Team USA's Top Junior Men Prepare to Open World Championships Competition in Ukraine
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – After months of preparation, Team USA’s junior men will face off against the best young boxers on the planet at the AIBA Junior World Championships, September 7-15 at the Kiev Palace of Sports in Kiev, Ukraine. The 13 representatives on the United States squad closed their acclimation training camp in Assisi, Italy on Thursday in order to travel to Kiev for the event. Nearly 400 boxers from 57 nations across the globe are registered to compete in the AIBA Junior World Championships, which takes place every other year. All of the tournament participants will step on the scale on Saturday prior to the event draw and first session of competition.
The 13 young men hoping to win gold for Team USA are pinweight Jordan White (Waldorf, Md.), light flyweight Daniel Gonzalez (Moreno Valley, Calif.), flyweight Joseph Cuellar (Tulare, Calif.), light bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.), bantamweight Devin Haney (Las Vegas, Nev.), featherweight Michael Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio), lightweight Keoni Adric, Jr. (Haleiwa, Hawaii), light welterweight Brandon Trejo (Napa, Calif.), welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.), junior middleweight Alexis Rocha (Santa Ana, Calif.), middleweight Eric Murguia (Mission Hills, Calif.), light heavyweight Suray Mahmutovic (Daly City, Calif.), and heavyweight Pano Tiatia (St. George, Utah).
Preliminary round action will run through Friday, September 13 with semifinal competition taking place on Saturday, September 14. The event will culminate with championship round action in all 13 weight divisions on Sunday, September 15 at the Kiev Palace of Sports.
The event will be the first World Championship competition for all of the United States boxers, but the athletes gained valuable international experience in Ukraine in May at the Victory Day Tournament in Ukraine. Team USA won nine medals in the junior international event with light flyweight Daniel Gonzalez (Moreno Valley, Calif.), light bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) and heavyweight Pano Tia Tia (St. George, Utah) all claiming gold. The U.S. squad has also participated in multiple training camps with USA Boxing International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque at the U.S. Olympic Training Center to prepare for the biggest event in the world for junior boxers.
Coaches Edward Rivas (San Antonio, Texas), Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.), Keoni Adric, Sr. (Haleiwa, Hawaii), and Jacob Najar (Indio, Calif.) are serving as the team coaches for the United States team. Ilya Friedman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is the squad’s Team Manager at the event with Dr. Rodney Muhammad (Colorado Springs, Colo.) working as the Team Physician.