(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – A squad of the United States’ youth boxers faced off with international foes this past week in Subotica, Serbia at the 2014 Golden Glove of Vovjodina. Bantamweight Hector Tanajara (San Antonio, Texas) led Team USA with a gold medal finish in the international tournament with three wins in Serbia. Light flyweight Thomas Blumenfeld (Albany, N.Y.) and female middleweight Martha Fabela (Oakland, Calif.) each took home silver medals while flyweight Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) and welterweight John Williams (Baton Rouge, La.) claimed bronze.
Tanajara, a silver medalist from the 2014 Junior and Youth Open, took on opponents from France, Serbia and India in his run to bantamweight gold. Following a first round bye, he opened tournament action in a bout with host nation boxer Nikola Buklica of Serbia. Tanajara won a 2-1 victory over Buklica in the quarterfinal bout to set up a match-up with France’s Jordan Rodriguez. He took a second straight 2-1 win over Rodriguez in semifinal round competition to earn a berth in the finals with India’s Singh Rampal. Tanajara continued his winning streak, claiming a 2-0 win over Rampal to earn the gold medal for Team USA.
Blumenfeld enjoyed a strong week of boxing in Serbia as well. The light flyweight kicked off competition with a 2-1 victory over Poland’s Jakub Solminski in the quarterfinal round. He faced off with boxing powerhouse Russia in semifinal round competition, but he wasn’t intimidated by his opponent, earning a unanimous decision over Ivan Abramov to move on to the light flyweight final. Blumenfeld fell to India’s Chand Bhim by a 2-1 margin to claim a silver medal in the international competition.
Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Fabela competed in her second international event of the year in Serbia, and she added a silver medal to her trophy case in 2014 Golden Glove of Vovjodina action. Fabela took a 2-1 decision over India’s Lovlina Borgohain in the semifinal round to advance to the women’s middleweight final. Fabela dropped a 3-0 decision to familiar foe Caitlin Parker of Australia in the championship bout to earn a silver medal in the international event.
2014 Youth Continental Champion Vargas won a unanimous decision over Lithuania’s Sigitas Stoncius in quarterfinal competition before dropping a contested, split decision to Russia’s Levan Khasaia in the semifinal round.
Welterweight Williams opened competition with a 2-1 decision over Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ivan Guzina in his quarterfinal bout to move on to the medal round and a bout with Russia’s Radzhab Radzhabov. Williams lost a split decision to Radzhabov to claim his first international medal.
Light welterweight Mark Dawson (Philadelphia, Pa.) fell by a 3-0 score to Armenia’s Amen Mikhtar in the quarterfinal contest, eliminating him from the tournament. Female lightweight Ariel Arismendez (Tolleson, Ariz.) dropped her tournament opener to Youth Olympic Games qualifier bronze medalist Anges Alexiusson of Sweden, 3-0 in her international debut.
The 2014 Golden Glove of Vovjodina provided a preview of many of the international athletes who will compete for gold at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August.
USA Boxing Resident Coach Edward Rivas (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Daniel Soto (Kissimmee, Fla.) led the U.S. team in Serbia with Dr. Robin Goodfellow (Albion, Mich.) and AIBA official Shawn Reese (Harrison, Tenn.) rounding out the United States staff at the event.
United States Tournament Finishes
108 lbs/male: Thomas Blumenfeld, Albany, N.Y. – silver medal
114 lbs/male: Antonio Vargas, Kissimmee, Fla. – bronze medal
123 lbs/male: Hector Tanajara, San Antonio, Texas – gold medal
132 lbs/female: Ariel Arismendez, Tolleson, Ariz. – eliminated in quarterfinals
141 lbs/male: Mark Dawson, Philadelphia, Pa. – eliminated in quarterfinals
152 lbs/male: John Williams, Baton Rouge, La. – bronze medal
165 lbs/female: Martha Fabela, Oakland, Calif. – silver medal