Top 18 Moments of 2018

Dec. 28, 2018, 9:03 a.m. (ET)

After a very successful 2018, both nationally and internationally, it’s time to look back at what we saw as our top 18 moments of 2018.

18. First USA Boxing Sanctioned Adaptive Boxing Event


On April 21, the first ever USA Boxing sanctioned adaptive boxing event took place in San Antonio, Texas. The event, which was put on by the South Texas LBC and the National Amputee Boxing Association, featured 14 exciting bouts, including five adaptive boxing bouts.

17.  Ringside Physician Symposium

During the Eastern Qualifier in Chattanooga, Tenn., 31 doctors participated in USA Boxing’s Ringside Physician Symposium. The physicians earned CME credits while learning about identifying the signs of an injured boxer and determining when a bout needs to be medically discontinued, common boxing injuries, legal issues, managing concussions, prohibited substances, nutritional issues, as well as the roles of ringside physicians, the officials and coaches.

16.   USA Boxing Alumni in the Pro’s

It was another busy year for USA Boxing alumni in the professional ranks. We saw numerous boxers win titles, remain undefeated and make pro debuts. Some of the highlights included Terrance Crawford, Nico Hernandez, Jamel Herring, Mikaela Mayer, Claressa Shields, Errol Spence Jr., Shakur Stevenson, Deontay Wilder and many more! We can’t wait to support our alumni in what looks to be another year of exciting matchups in 2019!

15.   Master’s Open in Albuquerque


USA Boxing hosted our first ever Master’s Open in conjunction with our 2018 Western Elite Qualifier and Regional Open in Albuquerque, N.M. this past March. The event had 16 different bouts over two days and was showcased in their own ring alongside the elite and youth finals of the qualifier.

14. Augie Sanchez First Year as National Junior and Youth Coach


This year was the first year our junior and youth teams were under the guidance of Augie Sanchez (Las Vegas, Nev.). Under his guidance both teams had successful years at training camps, as well as international competitions for our youth teams. Augie led the team to 25 medals, including three World Championship gold medals and one bronze medal, as well as a bronze at the Youth Olympic Games. He was also awarded Best Coach of the Tournament at the Youth World Championships.

13. Youth Continental Championships in Colorado Springs

USA Boxing hosted this year’s Youth Continental Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., the first USA Boxing hosted major international event in over a decade. The tournament brought numerous countries from North and South America, all using this tournament as a qualifier to the Youth Olympic Games and Youth World Championships. The week-long tournament was a huge success for Team USA, as we won 15 medals.

12. USA vs. Germany and Ireland Duels


Team USA hosted boxing powerhouses Germany and Ireland in two separate duels this March and October to not only give our team valuable experience, but showcase our top boxers on American soil. Between the two duels, a total of five nights of boxing took place, with Team USA taking overall victories over both countries.

11.   USA Boxing Alumni Second Hall of Fame Reception


The USA Boxing Alumni Association held their second Hall of Fame Reception this year in conjunction with our 2018 National Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah. This year’s class was a powerhouse that included Tom Cleary, Roy Jones Jr., Claressa Shields, Emanuel Steward and Andre Ward.

10. Youth Olympic Games

USA Boxing sent a team of three boxers to this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The boxers, Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.), Otha Jones III (Toledo, Ohio) and Roma Martinez (Houston, Texas), represented Team USA well, with Garcia bringing home a bronze medal.

9.   Record National Tournament Numbers


This year’s two qualifiers saw huge increases in tournament participation, which lead to a record breaking attendance for any USA Boxing National tournament ever at the Eastern Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championships. The Western Elite Qualifier in Albuquerque, N.M. had 302 boxers and 102 coaches attend in 2017 and saw an increase to 719 boxers and 482 coaches in 2018, while Chattanooga rose from 645 boxers and 307 coaches to 834 boxers and 550 coaches, which was record breaking for USA Boxing! We look forward continuing to grow our participation numbers at our national tournaments in 2019!

8.   Isamary Aquino Wins Another World Medal


Isamary Aquino (Universal City, Texas) picked up her second World Championship medal in Budapest, Hungary earlier this year, a bronze, to add to the bronze she won in 2017. Aquino, who also picked up a gold at the Youth Continental Championships, has made her transition to the elite division, where she will be looking to make the successful jump in 2019.

7.   Danielle Perkins: Two International Medals


Houston, Texas native Danielle Perkins showed once again why she is one of the top female heavyweight boxers in the world in 2018, winning two international medals throughout the year. Perkins grabbed her first medal, a gold, at the Boxam Tournament in Spain before taking a bronze at the Elite Women’s World Championships. Perkins was a favorite to win gold, but an injury made her settle for a bronze as her first World Championships medal.

6.  Another huge year for Virginia Fuchs


For the second consecutive year, Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) was a star for USA Boxing, winning three more International medals to add to her resume, including her first World Championships medal, a bronze. Fuchs added a bronze from the Strandja Tournament earlier in 2018, as well as won gold at the Boxam Tournament, to add to her treasure chest. Fuchs will look to carry that momentum into 2019, which will be another busy year for the Captain.

5.  Naomi Graham Successful Year


Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) put on a show in 2018, winning a total of three international medals, one gold and two bronze, as well as picked up her second straight USA Boxing Elite National Championships. Graham began the year winning bronze at the Felix Stamm Tournament in Poland, followed by a gold medal performance at the Boxam Tournament in Spain. Graham picked up one of Team USA’s three bronze medals at the Elite Women’s World Championships in New Delhi, India this November, her first World Championships medal.

4.    Iyana Verduzco’s Year of Victories


Iyana Verduzco, or “Roxy,” (Los Angeles, Calif,) was another successful youth to highlight 2018. Verduzco made her World Championships debut in Budapest, Hungary, impressing many throughout the world with her gold medal performance in her international debut. Nationally, Roxy won the Youth Open in Charleston, W.Va. and closed out her year at the Youth National Championships, where she picked up Outstanding Youth Female Boxer of the Tournament to add to her national title.

3.   Asa Stevens’ Quick Rise to the Top


2018 was a year of firsts for 2017 Youth National Champion Asa Stevens (Waianae, Hawaii). He got to experience his first high performance training camp at the United States Olympic Training Center, his first international tournament, his first international gold medal, first World Championships and his first World Championships title. Stevens added a third international medal to his two gold medals, a silver at the Youth Continental Championships, to quickly rise to the top of the world in boxing. 2019 will mark his elite debut, and we cannot wait to see what the year has in store for him!

2. Heaven Garcia’s Close to Golden Youth Career


2018 marked the final year of highly successful youth Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.), as well as her highly anticipated elite debut. Garcia, who won the 2015 Junior World Championship title, started her year winning the 2018 Youth Continental Championships before grabbing her second World Championships gold medal in Budapest, Hungary. Garcia closed out her impressive youth career with a bronze medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Garcia picked up a silver medal and punched her way onto USA Boxing’s Elite High Performance Squad following her first Elite National Championships this December.

1. Khalil Coe’s Knockout Heard Around the World


At this year’s Chemistry Cup in Germany, one punch by light heavyweight Khalil Coe (Jersey City, N.J.) was heard around the world. Coe knocked out Cuban legend Julio Cesar La Cruz, the 2016 Olympic Champion and five-time World Champion to win gold at his first international tournament. That tournament was a breakout performance for Coe, which was his 25th bout in his young career. Earlier in the tournament, Coe also knocked out Slovakia’s Matus Strnisko.