The fierce six days of competition at the 68th annual Strandja Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria has come to an end as two Team USA boxers are coming home with coveted gold medal wins. Olympic Trials Champion and 2016 USA Boxing Elite National Champion Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) began Sunday’s final round of action against Bulgarian flyweight Gabriela Dimitrova. The Bulgarian was no match for Fuchs who took a unanimous decision on all five judges’ cards.
In her first international competition, light welterweight Stacia Suttles (Bronx, N.Y.) impressed the world taking home both the final round win as well as the title of Oustanding Boxer of the Tournament. Suttles took another unanimous decision against Russia's Elena Ustinova. A relative newcomer on the scene, Suttles first impressed the U.S. coaches with an notable performance at last year’s 2016 USA Boxing National Championships where she secured her spot as the first ranked light female welterweight in the nation.
Team USA will be leaving Sofia with three medals to start the year including two gold and one bronze. 2016 Olympian Mikaela Mayer (Los Angelos, Calif.) secured the first medal for the U.S. squad in Saturday’s semi-final round of competition.
Eleven athletes from Team USA’s High Performance Squad made the trek to Sofia, Bulgaria to open a busy year ahead of international competition. The U.S. squad, who also included Osahe Jones (Cleveland, Ohio), Guillermo Gutierrez (San Antonio, Texas), Frank Martin (Indianapolis, Ind.), Sean Hemphill (New Orleans, Louis.), Brian Ceballos (New York, N.Y.), Efrain Sanchez (Garden City, Kans.), Shon Mondragon (Commerce City, Colo.) and Aaron Perez (Albuquerque, N.M.) who will be traveling home on Monday.
112 lbs/female: Virgina Fuchs, Kemah, Texas/USA, dec. Gabriela Dimitrova, BUL, 5-0
141 lbs/female: Stacia Suttles, Bronx, N.Y./USA, dec. Elena Ustinova, RUS, 5-0