(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The United States’ youth squad kicked off 2014 Continental Championships action with four preliminary bouts on Thursday at the Julio Cesar Hidalgo Coliseum in Quito, Ecuador. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas), bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), and light welterweight Jonathan Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) each claimed preliminary round victories with welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.) suffering the only U.S. loss on the day.
Competing in his second international event in the past few weeks, Hernandez won a 3-0 decision over the Dominican Republic’s Carlos Diaz in their light flyweight bout to move on to today’s second round action. Balderas is boxing in his second international event of 2014 as well and he enjoyed a quick tournament opener in Thursday’s first round action. The bantamweight won a first round TKO over Argentina’s Ismael Bordon to advance on in tournament action.
Navarro competed in his first major international bout on Thursday and he made it a victorious one. He won a 2-1 decision over Brazil’s Casio Oliveira in their light welterweight contest to join his teammates in the next round.
Estrada lost a controversial split decision to Puerto Rico’s Luis Rodriguez in men’s welterweight action, eliminating him from the tournament.
Five U.S. athletes will compete in the second day of preliminary competition on Friday with female flyweight Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.), female lightweight Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.), Hernandez, male featherweight Isidro Ochoa (Fresno, Calif.) and male middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland, Ohio) all boxing today.
Coaches Ed Rivas (Abilene, Texas), Jacob Najar (Indio, Calif.) and Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) are leading the United States squad in Quito with Dr. John Drye (Plains, Mont.) serving as the team physician.
108 lbs/male: Nico Hernandez, Wichita, Kansas/USA dec. Carlos Diaz, DOM, 3-0
123 lbs/male: Carlos Balderas, Santa Maria, Calif./USA won on TKO over Ismael Bordon, ARG, TKO-1
141 lbs/male: Jonathan Navarro, Los Angeles, Calif./USA dec. Casio Oliveria, BRA, 2-1
152 lbs/male: Luis Rodriguez, PUR, dec. Javier Estrada, Palmdale, Calif./USA, 2-1