(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – USA Boxing’s Youth Men kicked off their 2014 international action on Thursday at the Nikolay Pavlyukov Memorial tournament in Anapa, Russia. Four American boxers took the ring in the first day of tournament competition at the Voley Grad Sports Complex with Team USA splitting their four preliminary matches. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) and bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) both took first round wins while lightweight Isidro Ochoa (Fresno, Calif.) and super heavyweight Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) dropped their preliminary bouts.
Hernandez took the first win of the tournament for Team USA, recording a victory over Belarus’ Yury Korotin in their first round match-up. Balderas defeated Aytal Lyakonov in their bantamweight battle to advance on in the tournament.
Rock lost a very close bout to host nation boxer Gurgen Topuzyan of Russia in his first international bout, eliminating him from the tournament. Ochoa was the lone U.S. boxer to compete in evening action and he fell to an opponent from Moldova in opening day competition.
Team USA arrived in Russia 10 days ago and has been preparing for the tournament alongside their foreign competitors. The United States squad has enjoyed the opportunity to train and spar with boxers from foreign nations, including Russia and Cuba, during their time in Anapa.Preliminary competition will continue on Friday with super heavyweight John Luna (Milwaukee, Wis.) competing in his first bout in Russia following an opening round bye. Hernandez and Balderas will compete on Friday as well as all three boxers vie for a spot in the semifinal round.
Andrews Soto (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) are serving as the United States coaches at the Nikolay Pavlyukov tournament in Anapa, Russia.
108 lbs: Nico Hernandez, Wichita, Kansas/USA dec. Yury Korotin, BLR
123 lbs: Carlos Balderas, Santa Maria, Calif./USA dec. Aytal Lyakonov
132 lbs: MDA dec. Isidro Ochoa, Fresno, Calif./USA
201+ lbs: Gurgen Topuzyan, RUS, dec. Darmani Rock, Philadelphia, Pa./USA