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34 Young Boxers Win Gold Medals at the 2016 Junior Open and Youth Nationals

Jan. 10, 2016, 1:51 a.m. (ET)

(RENO, NEV.) – The 2016 Junior Open and Youth National Championships concluded with thirty-four gold medals bouts contested over nearly five hours in two rings on Saturday at the Grand Sierra Resort Summit Pavilion in Reno, Nev. Thirty-four boxers in four different divisions won national championships in the first event of the year for USA Boxing.

In the pinweight division, Iyana Verduzco (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) won both the women’s gold medal and the Outstanding Junior Female Boxer award for her performance in Reno. Verduzco closed the event with a 3-0 victory over Amy Salinas (Mesquite, New Mexico) in the opening bout of the day in women’s competition. Angel Garcia (Laredo, Texas) won the men’s division title in the 101-pound weight division, claiming a 3-0 victory over Robert Montoya (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

Two defending champions and world medalists repeated as Junior Open titlists in the light flyweight class. 2015 Junior World Champion and USA Boxing Junior Female Athlete of the Year Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.) competed in her first event of 2016 in women’s light flyweight competition. She opened the year in victorious fashion, earning a unanimous decision over Nicole Aviles (Dallas, Texas) for the gold medal. In men’s action, 2015 World Championships silver medalist Jesse Rodriguez (San Antonio, Texas) and 2015 pinweight titlist made a successful move to the light flyweight class. Rodriguez won a unanimous decision over Sean Garcia (Victorville, Calif.) for his second straight Junior Open title and the Outstanding Junior Male Boxer of the Tournament award.

Light flyweight Dylan Price (Sicklerville, N.J.) defended his youth national championship in Reno. Price faced off with Roberto Rodriguez (San Antonio, Texas) in final round competition and won a split decision victory to retain his title. A defending junior champion fell in her first bout in the youth division. Mia Valadez (Los Angeles, Calif.) earned a 3-0 victory over 2015 Junior Open champion to win the championship in the women’s light flyweight bout.

Two junior boxers took national championships in the 110-pound flyweight division. Czarina McCoy (Las Vegas, Nev.) defeated fellow Sin City native Destiny Diaz (N. Las Vegas, Nev.) by a 3-0 margin in their championship bout for her first Junior Open championship. Daniel Garcia (Westminster, Colo.) defeated 2015 Junior Open light flyweight titlist Angel Martinez (Rockford, Ill.) by split decision to join McCoy in the gold medal position.

Two boxers who traveled all the way from Hawaii took gold medals in the smaller weight divisions.. Jazzelle Bobadilla (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) scored a second round TKO over Crystal Tuminello (Ozark, Ala.) to win the women’s youth division flyweight championship while Nes Tiburcio, Jr. (Honolulu, Hawaii) earned the junior men’s light bantamweight crown with a 2-1 victory over Jose Martinez (Laredo, Texas).

In junior female light bantamweight action, Isamary Aquino (Converse, Texas) won a gold medal with a 3-0 win over fellow Texan Crystal Tuminello (Ozark, Ala.). Fernando Martinez (Phoenix, Ariz.) defeated 2015 Junior Olympic national champion Santos Ortega (La Quinta, Calif.) by a 2-1 decision in their gold medal match-up to take the youth men’s flyweight championship.

Defending Junior Open champion and Junior World Championships bronze medalist Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.) made a successful transition to the youth age group with a gold medal victory in youth women’s bantamweight action. Ramirez defeated Mariana Gonzalez (Sunnyvale, Calif.) by a 2-1 margin to take her second straight title in Reno. In the junior men’s 119-pound title bout, Richard Medina (San Antonio, Texas) won a 3-0 victory over Joricksen Galiza (Waianae, Hawaii) for the gold medal.

One of the most highly anticipated bouts of the day lived up to the hype on Saturday evening. 2015 Junior World Champion Marc Castro (Fresno, Calif.) faced off with Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) in the youth men’s bantamweight division. Davis made it clear early that he wasn’t moved by Castro’s recent success and used his skill and precise punching to counteract Castro’s intense pressure. Castro looked to change the tide in the second, attempting to swarm and overwhelm Davis. The two battled it out for three action-packed rounds with both boxers leaving everything they had in the ring. Yet only one could be victorious and Castro pulled out the bout by 2-1 split decision to win the youth men’s bantamweight title.

Two boxers from Toledo won national championships in the junior division featherweight class. Otha Jones (Toledo, Ohio) won his second straight Junior Open title with a 3-0 victory over Ernie Cuevas (Mauldin, S.C.) and Romesha Ensley (Toledo, Ohio) scored a unanimous decision over Arlette Vega (El Centro, Calif.) in women’s action.

2015 Junior Olympic national champion Diana Estrada (Hillsboro, Ore.) extended her success in to the youth age division with a gold medal victory in women’s featherweight competition. Estrada defeated Esmeraldo Navarro (Mission, Texas) by a 3-0 margin to win not only a national championship but also the Outstanding Youth Female Boxer of the Tournament award.

2015 Junior World Championships bronze medalist Harley Mederos (New York, N.Y.) successfully defended his 2015 Junior Open title with a 2-1 victory over Oscar Perez (Houston, Texas) in the junior men’s lightweight division.

The youth women’s lightweight championship bout featured a rematch from the finals of the 2015 Junior Olympic National Championships. 2015 Junior World Champion Lupe Gutierrez (Sacramento, Calif.) and 2015 Junior Olympic national champion Andrea Medina (Chula Vista, Calif.) battled for the second straight time but the result was the same in the new age group. Medina won a 2-1 victory over Gutierrez in Saturday’s action for the youth women’s lightweight title. Two California foes faced in the youth men’s lightweight championship bout as Ryan Garcia (Victorville, Calif.) and Bryan Lua (Coachella, Calif.) battled for the gold medal. At the end of three rounds, Garcia heard the result he’d been fighting for, taking a 3-0 victory for the gold medal.

Two Junior World Championships silver medalists recorded victories in the next two bouts in Reno. Gabriel Flores (Stockton, Calif.) won his second straight Junior Open championship with a victory in the junior men’s light welterweight division. With the vocal support of his family and friends in the crowd, Flores defeated Kamauriay Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.) by a 3-0 margin. In youth women’s light welterweight competition, Kylie Hall (Clovis, Calif.) took a second round TKO victory over Thessanae Borrego (Lubbock, Texas) for her first youth division championship.

The youth men’s light welterweight championship featured a showdown between Philadelphia and New Jersey in the gold medal bout. John Bauza (North Bergen, N.J.) and Branden Pizarro (Philadelphia, Pa.) battled it out for the title in the 141-pound division. It was Bauza coming out victorious in the contest, winning a 3-0 victory over Pizarro for both a national title and the Outstanding Youth Male Boxer of the Tournament award.

It was another defending champion taking gold in the junior men’s welterweight bout. Joey Spencer (Linden, Mich.) claimed a 3-0 win over Israel Alvarez (Spokane, Wash.) in their championship match-up.

Two first time youth champions claimed titles in the welterweight division. Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio) defeated 2015 Junior World Championships team member Amanda Bermudez (Gatesville, Texas) by unanimous decision in women’s action. In the men’s division, Money Powell (Fort Mitchell, Ala.) faced off with 2015 Junior World Championships bronze medalist and defending Junior Open champion Leon Lawson (Flint, Mich.). The two towering boxers both looked to ride their range and height to a youth national title but only one could do so. Powell pulled out a split decision victory for his first youth title.

A reigning world champion fell in junior women’s junior middleweight competition. Citlalli Ortiz (Coachella, Calif.) took on 2015 Junior World Champion Zhane Crockett (Toledo, Ohio) in Crockett’s 2015 opener. Ortiz claimed a 2-1 victory in the contest to win the Junior Open title in the women’s junior middleweight division. The men’s division came down to a split decision as well in hard-fought bout between Jessie Fletcher (Lafayette, La.) and Thorn Castellon (Madera, Calif.). Fletcher took the victory over Castellon for the gold medal.

Micah Kuamoo (Kihei, Hawaii) and Marco Cruz (Hoffman States, Ill.) took the ring for the final junior division bout of the tournament in men’s middleweight action. Kuamoo continued the split decision streak with a 2-1 victory over Cruz.

The youth men competed in the final four bouts of the 2016 Junior Open and Youth National Championships. Nikita Ababiy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Kashif Muhammad-Brown (Upper Marlboro, Md.) threw heavy shots throughout the nine minutes of boxing with a gold medal on the line. At the end of the action-packed bout, Ababiy took the victory by a 2-1 split decision.

The youth men’s light heavyweight division featured an entertaining showdown as well. Christian Montano (Houston, Texas) and Atif Oberlton (Philadelphia, Pa.) battled it out for youth title in the 178-pound weight division. The bout came down a 2-1 tiebreaker with Montano claiming the title.

Former Junior Open champion Suray Mahmutovic (Vallejo, Calif.) won a third TKO in his youth men’s heavyweight championship bout with Cross Beaulieu (Barnum, Minn.).

Another previous Junior titlist Richard Torrez (Tulare, Calif.) claimed the final championship of the event in youth men’s super heavyweight action. Torrez defeated Rafael Gaitan (Forrest Hill, Texas) by unanimous decision for the gold medal.

All of the victors in the youth men’s division will have the chance to represent the United States at the 2015 Youth Men’s World Championships this fall.

Championship Bout Results

Junior female 101 lbs: Iyana Verduzco, E. Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Amy Salinas, Mesquite, N.M., 2-1
Junior male 101 lbs: Angel Garcia, Laredo, Texas, dec. Robert Montoya, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3-0
Junior female 106 lbs: Heaven Garcia, El Monte, Calif., dec. Nicole Aviles, Dallas, Texas, 3-0
Junior male 106 lbs: Jesse Rodriguez, San Antonio, Texas, dec. Sean Garcia, Victorville, Calif., 3-0
Youth female 108 lbs: Mia Valadez, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Hillary Perez, Arlington, Texas, 3-0

Youth male 108 lbs: Dylan Price, Sicklerville, N.J., dec. Roberto Rodriguez, San Antonio, Texas, 2-1

Junior female 110 lbs: Czarina McCoy, Las Vegas, Nev., dec. Destiny Diaz, N. Las Vegas, Nev., 3-0

Junior male 110 lbs: Daniel Garcia, Westminster, Colo., dec. Angel Martinez, Rockford, Ill., 2-1
Youth female 112 lbs: Jazzelle Bobadilla, Ewa Beach, Hawaii, won on TKO over Crystal Tuminello, Ozark, Ala., TKO-2
Junior female 114 lbs: Isamary Aquino, Converse, Texas dec. Romalin Martinez, Houston, Texas, 3-0
Junior male 114 lbs: Nes Tiburcio Jr., dec. Honolulu, Hawaii dec. Jose Martinez, Laredo, Texas, 2-1
Youth male 114 lbs: Fernando Martinez, Phoenix, Ariz., dec. Santos Ortega, La Quinta, Calif., 2-1

Junior male 119 lbs: Richard Medina, San Antonio, Texas dec. Joricksen Galiza, Waianae, Hawaii, 3-0

Youth female 119 lbs: Yarisel Ramirez, Las Vegs, Nev., dec. Mariana Gonzalez, Sunnyvale, Calif., 2-1

Youth female 123 lbs: Marc Castro, Fresno, Calif., dec. Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va., 2-1
Junior female 125 lbs: Romesha Ensley, Toledo, Ohio, dec. Arlette Vega, El Centro, Calif., 3-0
Junior male 125 lbs: Otha Jones, Toledo, Ohio dec. Ernie Cuevas, Maulldin, S.C., 3-0

Junior male 132 lbs: Harley Mederos, New York, N.Y., dec. Oscar Perez, Houston, Texas, 2-1
Youth female 132 lbs: Andrea Medina, Chula Vista, Calif., dec. Lupe Gutierrez, Sacramento, Calif., 2-1

Youth male 132 lbs: Ryan Garcia, Victorville, Calif., dec. Bryan Lua, Coachella, Calif., 3-0
Junior male 138 lbs: Gabriel Flores, Stockton, Calif., dec. Kamauriay Walker, Jacksonville, Fla., 3-0

Youth female 141 lbs: Kylie Hall, Clovis, Calif., won on TKO over Thessanae Borrego, Lubbock, Texas, TKO-2

Youth male 141 lbs: John Bauza, North Bergen, N.J., dec. Branden Pizarro, Philadelphia, Pa., 3-0

Junior male 145 lbs: Joey Spencer, Linden, Mich., dec. Israel Alvarez, Spokane, Wash., 3-0
Youth female 152 lbs: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio dec. Amanda Bermudez, Gatesville, Texas, 3-0

Youth male 152 lbs: Money Powell, Fort Mitchell, Ala., dec. Leon Lawson, Flint, Mich., 2-1

Junior female 154 lbs: Citlalli Ortiz, Coachella, Calif., dec. Zhane Crockett, Toledo, Ohio, 2-1
Junior male 154 lbs: Jessie Fletcher, Lafayette, La., dec. Thorn Castellon, Madera, Calif., 2-1

Junior male 165 lbs: Micah Kuamoo, Kiehi, Hawaii, dec. Marco Cruz, Hoffman States, Ill., 2-1

Youth male 165 lbs: Nikita Ababiy, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Kashif Muhammad-Brown, Upper Marlboro, Md., 2-1

Youth male 178 lbs: Christian Montano, Houston, Texas dec. Atif Oberlton, Philadelphia, Pa., 2-1 (tiebreaker)

Youth male 201 lbs: Suray Mahmutovic, Vallejo, Calif., won  Cross Beaulieu, Barnum, Minn., TKO-3

Youth male 201+ lbs: Richard Torrez, Tulare, Calif., dec. Rafael Gaitan, Forrest Hill, Texas, 3-0


Unopposed Champions
Junior female 119 lbs: Alexandra Fernandez, Splendora, Texas

Youth female 165 lbs: Chayanne Carroll, Davenport, Fla.

Junior male 176 lbs: Carlos Silva, Sparks, Nev.
Junior male 176+ lbs: Nicholas Rollins, Rayne, La.