Nico Hernandez and Javier Estrada Enjoy Victorious Youth World Championships Debuts
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The United States’ Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) and Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.) both made triumphant debuts at the 2014 Youth World Championships on Saturday in Sofia, Bulgaria. Light heavyweight Sharif Rahman (Las Vegas, Nev.) competed in his first bout today as well, but dropped his opening round contest.
After watching several teammates take the ring over the past five days at the Armeec Arena, Hernandez Estrada, and Rahman finally got their turn in Saturday’s preliminary round action. Hernandez opened tournament action in a light flyweight match-up with Romania’s Alexandru Ionita in the first bout of Saturday’s morning session. Team USA’s smallest competitor won a unanimous decision victory over Ionita to move on to Sunday’s third round action. He will face Mongolia’s Tumurkhuyag Bat-Ochir in tomorrow’s afternoon session for a berth in the quarterfinal round.
Estrada took on Tajikistan’s Shabbos Negmatulloev in his preliminary round bout on Saturday afternoon. He claimed a unanimous decision victory over Negmatulloev in welterweight action to join Hernandez in third round competition. Estrada will battle Great Britain’s John Docherty tomorrow for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Rahman was the final U.S. competitor to the take the ring on Saturday, facing off with Paul Aradoaie of Romania in light heavyweight preliminary action. He dropped a 3-0 decision to Aradoaie in the final bout of afternoon competition.Three U.S. boxers will compete alongside Hernandez and Estrada in Sunday’s third round action. Flyweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) will face Turkmenistan’s Hursand Imankuliyev in his second bout of the tournament while bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) challenges Cuba’s Javier Ibanez in his third Youth World Championships contest. Super heavyweight Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) will be the final U.S. boxer to take the ring in Bulgaria, battling Kazakhstan’s Yeldos Kadyrbaev in his event debut.
Coaches Pedro Roque (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 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.
For additional information on the 2014 Youth World Championships and links to the online stream of the action, go to http://boxingsofia2014.org.
108 lbs/male: Nico Hernandez, Wichita, Kansas/USA dec. Alexandru Ionita, ROU, 3-0
152 lbs/male: Javier Estrada, Palmdale, Calif./USA dec. Shabbos Negmatulloev, TJK, 3-0
178 lbs/male: Paul Aradoaie, ROU, dec. Sharif Rahman, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, 3-0