Youth World Championships - A Look Back

Dec. 01, 2016, 3:03 p.m. (ET)
The 2016 Youth Men’s World Championships have come to a close. Team USA was represented by a talented group of nine boxers, all looking to win a world title and showcase the future of USA Boxing. After eight grueling days of competition, Team USA returned home with two World titles and two bronze medals. USA Boxing is extremely proud of all the hard work that each and every boxer gave, as well as excited for what the future of USA Boxing holds leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Here’s a look back at what happened at the Sibur Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

Marc Castro, Gold Medal 
Reigning Junior World Champion Marc Castro came to Russia looking to become just the second back-to-back Youth and Junior World Champion in U.S. History. Awarded a first-round bye, Castro won his first two bouts easily, taking a unanimous decision win against Georgia’s Badly Vahe followed by a win against England’s Charles Frankham due to a disqualification in the third round.  His third victory came against another world champion, Russian Nikita Piskunov, a split decision win that earned Castro a place in the semifinals. A 4-0 victory over Shunkor Abdurasulov of Uzbekistan earned Marc his spot in the finals against Kazakhstan’s Samatali Tolytayev. Castro took a commanding lead in the finals, ultimately winning a close 3-2 decision to take home his second world title and first Youth World Championship title. 

Delante Johnson, Gold Medal
Delante Johnson was awarded a first-round bye, therefore, his Youth Worlds debut came with a unanimous decision win against Cuba’s Raidel Rodriguez Ferral in round two. Johnson continued his dominance with unanimous decision wins against Morocco’s El Mehdi Zridi and Japan’s Reo Saito in the third and fourth rounds, respectively. Johnson impressed the judges during his semifinal bout against Ukraine’s Zoravor Petrosian to take his fourth unanimous decision victory and a place for the World title. Johnson’s final performance was no different, taking a 4-1 decision over last year’s returning Junior World Champion, Bilolbek Mirzarakhimov of Uzbekistan, and his first international title. 


Dylan Price, Bronze Medal 

The first boxer in the ring to represent Team USA, Dylan Price began his first Youth World Championship appearance with back-to-back unanimous decision wins against Algeria’s Walid Tarot and Georgia’s Sahkil Alakhverdovi. He secured his spot in the quarterfinals following a 4-1 decision against Yauheni Karmilchky of Bealrus in the third round. Price advanced to the medal rounds after a close 3-2 victory over France’s Billal Bennama. Price took home his first ever World Championship bronze medal after falling 4-1 in the semifinal bout against Cuba’s Jorge Grinan. 


Richard Torrez, Bronze Medal 

Richard Torrez returned to St. Petersburg looking to improve on his 5th place finish at the Junior World Championships in 2015. He began his Youth World Championship debut with full force, winning his first two bouts by stoppage. Torrez’s took his first bout with a second-round TKO after forcing three eight counts against Columbia’s Lucijano Cosic. His second second-round stoppage came following a KO against Aljaksandr Sidarenka of Azerbaijan. A unanimous win over Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine clinched Torrez’s place in the semifinals. Torrez faced Australian powerhouse Justis Huni in the semifinals, who ultimately took the decision, which gave Torrez the Youth World Championship bronze medal. 


Nikita Ababiy, 2-1 Youth World’s Record

Nikita Ababiy followed a first-round bye with a unanimous win over Serbia’s Luka Sumarac in the second-round. Ababiy acquired his second win after taking a split decision in his favor over Tajikistan’s Ahmadjon Saidov. Ababiy used stunning blows, sharp left hand body shots and flashing one-twos to earn his place in the quarterfinals. After impressive preliminary performances, Abiabiy was unable to leave victorious in the quarterfinals, falling to Bek Nurmaganbet of Kazakhstan. 

Christian Montano, 2-1 Youth World’s Record 
Christian Montano had a strong Youth World Championship debut, reaching the quarterfinals in his weight class. Montano took the decision on all five judges’ cards in his opening bout against Algeria’s Yacine Aguerssif after a series of mid and long distance punches. His second bout saw his second unanimous decision victory, this time against Lachlan Higgins of Australia. Montano faced his toughest opponent in the quarterfinals, David Osvary Morrell Gutierrez of Cuba, whom Montano could not hold off to reach the semifinals.

Money Powell IV, 1-1 Youth World’s Record
Money Powell IV entered the ring in the second-round, following a first-round bye, taking a close split decision win against Romainia’s Stefan-Alberto Calota. Powell picked up the pace in the last two rounds with explosive one-two punches to advance to the next round. Powel IV came up short in his second bout of the tournament, losing the decision to Melbyn Andres Hernandez Martinez of Venezuela. 

Fernando Martinez
Fernando Martinez fell just short of victory in his matchup against Germany’s Hamsat Shadalov. Martinez fought a tough and crafty opponent for his Youth World’s debut, which caused some problems for the young boxer. He was successful when he became unorthodox in his style, but it was not enough to come out with a victorious outcome. 

Freudis Rojas Jr.
Freudis Rojas Jr. lost a heartbreaking split decision against Ireland’s Gabriel Dossen, in what was one of the closest match ups of the tournament. Both boxers exchanged a heft amount of combinations back and forth, coming down to the wire with a tough bout to score. His valiant effort in the first and second rounds were not enough, as the decision went in favor of the Irish lightweight.