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USA Boxing

Top Junior and Youth Women are Ready for Action at the 2013 World Championships in Bulgaria

Sept. 20, 2013, 1:23 p.m. (ET)

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The top junior and youth female boxers from the United States are primed and ready for 2013 Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships competition in Albena, Bulgaria. The 11-athlete squad traveled to Bulgaria on September 10 and is currently completing their training camp in the host nation. The United States is competing in the Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships for the first time, and the 11 United States athletes plan to represent the stars and stripes in victorious fashion. 

2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) is competing in her first international tournament since London, and she leads a strong contingent of youth and junior women from the United States in to World Championships action. Due to changes to the AIBA age groups, Shields has been forced to compete in the youth division in 2013, but she can add her first World Championships title to her already impressive resume in Bulgaria. The four youth athletes competing alongside Shields all earned their spots on the squad through the USA Boxing Youth National Championships in April. Light flyweight Marisol Lopez (Stratford, Calif.), flyweight Karina Sarabia (El Monte, Calif.), featherweight Dida Gonzalez (Houston, Texas), and welterweight Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.) will all vie for gold medals in the youth division in addition to Shields. 

The women’s junior division has enjoyed special attention in 2013 with the six Junior World Team Open champions all participating in the first-ever training camp for their age group at the Olympic Training Center earlier this year. They went on to compete in international action at the Pirkka Tournament in Finland in May. Team USA won five gold medals in the international event and pinweight Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.) was named the Outstanding Boxer of the tournament. The six junior athletes will look to duplicate that success in their first World Championship event in Bulgaria. Flyweight Nysja Barrientes (Las Vegas, Nev.), light bantamweight Ashley Perez (Sparks, Nev.), bantamweight Jessica Galvez (Sparks, Nev.), featherweight Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.), and lightweight Iesha Kenney (Alexandria, Va.) will join Orosco in the junior division in Bulgaria. 

More than 300 athletes from 31 nations are scheduled to compete in the tournament with 160 junior and 152 youth boxers registered for the event. The registration numbers mark a large increase from the first edition of the event in 2011.  In addition to the United States, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Mongolia, Slovenia and Uzbekistan will all be competing in the event for the first time in Bulgaria, showcasing a large rise in the sport of women’s boxing since the Olympic debut last year. The Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships will be live streamed throughout the tournament at boxing.albena.bg and bgboxing.org. 

Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships competition will begin on Sunday, September 22 following the official event draw in both age divisions. Preliminary action will run through Wednesday, September 25 with junior competition taking place in the afternoon and the youth women boxing in the evening. The afternoon sessions are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT) and evening action will start at 7 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT). All of the tournament participants will enjoy a rest day on Thursday, September 26 prior to semifinals on Friday, September 27 and the event finals in both the junior and youth divisions on Saturday, September 28. The junior division championship bouts will begin at noon local time (5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT) and the youth final round contests will take place at 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT) next Saturday. 

Coaches Jason Crutchfield (Flint, Mich.), William Farris (Lexington, Ky.),  Michael Newson (Las Vegas, Nev.), and Bienvenido “Benny” Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.), will guide the U.S. boxers in Bulgaria with Dr. Larry Lovelace (Oklahoma City, Okla.) serving as the Team Physician.

United States Junior/Youth Women’s World Championships Athlete Bios 

Juniors 

CAITLIN OROSCO
Weight class:
Pinweight/101 lbs

Hometown:
Anaheim, Calif.

Birthdate:
November 1, 1997

Coach’s name:
Arthur James
Height:
5-0
Club name:
Anaheim Boxing Gym
2013 JUNIOR WORLD TEAM OPEN CHAMPION

2013 JUNIOR OLYMPIC NATIONAL CHAMPION

2013 PIRKKA TOURNAMENT CHAMPION AND OUTSTANDING BOXER

NYSJA BARRIENTES
Weight class:
Flyweight/110 lbs

Hometown:
Las Vegas, Nev.

Birthdate:
December 21, 1997

Coach’s name:
Michael Newson, Jr.

Club name:
Pound 4 Pound Boxing

2013 JUNIOR WORLD TEAM OPEN CHAMPION

2013 PIRKKA TOURNAMENT CHAMPION
 

ASHLEY PEREZ
Weight class:
Light bantamweight/114 lbs

Hometown:
Sparks, Nev.

Birthdate:
November 17, 1998

Height:
5-0
Coach’s name:
Manuel Arce
Club name:
Juvenile Restoration ABC Corp
2013 JUNIOR WORLD TEAM OPEN CHAMPION

JESSICA GALVEZ
Weight class:
Bantamweight/119 lbs

Hometown:
Sparks, Nev.

Birthdate:
June 14, 1997

Height:
5-
Coach’s name: Don Fain
Club name:
Mighty Mites Boxing Club
2013 JUNIOR WORLD TEAM OPEN CHAMPION

2013 PIRKKA TOURNAMENT CHAMPION
 

JAJAIRA GONZALEZ
Weight class:
Featherweight/125 lbs

Hometown:
Glendora, Calif.

Birthdate:
February 13, 1997

Height:
5-3
Coach’s name: Joet Gonzalez
Club name:
Azusa Youth Boxing Club
2013 JUNIOR WORLD TEAM OPEN CHAMPION

2013 PIRKKA TOURNAMENT CHAMPION
 

IESHA KENNEY
Weight class:
Lightweight/132 lbs

Hometown:
Alexandria, Va.

Birthdate:
November 28, 1997

Coach’s name:
Kay Karoma and Dara Shen

Club name:
Alexandria Boxing Club

2013 JUNIOR WORLD TEAM OPEN CHAMPION

2013 PIRKKA TOURNAMENT CHAMPION
 

Youth

MARISOL LOPEZ
Weight class:
Light flyweight/106 lbs

Hometown:
Stratford, Calif.
Height:
4-11
Birthdate:
July 14, 1996
Coach’s name:
Armando Mancinas
Club name:
Kings Boxing Gym, Avenal, Calif.
Started boxing:
Four years ago because I just fell in love with the sport
Biggest motivation:
My dad
2013 USA BOXING YOUTH NATIONAL CHAMPION

TWO-TIME JUNIOR NATIONAL CHAMPION

KARINA SARABIA
Weight class:
Flyweight/112 lbs
Hometown: El Monte, Calif.
Birthdate:
March 29, 1996
Boxing club:
Teamster Youth Boxing Club
2013 USA BOXING YOUTH NATIONAL CHAMPION

DIDA GONZALEZ
Weight class:
Featherweight/125 lbs

Hometown:
Houston, Texas

Birthdate:
October 10, 1995

Coach’s name:
Oscar Orozco, Jr.

Club name:
Northside Boxing Gym

Started boxing:
In April of 2008, I started boxing because I love that it’s an every day challenge

Biggest inspiration:
My parents because no matter how tough a challenge is, they taught me to keep pushing forward

Biggest motivation:
My family’s support

Did you know:
Dida likes cleaning and doing push-ups

2013 USA BOXING YOUTH NATIONAL CHAMPION

SAMANTHA KINCHEN
Weight class:
Welterweight/152 lbs

Hometown:
Lexington, Ky.
Height: 5-7
Birthdate:
November 8, 1995
Coach’s name:
William “Sarge” Farris
Club name:
Lexington Legends Boxing Gym
Started boxing:
At age 12 because my brother was already boxing and I wanted conditioning for basketball
Greatest asset in the ring: My will to win
If you weren’t boxing, what would you be doing: Playing basketball
Biggest inspiration:
My brother because no matter what is thrown at him in boxing, he just keeps going and he’s only 12

Biggest motivation:
Winning

Did you know:
Samantha wants to be an oral surgeon

2013 USA BOXING YOUTH NATIONAL CHAMPION

2012 JUNIOR NATIONAL CHAMPION

CLARESSA SHIELDS
Weight class:
Middleweight/165 lbs

Hometown:
Flint, Michigan

Birthdate:
March 17, 1995

Height:
5-9

Club:
FWC Berston

School:
Freshman at Olivet College

Coach:
Jason Crutchfield

Began boxing:
At age 11 after hearing about Laila Ali from her father

The baby of the team:
Claressa won the Olympic Trials at 16 and was 17 when she won Olympic gold

History maker:
Claressa won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in the middleweight division, becoming the first American female to become an Olympic champion

Youth over experience:
Claressa defeated an opponent nearly twice her age in her final bout at the Olympic Games to win gold.

Did you know:
Claressa nearly took a break from the sport right before her run at the Olympic Games after incorrectly being told she was too young to compete in London

2012 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST

2012 WOMEN’S CONTINENTAL CHAMPION

2012 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS CHAMPION AND OUTSTANDING BOXER
2011 NATIONAL PAL CHAMPION

2011 JUNIOR OLYMPIC NATIONAL CHAMPION

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