(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – USA Boxing’s elite women opened the 2015 international calendar with a victory on Tuesday at the Strandja Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. Lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) was the lone U.S. boxer to compete on opening night and she set a winning tone for her teammates in her bout with Belarus’ Ala Yarshevich.
Mayer won a unanimous decision over Yarshevich to advance on to Wednesday’s competition. Three more American boxers will compete alongside Mayer in tomorrow’s action. Flyweight Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) will take on host nation boxer Zlatislava Chukanova of Bulgaria in her tournament opener while bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) will battle Norway’s Camilla Johansen. Middleweight Tika Hemingway (Pittsburgh, Pa.) will compete on Wednesday as well, facing China’s Qian Li and light welterweight Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) will take the ring for a bout with Wenlu Yang of China on Thursday.
More than 75 women from 26 nations are competing in the 66th edition of the Strandja Tournament in Sofia. Preliminary competition will continue through Thursday with semifinals on Friday and the championship round action on Saturday.
Coaches Israel Acosta (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Andrews Soto (Phoenix, Ariz.) are leading the U.S. squad in the first international tournament of the year in Bulgaria.
132 lbs: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, dec. Ala Yarshevich, BLR, 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).