Golden Finale for Team USA at 2019 Emil Jechev Tournament; Blackwell Takes Silver

April 05, 2019, 12:33 p.m. (ET)

The finale of the 2019 Emil Jechev Tournament was golden for Team USA, as the young American team grabbed four golds and one silver to add to the two bronze medals won yesterday.


Angel Barrientes (Las Vegas, Nev.) kicked off the championship round by taking all five judges cards over Bulgaria’s Ergyunal Sabri to grab the first gold of the day and his third unanimous decision victory of the tournament.  Flyweight Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) continued Team USA’s winning ways in the second bout of the day. Harvey’s 4-1 decision over Yasen Radev of Bulgaria earned him his first international title.


Lightweight Ernesto Mercado (Pomona, Calif.) and light heavyweight Dante Benjamin (Cleveland, Ohio) grabbed the third and fourth gold medals for USA Boxing with unanimous victories over Russian duo Mikhail Silenskii and Vasily Kaverin, respectively. Both wins were their first international titles.


Super heavyweight Jett Blackwell (Fresno, Calif.) closed out the tournament by just falling short of victory over Damil Sharafutdinov of Russia to take the silver. Blackwell’s teammates Armani Almestica (Orlando, Fla.) and Ralph Clemente (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) added two bronze medals to Team USA’s collection in yesterday’s semifinal bouts.


Team USA leaves Botevgrad, Bulgaria with seven medals, four gold, one silver and two bronze. The team was led by USA Boxing National Junior and Youth Coach Augie Sanchez (Las Vegas, Nev.), with Adonis Frazier (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Pete Rojas (Grand Prairie, Texas) assisting. Liz Podominick (Colorado Springs, Colo.) served as the Team Manager. The team will return to the United States tomorrow.



Finals Results

49 kg: Angel Barrientes, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Ergyunal Sabri/BUL, 5-0

52 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. over Yasen Radev/BUL, 4-1

60 kg: Ernesto Mercado, Pomona, Calif./USA, dec. over Mikhail Silenskii/RUS, 5-0

81 kg: Dante Benjamin, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, dec. over Vasily Kaverin/RUS, 5-0

91+ kg: Damil Sharafutdinov/RUS, dec. over Jett Blackwell, Fresno, Calif./USA, 3-0