Jordan Burroughs has won all 10 matches in his two previous World Cup appearances. USAW file photos.
One of the best experiences in the remarkable wrestling career of Jordan Burroughs came at the 2013 World Cup.
Wrestling in front of a boisterous sellout crowd of 15,000 screaming fans in Tehran, Iran, Burroughs put on a dazzling display of his immense talents by winning all five of his matches and leading the U.S. to a third-place finish.
Burroughs was a virtual rock star last year in Iran, where he was cheered early and often by that nation’s rabid and passionate wrestling fan base. The World Cup was an important event for the sport, coming shortly after the International Olympic Committee recommended wrestling be removed from the Olympics.
“Wrestling at the World Cup was a tremendous experience,” said Burroughs, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion. “It was an awesome event and we were treated like kings. The fans were incredible and it was amazing the way that all of the countries came together to support wrestling.”
The World’s premier wrestling countries will come together once again for another important competition at the 2014 World Cup. The event will be contested at the Forum, presented by Chase, on March 15-16 in Inglewood, Calif.
Burroughs once again leads a strong U.S. team into the World Cup, the annual international dual meet championships that will feature the top 10 men’s freestyle wrestling teams.
“I am looking forward to seeing a lot of fans from the U.S. come out to support us – I hope there is a great turnout,” Burroughs said. “We don’t receive very many opportunities to have a home-field advantage in an event like this where the top countries in the World are competing. I’m really excited about the World Cup being back in the U.S. It should be a great event.”
The 2013 World Cup was a key and pivotal event in bringing nations like the U.S., Iran and Russia together on the same stage during wrestling’s successful quest to stay in the Olympics.
Burroughs is a perfect 10-0 in World Cup competition. He went 5-0 in his first World Cup appearance in 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
“We’re pumped about Jordan wrestling in the World Cup again this year,” U.S. National Coach Zeke Jones said. “He gives us a chance to win every dual and the guys respond to him when he wrestles. He lifts every wrestler on the team up.”
Burroughs won an American record 69 straight matches to start his international career before being defeated by American Nick Marable in the quarterfinals of the Yasar Dogu International this past weekend in Istanbul, Turkey.
“I always want to win obviously, but I have a little bit more of a chip on my shoulder now,” Burroughs said. “I need to come out with more of a fire that will prevent that from happening again. Nick did a great job and he’s been wrestling well. I need to make sure I’m coming out more aggressively and attacking more early in the match.”
Burroughs rebounded to win his next two matches in Turkey to claim a bronze medal at 74 kg/163 lbs.
“We spoke about the World Cup last week when we were leaving Turkey and winning the World Cup is important to Jordan and the team,” Jones said. “He knows for us to compete well, we’ll need each guy on the team getting out there and scoring points, building leads, fighting every position and hold, and most of all knowing that we’re wrestling hard for our country. I know Jordan takes a lot of pride in wearing the American flag on his singlet.
“It’ll take a team effort and Jordan is the center of our team. He leads and we follow. It’s that simple.”The 10 nations which will compete for the World Cup are (alphabetically): Armenia, Georgia, India, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States. Nations were invited based upon final team standings at the 2013 World Championships.
Iran defeated Russia in the finals last year in Tehran. The U.S. finished third.
The remainder of the U.S. lineup is being finalized and is scheduled to be released shortly.
JORDAN BURROUGHS’ WORLD CUP RECORD
2012 World Cup – Baku, Azerbaijan
WIN Ammet Gadzimagomedov (Russia)
WIN Sohsuke Takatani (Japan)
WIN Demirsin Batuhan (Turkey)
WIN Sadegh Goudarzi (Iran)
WIN Davit Khutsishvili (Georgia)
2013 World Cup – Tehran, Iran
WIN Jakob Makarashvili (Georgia), 3-0, 2-1
WIN Sohsuke Takatani (Japan), 2-0, 7-1
WIN Ezzatollah Akbarizarinkolaei (Iran), 4-0, 2-0
WIN Stefanov Kirov (Bulgaria), 7-0, 6-0
WIN Ali Shabanau (Belarus), 1-1, 5-0