THE 2015 USA Boxing Elite National Championships concluded with 20 final round bouts at Northern Quest’s Pend Oreile Pavilion on Saturday. The championship bouts held special importance for the elite men with the 10 gold medalists earning Olympic Trials berths. All six finalists in the women’s Olympic weight divisions clinched their Olympic Trials berths with semifinal victories on Friday.
For the third straight year, 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2014 World Champion Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and two-time USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) battled for flyweight gold at Northern Quest. As usual, the two boxers entertained the crowd with an exciting bout and both pugilists enjoyed strong crowd support. Yet there could only be one champion and Esparza took her record-breaking ninth USA Boxing national championship with a 3-0 decision over Fuchs. Esparza also received the Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament award for her record-breaking performance. Both boxers clinched Olympic Trials berth with top two finishes in the tournament.
The male flyweights put on a show as well in their championship bout at the Pend Oreile Pavilion. 2013 youth national champion Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) took his first elite division crown with another strong performance in flyweight competition. Vargas defeated Khalid Twaiti (Brooklyn, N.Y.) on a unanimous decision to win gold and a berth in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
The lightweights took center stage in the next two bouts in Spokane. 2012 USA Boxing national champion Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) claimed gold in the lightweight division in tonight’s action at Northern Quest. Mayer took a unanimous decision win over fellow California native Lisa Porter (Van Nuys, Calif.) to take the title. Both Mayer and Porter will be competing in their second straight Olympic Trials.
Another boxer fresh out of the youth division won gold in his first elite division tournament in the men’s lightweight division. Hector Tanajara (San Antonio, Texas) and defending champion Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) both stepped in to their ring for their fifth bout of the week on Saturday night. With both boxers’ fathers advising them in the corner, the two battled it out for the lightweight crown. It was youth winning over experience in the match-up as Tanajara won a unanimous decision victory to clinch a berth in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
In contrast to a first-time national champion, 2012 Olympian Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) won her eighth USA Boxing National title in the women’s light welterweight division. She took on Nakarri Jones (Tampa, Fla.) in her first light welterweight championship bout in several years. Underwood’s experience advantage was evident through the bout, leading to a TKO at the 1:00 mark of the fourth round and another gold medal for Underwood.
Neither men’s welterweight finalist had advanced to the gold medal bout in a USA Boxing National Championships previously, but Ardreal Holmes (Flint, Mich.) didn’t stop with just a final round berth. He took it one step further on Saturday night. Holmes earned a 3-0 decision over VeShawn Owens (St. Louis Park, Minn.) to win gold and punch his ticket for the Olympic Trials.
Flint enjoyed more success in the women’s middleweight bout between 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2014 World Champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) and 2012 World Championships silver medalist Raquel Miller (San Diego, Calif.). The two familiar foes battled for four strong rounds before Shields won a 2-1 victory for her second straight USA Boxing National Championship. Both Shields and Miller will make a return performance at the 2016 Olympic Team Trials.
In men’s light heavyweight competition, WSB and World Championship Team Trials silver medalist Julio Perez Campusano (Roxbury, Mass.) competed in his second straight national tournament finale. He will return home with silver once again following a split decision win by Edward Ortiz (San Antonio, Texas) in their championship round bout. Ortiz takes home the gold medal as well as clinching an Olympic Trials berth.
A third former youth champion won gold in the super heavyweight finale. 2014 Youth World Champion and Youth Olympic silver medalist Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) closed his successful transition to the elite division with a unanimous decision over Marlo Moore (Hayward, Calif.) in their final round contest.
Spokane’s own version of Rocky closed the night and the event in yet another fan-friendly contest. Patrick Ferguson (Spokane, Wash.) entered his first national tournament with only 10 bouts of experience but that didn’t stop the hard-charging boxer from knocking off opponent after opponent. He defeated 2014 silver medalist Sardius Simmons (Flint, Mich.) in quarterfinal competition and recorded a TKO in his semifinal contest to move on to Saturday’s finals. With a full pavilion packed with Ferguson supporters, he closed his run at the gold with a unanimous decision win over Vardan Khachatrian (Los Angeles, Calif.) as his fans roar nearly drowned out the sound of the final bell. Yet his amazing week didn’t end with a gold medal and Olympic Trials berth, he also received the Outstanding Boxer of the Tournament win for his improbable gold medal performance.
Two light flyweight bouts kicked off final round action on Saturday afternoon and Maureeca Lambert (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) opened the show with a strong performance in her championship match-up with Brittany Delgado (Center Moriches, N.Y.). Lambert stopped Delgado in the third round of their 106-pound bout to take the first gold medal of the tournament.
In men’s light flyweight action, Melik Elliston (Denver, Colo.) clinched a berth in his first Olympic Team Trials with a victory over Pablo Ramirez (Weslaco, Texas). Elliston defeated Ramirez by a 3-0 margin to take the light flyweight championship.
It was a familiar face taking gold in the women’s bantamweight division. Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) won the bantamweight title for the third straight year, earning a TKO victory over Jennifer Chieng (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in their Big Apple showdown.
A second straight New York City boxer claimed gold in the men’s bantamweight division. Christopher Colbert (Brooklyn, N.Y.) won his first USA Boxing National Championship as well as a berth in the Olympic Trials with a 2-1 win over Rudy Garcia (Los Angeles, Calif.) in the fourth bout of the day.
2012 World Champion and 2014 World Championships bronze medalist Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) defended her featherweight national title in final round action with Ashleigh Moore (Buzzards, Mass.). Brown boxed her way to a unanimous decision victory in the featherweight title bout to once again claim gold.
The men’s light welterweight division featured the first 2015 men’s national champion returning to Olympic Trials action in 2016. Luis Feliciano (Milwaukee, Wis.) competed in the 2012 qualifying event but after suffering a shoulder injury, underwent major surgery before returning to boxing action in 2014. He won his first USA Boxing national title with a unanimous decision win over Eduardo Garcia (Houston, Texas) on Saturday afternoon.
Welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) won her third straight national championship in a hard fought bout with 2013 youth national champion Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.). Wolf took a split decision victory over Kinchen to successfully defend her title.
It was a different story in the men’s middleweight division where two-time national champion Leshawn Rodriquez (Medford, N.Y.) took on 2014 USA Boxing National Championships welterweight silver medalist Chordelle Booker (Brooklyn, N.Y.). The two battled in an extremely close bout, but at the end of three rounds, an emotional Booker won a 2-1 decision for his USA Boxing national championship and a berth in the 2016 Olympic Trials.
Two women’s bouts in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions closed the early session at Northern Quest. Multi-time national champion Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) racked up another title with the 2015 crown coming in the light heavyweight division. Crews defeated 2014 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Heidi Henriksen (St. Louis Park, Minn.) by a 3-0 score to win gold.
A first-time USA Boxing national champion won the final gold medal of early action. Shadasia Green (Paterson, N.J.) defeated reigning titlist Krystal Dixon (New Rochelle, N.Y.) by unanimous decision to claim the heavyweight championship.
There will be three more Olympic Trials qualifying events for the elite men and two more for the elite women with the locations and dates currently being confirmed. More information on those tournaments will be released as soon as it is available.
Saturday’s Championship Bout Results
106 lbs/female: Maureeca Lambert, Glen Ellyn, Ill., won on TKO over Brittany Delgado, Center Moriches, N.Y., TKO-3 (1:54)
108 lbs/male: Melik Elliston, Denver, Colo., dec. Pablo Ramirez, Weslaco, Texas, 3-0
112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas dec. Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas, 3-0
114 lbs/male: Antonio Vargas, Kissimmee, Fla., dec. Khalid Twaiti, Denver, Colo., 3-0
119 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., won on TKO over Jennifer Chieng, Brooklyn, N.Y., TKO
123 lbs/male: Christopher Colbert, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Rudy Garcia, Los Angeles, Calif., 2-1
125 lbs/female: Tiara Brown, Fort Myers, Fla., dec. Ashleigh Moore, Buzzards, Mass., 3-0
132 lbs/female: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Lisa Porter, Van Nuys, Calif., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Hector Tanajara, San Antonio, Texas dec. Genaro Gamez, San Diego, Calif., 3-0
141 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash., won on TKO over Nakarri Jones, Tampa, Fla., TKO-4 (1:00)
141 lbs/male: Luis Feliciano, Milwaukee, Wis., dec. Eduardo Garcia, Houston, Texas, 3-0
152 lbs/female: Danyelle Wolf, San Diego, Calif., dec. Samantha Kinchen, Lexington, Ky., 2-1
152 lbs/male: Ardreal Holmes, Flint, Mich., dec. VeShawn Owens, St. Louis Park, Minn., 3-0
165 lbs/female: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich., dec. Raquel Miller, San Diego, Calif., 2-1
165 lbs/male: Chordelle Booker, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Leshawn Rodriquez, Medford, N.Y., 2-1
178 lbs/female: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., dec. Heidi Henriksen, St. Louis Park, Minn., 3-0
178 lbs/male: Edward Ortiz, San Antonio, Texas dec Julio Perez Campusano, Roxbury, Mass., 2-1
178+ lbs/female: Shadasia Green, Paterson, N.J., dec. Krystal Dixon, New Rochelle, N.Y., 3-0
201 lbs/male: Patrick Ferguson, Spokane, Wash., dec. Vardan Khachatrian, Los Angeles, Calif., 3-0
201+ lbs/male: Darmani Rock, Philadelphia, Pa., dec. Marlo Moore, Hayward, Calif., 3-0
SEE BELOW FOR THE SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
The 2015 USA Boxing Elite National Championships relocated on Friday, moving from the HUB Sports Center to Northern Quest Resort and Casino’s Pend Oreile Pavilion for two sessions of semifinal round competition.
The top two finishers in the three Olympic weight divisions from this week’s national championships clinched the first berths in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing and the intensity of the semifinal round reflected the importance of the bouts. 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and newly crowned world champion Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) grabbed the first spot of the Olympic Trials with a dominating 3-0 victory over former featherweight champion Melissa Parker (Fort Carson, Colo.) in the opening bout of the evening session. Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) claimed the second spot with a 3-0 win of her own over two-time light flyweight titlist Alex Love (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Esparza and Fuchs will battle for USA Boxing National Championships gold for the third straight year on Saturday night.
Two 2012 Olympic Trials participants will make a return visit in 2016 following lightweight semifinal action. Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) snagged the first spot with a 3-0 win over Carmen Vargas (Houston, Texas) in their semifinal showdown. The 2012 World Championships medalist will face Lisa Porter (Van Nuys, Calif.) in the lightweight title bout on Saturday.
A long awaited rematch from the finals of the 2012 Olympic Trials took place in the first women’s middleweight bout of the day. 2012 Olympic gold medalist and reigning world champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) took on former national champion Tika Hemingway (Breckenridge, Pa.) for the first Olympic Trials berth in the middleweight division. Hemingway, who is coming back off a long layoff, showed very little ring rust in the highly anticipated match-up. She looked to make the Olympic champion uncomfortable and smother Shields’ shots in their semifinal match-up. Despite Hemingway’s strong start, Shields didn’t get flustered and stay focused on her game plan, particularly late in the bout. After four rounds of closely-contested action, the bout went to the scorecards and Shields took the decision on a split decision tiebreaker. She will challenge another familiar opponent, 2012 World Championships welterweight silver medalist Raquel Miller (San Diego, Calif.) in the finals. Miller clinched her Olympic Trials berth with a unanimous decision victory over Naomi Grahm (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Two 2013 youth national champions squared off in flyweight semifinal action on Friday at the Pend Oreile Pavilion. Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) and Gilbert Renteria (Houston, Texas) competed in an intense affair in the first elite division tournament for both boxers. Vargas closed the bout in impressive fashion on his way to a unanimous decision win. He will take on Khalid Twaiti (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for his first elite division gold medal on Saturday night.
Maliek Montgomery (Macon, Ga.) and Hector Tanajara (San Antonio, Texas) faced off in a battle of 2014 National Golden Gloves and National PAL champions in the lightweight division. Tanajara boxed his way to a split decision victory and a spot in the lightweight finale with reigning champion Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.).
In super heavyweight action, 2014 Youth World Champion Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) stepped up his competition level from his tournament opener to battle 2014 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Elvis Garcia (Tacoma, Wash.). Garcia gave Rock a much tougher test in their semifinal match-up but Rock pulled out the win by split decision to advance to final round competition.
In the day’s early action, bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) once again earned a final round berth following a first round TKO due to injury in her semifinal bout with Rory Santos (Jber, Alaska). She will take on Jennifer Chieng (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in final round competition on Saturday afternoon.
2012 World Champion Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) saw her first action of the 2015 USA Boxing Elite National Championships following a walkover win in Thursday’s quarterfinals. She battled Indeya Smith (Grand Prairie, Texas) in the semifinal round, utilizing her significant height advantage to win a unanimous decision. Brown will take on Ashleigh Moore (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) for the featherweight title in championship round action on Saturday.
The men’s light welterweight division featured an action-packed bout between Luis Feliciano (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Rahim Gonzales (Sylmar, Calif.) in the second semifinal match-up. Gonzales got off to a strong start but Feliciano stole the momentum late in the fight, giving Gonzales a standing eight count. He moved one step closer to his second straight Olympic Trials with a 3-0 decision over Gonzales. He will battle Eduardo Garcia (Houston, Texas) in the championship bout.
The welterweight championship bout will feature a match-up between two-time elite national champion Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) and 2013 youth titlist Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.) following semifinal victories by both former gold medalists. Wolf took a unanimous decision over Catarina Lentini (Bethlehem, Pa.) while Kinchen defeated Melissa Kelly (Everett, Mass.) by the same margin.
Two-time men’s middleweight champion Leshawn Rodriquez (Medford, N.Y.) once again advanced to the tournament finale with a unanimous decision win over Christopher Thompson (Flint, Mich.). He will face 2014 welterweight silver medalist Chordelle Booker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in the middleweight finale on Saturday afternoon.
Hometown hero Patrick Ferguson (Spokane, Wash.) continued his improbable run through the tournament in the final bout of the early session with Kato Montgomery (Garfield Heights, Ohio). Montgomery grabbed the early momentum but Ferguson didn’t get discouraged and continued to press forward. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the bout, he won a TKO victory over Montgomery to earn a final round berth along with Vardan Khatachatran (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Friday’s Semifinal Results
112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas dec. Melissa Parker, Fort Carson, Colo., 3-0
112 lbs/female: Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas, dec. Alex Love, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3-0
114 lbs/male: Khalid Twaiti, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Luis Delgado, San Antonio, Texas, 2-1
114 lbs/male: Antonio Vargas, Kissimmee, Fla., dec. Gilbert Renteria, Houston, Texas, 3-0
132 lbs/female: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Carmen Vargas, Houston, Texas, 3-0
132 lbs/female: Lisa Porter, Van Nuys, Calif., dec. Mioshia Wagoner, Lawrence, Kansas, 2-1
132 lbs/male: Hector Tanajara, San Antonio, Texas dec. Maliek Montgomery, Macon, Ga., 2-1
132 lbs/male: Genaro Gamez, San Diego, Calif., dec. Jamaine Ortiz-Rodriguez, Worcester, Mass., 3-0
141 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash., dec. Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass., 2-1
141 lbs/female: Nakarri Jones, Tampa, Fla., dec. Nisa Rodriguez, Bronx, N.Y., 2-1
152 lbs/male: Ardreal Holmes, Flint, Mich., dec. John Williams, Baton Rouge, La., 3-0
152 lbs/male: VeShawn Owens, St. Louis Park, Minn., dec. Paul Kroll, Philadelphia, Pa., 3-0
165 lbs/female: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich., dec. Tika Hemingway, Breckenridge, Pa., 2-1
165 lbs/female: Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif., dec. Naomi Graham, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3-0
178 lbs/male: Edward Ortiz, San Antonio, Texas dec. Niko Valdes, Miami, Fla., 3-0
178 lbs/male: Julio Perez Campusano, Roxbury, Mass., won on technical knockout over Tory Williams, Mandeville, La., TKO-1
201+ lbs/male: Darmani Rock, Philadelphia, Pa., dec. Elvis Garcia, Tacoma, Wash., 2-1
201+ lbs/male: Marlo Moore, Hayward, Calif., dec. Alante Green, Garfield, Ohio, 3-0
106 lbs/female: Maureeca Lambert, Glen Ellyn, Ill., dec. Felicia O’Brien, Sudbury, Mass., TKO-3
106 lbs/female: Brittany Delgado, Center Moriches, N.Y., dec. Arlene Villalobos, Whittier, Calif., 3-0
108 lbs/male: Melik Elliston, Denver, Colo., won on TKO over Adrian Ghisoiu, Junction City, Kansas, TKO-3
108 lbs/male: Pablo Ramirez, Weslaco, Texas dec. Shurretta Metcalf, Dallas, Texas, 3-0
119 lbs/female: Jennifer Chieng, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Shurretta Metcalf, Dallas, Texas, 2-1
119 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., won on TKO over Rory Santos, Jber, Ak., TKOI-1
123 lbs/male: Rudy Garcia, Los Angeles, Calif., dec. Anthony Chavez, San Bernadino, Calif., 2-1
123 lbs/male: Christopher Colbert, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Michael Angeletti, Spring, Texas, 3-0
125 lbs/female: Ashleigh Moore, Buzzards Bay, Mass., dec. Leesa Daniel, Austin, Texas, 2-1
125 lbs/female: Tiara Brown, Hyattsville, Md., dec. Indeya Smith, Grand Prairie, Texas, 3-0
141 lbs/male: Eduardo Garcia, Houston, Texas dec. David Mijares, Pasadena, Calif., 2-1
141 lbs/male: Luis Feliciano, Milwaukee, Wis., dec. Rahim Gonzales, Sylmar, Calif., 3-0
152 lbs/female: Samantha Kinchen, Lexington, Ky., dec. Melissa Kelly, Everett, Wash., 3-0
152 lbs/female: Danyelle Wolf, San Diego, Calif., dec. Catarina Lentini, Bethlehem, Pa.,
165 lbs/male: Leshawn Rodriguez, Medford, N.Y., dec. Christopher Thompson, Flint, Mich., 3-0
165 lbs/male: Chordelle Booker, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Randy Foster, Covington, Ga., 3-0
178 lbs/female: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., won on TKO over Joy Rotstein, Brooklyn, N.Y., TKO-1
201 lbs/male: Vardan Khachatrian, Los Angeles, Calif., won on TKO over Ryan Watson, Duluth, Minn., TKO-1
201 lbs/male: Patrick Ferguson, Spokane, Wash., won on TKO over Kato Montgomery, Garfield Heights, Ohio, TKO-3