For the fourth year in a row, USA Boxing teamed up with sponsor Under Armour to recognize the top male and female boxers from the United States in the elite, youth, and junior divisions. Based on their amazing accomplishments and performances in 2018, the following boxers were awarded this year’s Boxer of the Year by USA Boxing
2018 Elite Female Boxer of the Year - Naomi Graham
Graham had an impressive 2018, which included three international medals. The middleweight’s first medal was a bronze at the 2018 Felixs Stamm Tournament in Poland, before winning gold at the 2018 Boxam Tournament in Spain. Graham, who currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., returned to the World Championships stage for the second time in her career this November in New Delhi, India, where she won her first World Championships medal, a bronze. Graham also represented Team USA in three duels against Canada, Germany and Ireland.
2018 Elite Male Boxer of the Year - Richard Torrez Jr.
2016 Youth World Championships bronze medalist Richard Torrez Jr. made his anticipated international elite debut this year, finishing the year undefeated, which included a gold medal at the 2018 Chemistry Cup. The Tulare, Calif. native won all four of his duel matches, including two against Ireland, one against Germany and one against the Netherlands. He closed out his year with his second USA Boxing Elite National title, where he went 2-0 and had a TKO in the first round of his championship bout.
2018 Youth Female Boxer of the Year - Heaven Garcia
Garcia (El Monte, Calif.) closed out a successful youth career this year with multiple international medals. Garcia began her year winning the Western Elite Qualifier & Regional Open in Albuquerque, N.M. before picking up a gold medal at the 2018 Youth Continental Championships, which qualified her to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Garcia continued her winning ways at the 2018 Youth World Championships in Budapest, Hungary to take her second World Championships title. Garcia also won USA Boxing’s sole medal in Buenos Aires at the Youth Olympics, a bronze to close out her youth career. Earlier this month, Garcia made her elite debut at the 2018 USA Boxing Elite National Championships, where she won a silver medal and earned her spot on the Elite High Performance Squad for the first time.
2018 Youth Male Boxer of the Year - Asa Stevens
Wainaie, Hawaii’s Asa Stevens burst onto the international scene in 2018 in his final year in the youth division. Stevens made an impressive international debut at the Emil Jechev Tournament in Sophia, Bulgaria by winning gold, as well as being named Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament. In his second international tournament, the Youth Continental Championships, Stevens picked up a silver medal and qualified to his first World Championships. Stevens made the best of his World Championships appearance, winning the sole medal, a gold, for the American men.
2018 Junior Female Boxer of the Year - Kayla Gomez
Gomez (El Paso, Texas) put on a show throughout 2018 at USA Boxing’s national tournaments, competing in all four major tournaments USA Boxing put on this year. She began her year winning the 43 kg division at the 2018 Western Regional Qualifier, before winning the National Junior Olympics in the same weight class. Gomez moved up a weight class to 46 kg for the 2018 Eastern Regional Qualifier, winning both her bouts in that tournament before closing out her year at the 2018 Junior Open to earn her spot on the Junior High Performance Squad for the second year in a row. Gomez went 7-0 between the four national tournaments this year.
2018 Junior Male Boxer of the Year - Trinidad Vargas
Like his female teammate, Vargas dominated the USA Boxing national tournament scene in 2018. Vargas went undefeated at the national level from the USA Boxing Junior Open last December until this year’s Junior Open finale. The Grand Prairie, Texas native took gold at the Western Regional Open, Eastern Regional Open, as well as the National Junior Olympics, where he was named the Most Outstanding Junior Male of the Tournament. Vargas ended his first year in the junior ranks with a silver medal at this December’s Junior Open in Salt Lake City.