(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The official tournament draw for the AIBA Junior World Championships took place earlier today in Kiev, Ukraine, determining the road to gold for all 13 U.S. competitors. Pinweight Jordan White (Waldorf, Md.) and bantamweight Devin Haney (Las Vegas, Nev.) will open action for Team USA with first round bouts on Sunday. The 11 remaining team members will compete in their preliminary round contest over the next four days. Eleven of the United States athletes drew opponents from Europe in their first round contests with two boxers facing Asian foes in their opening bouts.
White will face off with Alimzhan Beskempir of Kazakhstan in his first round bout on Sunday afternoon at the Kiev Palace of Sports with Haney battling Azerbaijan’s Elmaddin Ismaylov in his tournament opener.
Flyweight Joseph Cuellar (Tulare, Calif.) and welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.) will both take the ring on Monday afternoon, facing off with Junior National Champions from Georgia and Ukraine respectively. Cuellar will test his skills against Georgia’s Gagik Pozoyan and Estrada will battle Andrii Terekheria from host nation Ukraine.
In Monday evening competition, Victory Day Tournament champion Daniel Gonzalez (Moreno Valley, Calif.) will face Hungary’s Tar Sandor in light flyweight preliminary action while featherweight Michael Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio) takes on Lithuanian Junior National Champion Deividas Mikalauskas following a first round bye. Alexis Rocha (Santa Ana, Calif.) will close the day’s competition for Team USA in a bout with Albania’s top junior light middleweight competitor, Xheison Tusha.
Three United States boxers will take the ring in Tuesday afternoon action with lightweight Keoni Ardic, Jr. (Haleiwa, Hawaii) starting off the day’s competition for Team USA in a contest with fellow Junior National Champion David Cotrc of the Czech Republic. Following his round bye, middleweight Eric Murguia (Mission Hills, Calif.) will face a stern test in the form of former European Junior Champion, Vitaly Bakhmatov of Russia. Victory Day Tournament super heavyweight champion Pano Tiatia will complete the trio of United States’ boxers competing in the day’s early session, battling Algerian Junior National Champion, Lyes Belahouane.
The third United States’ Victory Day Tournament titlist Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) will make his world championships debut on Tuesday evening, taking on Asian Junior Championships silver medalist Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan. Light welterweight Brandon Trejo (Napa, Calif.) received a first round bye and will begin tournament competition on Tuesday night in a bout with 2012 Swedish Junior National Champion Adam Chartoi.
Light heavyweight Suray Mahmutovic (Daly City, Calif.) will be the final United States boxer to make his World Championships debut, taking the ring against Hungarian Junior National Olympiad gold medalist Roland Erdelyi on Wednesday, September 11.
Formerly known as the Cadet World Championships, the AIBA Junior World Championships date back to 2001. Following the changes made to the age categories by AIBA in 2013, athletes born in 1997 and 1998, are eligible to compete in the event. The 13 athletes representing Team USA earned their sports at the first-ever Junior World Team Open held earlier this year in Reno, Nev.
AIBA Junior World Championships 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.
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.