Roscoe Hill celebrates after the men's 51 kg. semifinal bout at the 2021 Elite Men’s World Championships on Nov. 4 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Boxer Omari Jones, an 18-year-old making his first appearance at the Elite Men’s World Championships, is going home with a silver medal after falling in the 67 kg. gold-medal bout on Friday in Belgrade, Serbia.
Jones is one of four Americans who reached their respective gold-medal bouts, with Roscoe Hill (51 kg.), Jahmal Harvey (57 kg.) and Rahim Gonzales (80 kg.) all scheduled to compete Saturday.
All weighed in and ready to go 🥊— USA Boxing (@USABoxing) November 5, 2021
Omari Jones goes for gold later today! pic.twitter.com/dAjatbgmAb
An Orlando native, Jones won four matches to reach the final, including beating Olympian Wanderson De Oliveira of Brazil by unanimous decision in the quarterfinals. He then got a free pass through the semifinals when Georgia’s Lasha Guruli withdrew due to injury.
Facing another Olympian, Sewonrets Okazawa of Japan, Jones kept things close through much of the final but ultimately fell in a 3-2 decision.
An actual student of the School of Hard Knocks — seriously, check his bio — Jones picked up boxing at age 8, after previously participating in karate. He won his first U.S. championship in 2020.
With four Americans in their respective finals in Belgrade, the country is guaranteed to match its best medal haul at the men’s world championships since 1999, when U.S. boxers won four gold medals. At the most recent world championships in 2019, Keyshawn Davis’ silver was the lone medal by an American. Davis went on to win a silver medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as well.
Nine U.S. men competed in Serbia, with six reaching as far as the quarterfinals.