Boxing


Team USA’s Marlen Esparza and Christina Cruz the Open 2012 World Championships in Victorious Fashion While Raquel Miller Notches Second Win

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Former flyweight foes Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) opened 2012 Women's World Championships with first round victories in Qinhuangdao, China on Sunday. Esparza, who competes in the flyweight division, took her first step toward international qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games in London with an opening bout win in the qualifying tournament.

Esparza faced Argentina's Paola Benavidez in the flyweight preliminary round contest and she continued her impressive results against opponents from her continent, winning a 20-10 decision. Benavidez kept the bout close through the first two rounds as Esparza took a 3-1 lead after the first round and held an 8-6 advantage at the midway mark of the bout. Yet the 22-year-old six-time national champion grabbed full control of the match in the third, nearly doubling her point total while holding Benavidez to only one point in the round. She took a 15-7 lead into the final stanza and continued to add to her margin of victory over the final two minutes to win a 20-10 final decision. She will return to action on Tuesday in a bout with Vietnam’s Luu Thi Duyen.

Cruz, who previously competed at the flyweight division but moved up to bantamweight after the Olympic Trials, enjoyed a strong victory in her bantamweight preliminary round bout with Nicole Michel of Switzerland. The American boxer held Michele scoreless in the opening round, claiming a 3-0 lead after the first two minutes of the bout. She let her hands fly in the second, moving out a 6-2 lead over Michele at the halfway point of the bantamweight contest. Yet Cruz didn't sit on her lead in the final four minutes. She held a 14-6 lead as the bell for the final round rang and continued to pour it on in the fourth, winning a 22-8 final decision. She moves on to a match-up with Shora Rezaie Jahroni of Norway on Tuesday.

Welterweight Raquel Miller (San Francisco, Calif.) returned to the ring for her second bout of the tournament in a 2012 Women’s Continental Championships rematch with Canada’s Myriam DaSilva. It was the Canadian taking the first match-up a few weeks ago in her home nation but Miller avenged her loss with a tiebreaker win in China. The bout was extremely close through the first two rounds with Miller taking a slim one point lead after the second. She picked it up in the third and enjoyed a three-point edge with round remaining. DaSilva came flying back in the final round to tie the bout at 18-18, but Miller was named the winner on tiebreaker to advance in tournament action. She will face Turkey’s Bilgehan Karabult in Wednesday’s action.

Four U.S. boxers will compete on Sunday with Olympic hopefuls Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) and Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) returning to the ring and featherweight Tiara Brown (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) and light heavyweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) opening competition. Underwood will face off with New Zealand’s Alexis Pritchard with Shields battling World Championships silver medalist Savannah Marshall of England. Brown will battle India’s Mandakini Chanu Kangabam and Crews will take on France’s Sabrina Delarue on the fourth day of tournament action.

U.S. Results
112 lbs: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA dec. Paola Benavidez, ARG, 20-10
119 lbs: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y./USA dec. Nicole Michel, SUI, 22-8
152 lbs: Raquel Miller, San Francisco, Calif./USA dec. Myriam Da Silva, CAN, 18-18

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Team USA Enjoys a Medal Haul at the Americas Qualifier in Rio de Janeiro

(RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL) - The sight of an American boxer in the medal stand was a common occurrence at the Americas Qualifier tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The seven members of the United States team claimed six medals at the event, including three gold, in the final major international event prior to the 2012 Olympic Games. Team USA qualified six boxers at the event, bringing the total number of male U.S. boxers competing in London to nine.

The United States’ qualified total is tied for second largest of all the nations competing in the 2012 Olympics, trumping even perennial Olympic-style boxing powerhouses Russia and Cuba. Only Australia will take a full squad of 10 to London with Kazakhstan also taking nine male boxers.

Despite already having qualified their Olympic berths, the four Americas qualifier finalists from the United States came out firing on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. Team USA had a competitor in the last four bouts of championship night, beginning with middleweight Terrell Gausha (Cleveland, Ohio). Gausha battled the Dominican Republic's Junior Castillo in the middleweight final as the two faced off in a tactical showdown. Gausha held Castillo scoreless throughout the first two rounds of action, while finding spots for his own sharp and accurate punches. He took a 4-0 lead into the last round and boxed his way to a 6-2 final victory to win the first gold medal of the night for his U.S. team.

Gausha enjoyed a second cheering session on Saturday night with the Puerto Rican squad soundly behind the American boxer due to his gold medal finish also securing a berth for their middleweight, Enrique Collazo. With Gausha defeating Collazo in quarterfinal action and then winning first place, his championship night victory guaranteed the Puerto Rican boxer a fifth place finish and therefore a berth in London. Collazo congratulated Gausha and thanked him for the assistance following Gausha's championship bout.

Light heavyweight Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.) won his first international gold medal in Rio de Janeiro as well, finishing a tournament run that began with a first round stoppage last Sunday. Browne took on home nation boxer Yamaguchi Florentino of Brazil in the light heavyweight finale, but the loud Brazilian fans couldn't help their boxer solve the pugilistic puzzle Browne presented. The 21-year-old Olympic Trials winner and national champion showcased his signature power and speed early in the bout, catching Florentino with heavy shots. His efforts resulted in a standing eight count for Florentino late in the round and a 6-3 after one. The pace slowed in the second as Florentino was still unable to solve Browne's defense and he took a 9-3 lead into the last round. Browne held on to his lead over the final three minutes to take a 12-6 win over the frustrated Florentino.

Heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) took a gold medal in the last of three Americas Qualifier tournaments in his illustrious career. The 2008 Olympic Trials winner faced off with Argentina's Yamil Peralta in his championship contest and it was Hunter taking the early lead in the bout. He grabbed a 6-3 lead after the opening round and pushed it to a 9-5 advantage with one round remaining. Hunter held off a late comeback by Peralta to win a 12-10 decision and the third gold medal of the night for Team USA.

Super heavyweight Dominic Breazale (Alhambra, Calif.) closed out the night and the event with a championship round match-up with the heavy hitting Ytalo Perea of Ecuador in the first major event for the American boxer. Breazale took a 3-2 lead following the opening stanza, but Perea pulled the bout to an 8-8 tie after the second. The Ecuadoran boxer grabbed the momentum in the final round and claimed a 14-10 victory over Breazale, giving the boxer a silver medal in his first Americas Qualifier tournament.

In addition to the four final round U.S. participants, lightweight Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.) and light welterweight Jamel Herring (Coram, N.Y.) each won bronze medals at the event. Light flyweight Santos Vasquez (Reno, Nev.) was the lone U.S. boxer who did not qualify at the Americas Qualifier, dropping his event opener to eventual champion Jantony Ortiz of Puerto Rico.

Team USA’s outstanding week guaranteed the squad nine male boxers in London with the six event medalists joining the three athletes who qualified spots at the 2011 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. The nine male boxers representing the United States in London will be: flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio), bantamweight Joseph Diaz, Jr. (S. El Monte, Calif.), lightweight Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.), light welterweight Jamel Herring (Coram, N.Y.), welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas), middleweight Terrell Gausha (Cleveland, Ohio), light heavyweight Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.), heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.), and super heavyweight Dominic Breazale (Alhambra, Calif.).

U.S. Results

165 lbs: Terrell Gausha, Cleveland, Ohio/USA dec. Junior Castillo, DOM, 6-2
178 lbs: Marcus Browne, Staten Island, N.Y./USA dec. Yamaguchi Florentino, BRA, 12-6
201 lbs: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev./USA dec. Yami Peralta, ARG, 12-10
201+ lbs: Ytalo Perea, ECU, dec. Dominic Breazale, Alhambra, Calif./USA, 14-10


USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Golden Boy COO David Itskowitch & Boxing writer Mike Woods guest speakers At Tuesday's Ring 8 Meeting

NEW YORK, NY (May 14, 2012) - Tomorrow night's (Tuesday, May 15, 7 PM / ET) special guest speakers at the Ring 8 monthly meeting, held at the historic Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City, will be David Itskowitch, COO of Golden Boy Promotions, and award-winning boxing writer Mike Woods.

In 2007, Itskowitch was selected as the Chief Operating Officer for Golden Boy Promotions. The University of Wisconsin graduate previously served as Vice President of DiBella Entertainment and he also worked three years for HBO Sports.

Woods is a boxing writer for ESPN/NewYork.com and ESPN The Magazine, as well as editor-in-chief of www.thesweetscince.com. Mike, a Ring 8 member, also does color commentary for boxing broadcasts.

"We're very happy to have two guest speakers from completely different sides of the boxing industry," Ring 8 president Bob Duffy said. "I've known both of these young men for many years and they are highly respected in their fields. David can tell us about the monthly boxing shows Golden Boy will promote in New York City, starting later this year at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, in addition to discussing the business end of boxing. Mike has had his fingers on the pulse of boxing news, especially here in New York City, for many years. He has covered some of the biggest fights in boxing and written about a wide variety of fighters ranging from world champions to prospects. Mike has been very supportive of Ring 8 for a long time."

ABOUT RING 8: Formed in 1954 by an ex-prizefighter, Jack Grebelsky, Ring 8 became the eighth subsidiary of what was then known as the National Veteran Boxers Association - hence, RING 8 - and today the organization's motto still remains: Boxers Helping Boxers.

RING 8 is fully committed to supporting less fortunate people in the boxing community who may require assistance in terms of paying rent, medical expenses, or whatever justifiable need.

Go on line to www.Ring8ny.com for more information about RING 8, the largest group of its kind in the United States with more than 350 members. Annual membership dues is only $25.00 and each member is entitled to a buffet dinner at RING 8 monthly meetings, the third Tuesday of every month, excluding July and August. All active boxers, amateur and professional, are entitled to a complimentary RING 8 yearly membership.

Article posted on 14.05.2012



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