(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The 2014 Youth World Championships tournament draw took place on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria, determining the path to the medal stand for all 12 American competitors. Over 520 athletes will vie for gold at the largest edition of the youth tournament to date, April 14-24 at the Armeec Arena.
Team USA will not have any athletes competing on the first day of action on Monday, but a trio of U.S. boxers will take the ring on Tuesday for first round competition. 2013 Junior World Champion Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.) will kick off the action for the United States, facing Argentina’s Anyelen Espinosa in female flyweight competition on Tuesday morning. Male bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) will compete in the deepest weight division in the tournament with 58 athlete boxing in the 123 pound weight division. Balderas will take on Sudan’s Elghali Nasereldin in first round competition on Tuesday afternoon. Male lightweight Isidro Oschoa (Fresno, Calif.) will be the third U.S. boxer to participate in Tuesday’s action, battling Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zuhussupov in the evening session.
2013 Junior World Champion Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) will be the lone U.S. competitor to debut on Wednesday, boxing in a morning session match-up with Train le Thi of Vietnam in the women’s lightweight class.
Team USA’s third female boxer Martha Fabela (Oakland, Calif.) will open competition on Wednesday. The 2014 Youth Continental Champion will face off with Vietnam’s Quynh Diemluu in women’s middleweight action on the third day of tournament action.
2013 Junior World Champion and AIBA Junior Male Boxer of the Year Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) was one of six American athletes to receive an opening round bye and he will compete in his first bout on Thursday. Stevenson will await the winner of a first round contest between Sri Lanka and Puerto Rico in his tournament opener.
Both light welterweight Jonathan Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) and middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland, Ohio) will open competition on Friday following their first round byes. Navarro will face the winner of a first round contest between Netherlands and Turkey while Conwell battles the victor of a match-up between Australia and Nigeria.
Three more American boxers will take the ring for the first time on Saturday, April 19. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) will face the winner of the Romania vs. Hungary contest in the day’s early session. In men’s welterweight competition, Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.) will take on the victor of a bout between Tajikistan and Jordan in afternoon competition. Light heavyweight Sharif Rahman (Las Vegas, Nev.) didn’t receive an opening round bye, but with only 32 boxers in his weight division, he will face Romania’s Paul Aradoaie in first round competition on Saturday.
Super heavyweight Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) will be the final U.S. boxer to compete in Bulgaria following an opening round bye. He will take on the winner of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in afternoon action on Sunday, April 20.
The United States squad arrived in Sofia one week ago to complete their final preparations and acclimate to the local area. They took part in the general weigh-in this morning prior to being entered in to the official tournament draw. 2014 Youth World Championships preliminary round action will run through Sunday, April 20 with quarterfinal competition on Monday, April 21. Semifinal action will take place on Thursday, April 23 with the event finals being contested on Thursday, April 24.
Coaches Edward Rivas (Abilene, Texas), David Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), and Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) are leading the United States team at the international event in Bulgaria with Dr. Ralph Bohm (Dix Hills, N.Y.) serving as the team physician.
Team USA Opening Bouts
108 lbs/male: Nico Hernandez, Wichita, Kansas vs. winner of Romania vs. Hungary on April 19
112 lbs/female: Caitlin Orosco, Anaheim, Calif., vs. Anyelen Espinosa, ARG on April 15
114 lbs/male: Shakur Stevenson, Newark, N.J. vs. winner of Sri Lanka vs. Puerto on April 17
123 lbs/male: Carlos Balderas, Santa Maria, Calif. vs. Elghali Nasereldin, SUD on April 15
132 lbs/male: Isidro Ochoa, Fresno, Calif. vs. Ablaikhan Zhussupov, KAZ on April 15
132 lbs/female: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif. vs. Thang le Thi, VIE on April 16
141 lbs/male: Jonathan Navarro, Los Angeles, Calif. vs. winner of Netherlands and Turkey on April 18
152 lbs/male: Javier Estrada, Palmdale, Calif. vs. winner of Tajikistan vs. Jordan on April 19
165 lbs/male: Charles Conwell, Cleveland, Ohio vs. winner of Australia and Nigeria on April 18
165 lbs/female: Martha Fabela, Oakland, Calif. vs. Quynh Diemluu, VIE, on April 17
178 lbs/male: Sharif Rahman, Las Vegas, Nev. vs. Paul Aradoaie, ROM, on April 19
201+ lbs/male: Darmani Rock, Philadelphia, Pa. vs. winner of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan on April 20