station, N.Y.), Jose Alday, Sr. (Odessa, Texas), and Todd Harlib (Cape Coral, Fla.) will serve as the staff for the event with Dr. Tony Al-Amin (Philadelphia, Pa.) working as the Team Physician.