24 Young Boxers Etch Their Names in to the History Books as Junior Olympic National Champions
(CHARLESTON, W. VA.) – The 43rd edition of USA Boxing’s Junior Olympic National Championships concluded with 24 final round bouts on Saturday afternoon in Charleston, W. Va. Thirteen male and 11 female championship contests took place on the final day of competition at the Charleston Civic Center. All of the final round bouts were boxed at a high level as the 15 and 16-year-old boxers battled it out for a highly coveted Junior Olympic National Championship.
The pinweights kicked off the day’s action with final bouts in both the men’s and women’s divisions. 2014 Junior Open champion Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) took another national title with a unanimous decision win over Derry Edwards (Vacaville, Calif.) in their match-up. In women’s action, the California native enjoyed more success as Mia Valadez (Los Angeles, Calif.) took a 2-1 victory over Hillary Perez (Arlington, Texas) in their contest.
The California trend continued in the light flyweight division. Female Pauline Viesca (Commerce, Calif.) put on an outstanding performance en route a 3-0 victory over Evelyn Anaya (Mesa, Ariz.) to take the first of the two 106 pound gold medals. In men’s action, Fernando Martinez (Phoenix, Ariz.) claimed a 2-1 split decision over Manuel Flores (Thermal, Calif.) to win his first Junior Olympic National Championship.
There was no question a California boxer was going to take the flyweight crown with Marc Castro (Fresno, Calif.) and Ruben Robles (Los Angeles, Calif.) facing off in a Golden state battle. Castro won the bout and the California bragging rights with a split decision over Castro. In the women’s bout, Texas native Ruth Diaz (Houston, Texas) earned a 3-0 victory over Jessenia Murrillo (Rockford, Ill.) to take the female flyweight championship. Diaz claimed the female outstanding boxer of the tournament award as well.
2013 Junior World Championships silver medalist Daniel Gonzalez (Moreno Valley, Calif.) owns two Junior Open titles, but he competed in his first Junior Olympic National Championships this week in Charleston. He continued his national winning streak, taking a unanimous decision victory over Ronnell Johnson (Westerville, Ohio). Gonzalez was selected as the male outstanding boxer for the lighter weight divisions as well. Jessica Juarez (San Diego, Calif.) claimed the light bantamweight crown in the women’s division, pulling out a 2-1 victory over Olivia Hendrickson (Waterford, Wis.).
Female bantamweight Jayda Thomas (Detroit, Mich.) impressed everyone who saw her perform in her Junior Olympic National Championships debut in 2013, winning both the gold medal and Outstanding Boxer award. She failed to disappoint in her return performance in 2014, taking her second straight national championship with a unanimous decision over Zoe Glass (Lansing, Mich.) on Saturday. Her efforts also earned Thomas the female outstanding boxer award for the middle weight divisions. The men’s bout was a bit closer with Delonte Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) winning a split decision over Eric Puente (Carlsbad, Calif.) for the bantamweight gold medal.
Leon Lawson III (Flint, Mich.) gave his dad and grandfather an early Father’s Day present by winning the featherweight title with two generations of Leon Lawson in his corner. He won a 2-1 victory over Ryan Garcia (Adelanto, Calif.) to continue the family legacy of his cousin, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell. Andrea Medina (National City, Calif.) claimed gold in the female featherweight division, taking a 3-0 victory over 2014 Junior Open champion Diana Estrada (Hillsboro, Ore.).
In the lightweight division, Lupe Gutierrez (Sacramento, Calif.) claimed gold with a unanimous decision win over Siane Moore (St. Louis, MO.) in the women’s division. It was Carlos Nava (Pasadena, Texas) taking the title in the men’s lightweight class with a 2-1 decision over Charlie Sheehy (Brisbane, Calif.).
The light welterweight division gold medals will travel home to Texas and Colorado following final round wins by Amberly Gutierrez (San Antonio, Texas) and Andres Borrego (Arvada, Colo.). Gutierrez won a unanimous decision over Katie Ramirez (Bosque Farms, N.M.) while Borrego defeated Noel Temores (Gilroy, Calif.).
Janelson Figueroa (Detroit, Mich.) won the bout of the tournament in semifinal action on Friday and he continued his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Joseph Veazy (Pasadena, Md.) in Saturday’s light welterweight championship round action. Figueroa took home the Outstanding Boxer award in the middle weight divisions as well. Gabriela Favela (Houston, Texas) earned a gold medal in the women’s division with a 2-1 victory over Sharahya Moreu (Albuquerque, N.M.).
Another power puncher took gold in the men’s light middleweight division. Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.) closed his run through the tournament with a unanimous decision victory over Manuel Rodriguez (Indio, Calif.). Isley was also named Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament in the heavier men’s weight divisions for his performance in Charleston as well. Amanda Bermudez (Gatesville, Texas) took home the women’s division title with a 3-0 victory over Jordanne Garcia (Albuquerque, N.M.).
The men’s middleweight division crown went to Atif Oberlton (Philadelphia, Pa.) following his 2-1 decision over Akeem Mayle (Zanesville, Ohio).
Two-time Junior Open titlist Suray Mahmutovic (Sacramento, Calif.) earned his first Junior Olympic National Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Gonzalo Cardenas (Rosenberg, Texas) in light heavyweight competition.
West Virginia’s own Payton Childers (Huntington, W. Va.) impressed her hometown fans with a first round TKO victory over Christal Berry (Detroit, Mich.) in the women’s heavyweight championship bout. She was named the women’s heavier divisions’ Outstanding Boxer as well following her performance. Devin Young (Aiken, S.C.) earned the final title of the event with a 3-0 victory over Roland Lemus for the men’s heavyweight crown.
The Junior Olympic National Championships will return to Charleston for the 2015-16 events as well.
Saturday’s Championship Bout Results
101 lbs/female: Mia Valadez, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Hillary Perez, Arlington, Texas, 2-1
101 lbs/male: Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va., dec. Derry Edwards, Vacaville, Calif., 3-0
106 lbs/female: Pauline Viesca, Commerce, Calif., dec. Evelyn Anaya, Mesa, Ariz., 3-0
106 lbs/male: Fernando Martinez, Phoenix, Ariz., dec. Manuel Flores, Thermal, Calif., 2-1
110 lbs/female: Ruth Diaz, Houston, Texas dec. Jessenia Murrillo, Rockford, Ill., 3-0
110 lbs/male: Marc Castro, Fresno, Calif., dec. Ruben Robles, Los Angeles, Calif., 2-1
114 lbs/female: Jessica Juarez, San Diego, Calif., dec. Olivia Hendrickson, Waterford, Wis., 2-1
114 lbs/male: Daniel Gonzalez, Moreno Valley, Calif., dec. Ronnell Johnson, Westerville, Ohio, 3-0
119 lbs/female: Jayda Thomas, Detroit, Mich., dec. Zoe Glass, Lansing, Mich., 3-0
119 lbs/male: Delonte Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio dec. Eric Puente, Carlsbad, Calif., 2-1
125 lbs/female: Andrea Medina, National City, Calif., dec. Diana Estrada, Hillsboro, Ore., 3-0
125 lbs/male: Leon Lawson III, Flint, Mich., dec. Ryan Garcia, Adelanto, Calif., 2-1
132 lbs/female: Lupe Gutierrez, Sacramento, Calif., dec. Siane Moore, St. Louis, Mo., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Carlos Nava, Pasadena, Texas dec. Charlie Sheehy, Brisbane, Calif., 2-1
138 lbs/female: Amberly Gutierrez, San Antonio, Texas dec. Katie Ramirez, Bosque Farms, N.M., 3-0
138 lbs/male: Andres Borrego, Arvada, Colo., dec. Noel Temores, Gilroy, Calif., 2-1
145 lbs/female: Gabriela Favela, Houston, Texas dec. Sharahya Moreu, Albuquerque, N.M., 2-1
145 lbs/male: Janelson Figueroa, Detroit, Mich., dec. Joseph Veazy, Pasadena, Md., 3-0
154 lbs/female: Amanda Bermudez, Gatesville, Texas dec. Jordanne Garcia, Albuquerque, N.M., 3-0
154 lbs/male: Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va., dec. Manuel Rodriguez, Indio, Calif., 3-0
165 lbs/male: Atif Oberlton, Philadelphia, Pa., dec. Akeem Mayle, Zanesville, Ohio, 2-1
176 lbs/male: Suray Mahmutovic, Sacramento, Calif., dec. Gonzalo Cardenas, Rosenberg, Texas, 3-0
176+ lbs/female: Payton Childers, Huntington, W. Va., won on TKO over Christal Berry, Detroit, Mich., TKO-1 (1:25)
176+ lbs/male: Devin Young, Aiken, S.C., dec. Roland Lemus, Los Angeles, Calif., 3-0