(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Three young American boxers earned preliminary round wins on Friday at the 2014 Youth World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. The U.S. squad won their first three bouts of the day as female competitors Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and Martha Fabela (Oakland, Calif.) both earned spots in the quarterfinal round and male bantamweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) stopped his opponent in afternoon action. The American team didn’t enjoy as much luck in the evening session as light welterweight Jonathan Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) and middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland, Ohio) both dropped their tournament openers.
Gonzalez kicked off the action for the United States squad in a lightweight showdown with fellow 2012 Junior World Champion. She battled Poland’s Justyna Walas in her third bout of the tournament with both boxers looking to secure a spot in the quarterfinal round. Gonzalez swept the judges’ scorecards, taking a 3-0 victory over Walas to move on to a Monday match-up with 2013 Youth World Champion Agnes Alexiusson of Sweden.
Fabela, the 2014 Youth Continental Champion, secured her second straight victory of the Youth World Championships in a bout with Nigeria’s Celina Agwu. She claimed the second win of the day for the United States team with a unanimous decision win over Agwu in their middleweight match-up. Fabela will face Turkey’s Sema Caliksan for a spot in the medal round on Monday.
Balderas won his second stoppage win of the tournament on Friday in his preliminary round contest with Kenya’s Said Baguani. After winning a first round TKO in the opening seconds of his first bout on Tuesday, Balderas stopped Baguani at the 2:05 mark of the third round in Friday’s bantamweight contest. His second straight TKO moves Balderas on to a third round match-up with Cuba’s Javier Ibanez on Sunday afternoon.
In men’s light welterweight action, Navarro fell by the slimmest of margins to Turkey’s Furken Avci, his preliminary round opponent. Avci took the bout by a 2-1 split decision with the judges giving the Turkish boxer the bout by only one point.
Conwell was the final U.S. boxer to compete in Friday’s action and he lost a 3-0 decision to Australia’s Satali Tevin-Fuimaono in middleweight action.
Three American boxers will compete for the first time at the 2014 Youth World Championships on Saturday at the Armeec Arena. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) and light heavyweight Sharif Rahman (Las Vegas, Nev.) will each face Romanian opponents, battling Alexandru Ionita and Paul Aradoaie respectively. Welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.) will take on Shabbos Negmatulloev of Tajikistan in his tournament debut.
Coaches Pedro Roque (Colorado Springs, Colo.), David Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), and Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) are leading the United States team at the international event in Bulgaria with Dr. Ralph Bohm (Dix Hills, N.Y.) serving as the team physician.
For additional information on the 2014 Youth World Championships and links to the online stream of the action, go to http://boxingsofia2014.org.
123 lbs/male: Carlos Balderas, Santa Maria, Calif./USA won on TKO over Said Baguani, KEN, TKO-3 (2:05)
132 lbs/female: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA dec. Justyna Walas, POL, 3-0
141 lbs/male: Furken Avci, TUR, dec. Jonathan Navarro, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, 2-1
165 lbs/female: Martha Fabela, Oakland, Calif./USA dec. Quynh Diemluum VIE, 3-0
165 lbs/male: Satali Tevin-Fuimaono, AUS, dec. Charles Conwell, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, 3-0
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).