(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – For the first time ever, Team USA’s top junior and youth female boxers will compete in World Championships action at the 2013 edition of the tournament in Albena, Bulgaria. The official event draw took place on Sunday in Bulgaria and the United States’ squad will open action on Monday with two junior division bouts and two youth class contests.
Bantamweight Jessica Galvez (Sparks, Nev.) will be the first U.S. boxer to step into the ring, facing off with Italy’s Catarina Gallo in preliminary round competition. Featherweight JaJaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) will also take on an Italian foe in her first round contest, battling Concetta Marchese in the second U.S. bout of afternoon action.
All five members of the youth division received first round byes, but flyweight Karina Sarabia (El Monte, Calif.) and welterweight Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.) will both compete in Monday evening competition. Sarabia will await the winner of the first round contest between England and Azerbaijan while Kinchen faces off with Romania’s Ana-Roxana Patrascu.
2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) will make her tournament debut in a showdown with Ukraine’s Mariya Viachkina in Tuesday evening competition. Four more U.S. boxers will open action on Tuesday as well with junior division competitors Ashley Perez (Sparks, Nev.) and Iesha Kenney (Alexandria, La.) competing in the afternoon session. Both boxers will take on Romanian opponents with Perez facing Alexadria Luca in a light bantamweight preliminary bout and Kenney battling Angela Iordache in lightweight competition.
In addition to Shields, light flyweight Marisol Lopez (El Monte, Calif.) and featherweight Dida Gonzalez (Houston, Texas) will open tournament action in Tuesday’s evening session. Gonzalez will take on Ukraine’s Maryna Malovana in preliminary round competition and Lopez will challenge China’s Lan Xiao in her first major international bout.
Junior pinweight Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.) will be the final member of Team USA to open tournament competition as she faces the winner of a first round bout between Russia and Turkey on Wednesday afternoon.
The Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships will be live streamed throughout the tournament at boxing.albena.bg and bgboxing.org. Tournament competition began today, but none of the United States’ athletes competed in the first day of action. Preliminary round bouts 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).
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.