(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Team USA’s elite athletes kicked off 2014 international action in gold medal fashion with an outstanding showing at the 2014 Independence Cup in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Four American boxers took gold in the tournament with one international newcomer winning silver in his global debut. The U.S. squad’s efforts earned them the team trophy award with half of the eight United States athletes competing in the event taking gold in tournament action.
Lightweights Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) and Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.), light welterweight Abraham Nova (Albany, N.Y.), and super heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) all won gold medals with heavyweight Sardius Simmons (Flint, Mich.) taking the lone silver.
Underwood moved her record to 4-0 on the week with a championship round victory over Aline Santana of Brazil in the lone U.S. women’s bout of the night. The 2012 Olympian moved up two spots on the medal podium from her bronze medal performance at the 2013 event, defeating her previous year’s conqueror Kiria Tapia in semifinal round competition on Friday.
Both Gamez and Nova made their mark in the major international competition debuts for both boxers. Gamez, known for his tremendous punching power, faced off with Mexico’s Lindolfo Delgado Garza in Friday’s final round bout. Gamez took the victory over Garza to win his first gold medal for Team USA.
Nova took on a host nation boxer for the second straight night in the light welterweight championship bout. He battled Jackson Martinez of the Dominican Republic in Friday’s competition and once again came out victorious, taking the third gold medal for the United States.
Unlike three of his medal-winning teammates, international competition is nothing new to veteran super heavyweight Awesome. He traveled to Santiago hoping to hear his national anthem play once again, and he accomplished his goal. Awesome defeated Santiago’s own Jonathan Gonzalez in final round action to claim another international gold medal for his United States squad.
Simmons drew the toughest final round opponent for the U.S. squad, battling 2012 Olympian Julio Castillo of Ecuador. Castillo’s experience won out in the bout and he took the championship bout victory over Simmons. Despite the loss, Simmons took home a silver medal in his first international competition for the United States.
The five medal performance earned the United States the team trophy in the 2014 Independence Cup and provided valuable experience against key continental foes for the eight athletes competing in the event. Team USA won two gold, three silver and one bronze medal in the 2013 Independence Cup.
Coaches Enrique Cedeno (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jason Crutchfield (Flint, Mich.) and Luis Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) led squad in Santiago with Dr. Robin Goodfellow (Albion, Mich.) serving as the Team Physician at her second straight Independence Cup.
132 lbs/male: Genaro Gamez, San Diego, Calif./USA dec. Lindolfo Delgado Garza, MEX, 3-0
141 lbs/male: Abraham Nova, Albany, N.Y./USA dec. Jackson Martinez, DOM, 3-0
201 lbs/male: Julio Castillo, ECU, dec. Sardius Simmons, Flint, Mich./USA, 3-0
201+ lbs/male: Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas dec. Jonathan Gonzalez, SGO, 3-0