(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA enjoyed a second successful day at the 2014 Youth Continental Championships in Quito, Ecuador on Friday. Four U.S. competitors claimed semifinal wins to earn berths in the tournament finals. Male flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas), female flyweight Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.), female lightweight Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.), and male middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland, Ohio) all took semifinal wins at the Julio Cesar Hidalgo Coliseum on the day of competition. Male featherweight Isidro Ochoa (Fresno, Calif.) was the lone U.S. boxer to fall in Friday’s action, dropping a split decision.
Hernandez took the ring for his second bout of the tournament against Puerto Rico’ Yankiel Rivera in flyweight semifinal action. The American boxer claimed a 2-1 victory Rivera in their contest to move on to Sunday’s finale where he will face Ecuador’s Carlos Chusin.
2013 Junior World Champion, Orosco, competed in her first international bout of 2014 on Friday in a flyweight showdown with host nation boxer Nathaly Flores of Ecuador. Orosco won a unanimous decision victory over Flores to advance to another international championship bout. She will battle Argentina’s Alyelen Espinosa in the flyweight final round contest.
Gonzalez, Team USA’s second reigning Junior World Champion, enjoyed a successful 2014 international debut as well. She also took a unanimous decision win over a home ring boxer in her lightweight semifinal contest. Gonzalez defeated Ecuador’s Pallares Yensy, 3-0, to earn her berth in the lightweight championship bout with the Dominican Republic’s Brazoban Carderon on Sunday.
Conwell claimed the final victory of the day for Team USA in a middleweight bout with Puerto Rico’s Luis Lopez. He earned a unanimous decision win over his host nation opponent to advance to the middleweight championship bout and a match-up with Ecuador’s Ariel Ruiz.
Ochoa fell by split decision to Puerto Rico’s Lemuel Class in men’s featherweight semifinal competition on Friday.
Three more American boxers will look to advance to the finals in today’s semifinal round competition. Bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) and light welterweight Jonathan Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) will each take the ring for their second bouts in Ecuador, facing Puerto Rico’s Henry Lebron and Ecuador’s Jonthan Chala respectively. Flyweight Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) will compete in his tournament opener in a bout with Ecuador’s Juan Fernandez today as well.
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. Yankiel Rivera, PUR, 2-1
112 lbs/female: Caitlin Orosco, Anaheim, Calif./USA dec. Nathaly Flores, ECU, 3-0
125 lbs/male: Lemuel Class, PUR, dec. Isidro Ochoa, Fresno, Calif./USA, 2-1
132 lbs/female: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA dec. Pallares Yensy, ECU, 3-0
165 lbs/male: Charles Conwell, Cleveland, Ohio/USA dec. Luis Lopez, PUR, 3-0