John Luna Wins a Silver Medal at the Nikolay Pavlyukov Memorial Youth Tournament
Luna won two unanimous decision victories in his quarterfinal and semifinal bouts to earn his berth in the final round with former European junior champion Marat Kerimkhanov of Russia. With this support of the host nation behind him, Kerimkhanov took a 2-1 decision over Luna in their championship round bout. The split decision loss gives Luna a silver medal in the first youth international event of the year. Despite the loss, Luna received the Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament award and was recognized for his performance by the Russian federation leadership.
The 18-year-old American was one of five U.S. boxers competing in the event in Russia, and the youth squad enjoyed the opportunity to train with competitors from multiple nations participating in the event. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas), bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), lightweight Isidro Ochoa (Fresno, Calif.), and super heavyweight Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) all competed in the 2014 Nikolay Pavlyukov Memorial tournament as well following the joint training camp in Anapa.
The 2014 USA Boxing youth squad will now gear up for the 2014 Youth Continental Championships in Ecuador next month.
Andrews Soto (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) served as the United States coaches in Russia.
201+ lbs: Marat Kerimkhanov, RUS, dec. John Luna, Milwaukee, Wis./USA, 2-1