Youth Team Secures Seven Medals at 2019 Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament

April 03, 2019, 4:17 p.m. (ET)

Team USA is guaranteed seven medals after picking up five more wins on the third day of boxing at the 2019 Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament in Botevgrad, Bulgaria.


The first session saw the young American team go 3-0 with Armani Almestica (Orlando, Fla.) and Ralph Clemente (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) having impressive international debuts in their first outing in this tournament.


Almestica took all five judges cards over Russian Pasul Dzhappuev, while the referee stopped Clemente’s in the second round against Yurii Vakiv of Ukraine. Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) was the third member of Team USA to advance to the semifinals and secure a medal in the first session with his unanimous decision win over Luiz De Oliveria.


Lightweight Ernesto Mercado (Pomona, Calif.) picked up where he left off yesterday with another dominating performance over the home countries Bozhidar Dzhrov. Mercado took all five judges cards to advance to tomorrow’s semifinal bouts.


Heavyweight Michael Hudson (Milton, Ga.) fell short in his international debut, where he faced an experienced Wilfried Florentin of France, while teammate Marcel Balatier (Miami Gardens, Fla.) had to pull out of his quarterfinals bout.


Almestica, Clemente, Harvey and Mercado will return to the ring tomorrow, along with Angel Barrientes (Las Vegas, Nev.), Dante Benjamin (Cleveland, Ohio) and Jett Blackwell (Fresno, Calif.), who will be stepping into the ring for the first time in this tournament. All seven boxers are guaranteed at least a bronze medal, and a victory tomorrow will place them into Friday’s championship bouts.


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Day 3 Results

52 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, vs. Luiz De Oliveira/BRA, 5-0

56 kg: Daniele Salerno/ITA, won by walkover over Marcel Balatier, Miami Gardens, Fla./USA , WO

60 kg: Ernesto Mercado, Pomona, Calif./USA, dec. over Bozhidar Dzhrov/BUL, 5-0

64 kg: Armani Almestica, Orlando, Fla./USA, dec. over Pasul Dzhappuev/RUS, 5-0

75 kg: Ralph Clemente, Ronkonkoma, N.Y./USA, won by RSC over Yurii Vakiv/UKR, RSC-2

91 kg: Wilfried Florentin/FRA, won by TKO over Michael Hudson, Milton, Ga./USA, TKO


Day 4 Schedule

49 kg: Angel Barrientes, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, vs. Nicolino Platania/ITA

52 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, vs. Marian Radu/ROU

60 kg: Ernesto Mercado, Pomona, Calif./USA, vs. Ion Croft/WAL

64 kg: Armani Almestica, Orlando, Fla./USA, vs. Garan Croft/WAL

75 kg: Ralph Clemente, Ronkonkoma, N.Y./USA, vs. Gabriel Veocic/CRO

81 kg: Dante Benjamin, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, vs. Petar Lesmur/CRO

91+ kg: Jett Blackwell, Fresno, Calif./USA, vs. Leonit Kuci/KOS