(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Three American boxers kept their winning streaks in tact on Wednesday at the 2014 Youth World Championships at the Armeec Arena in Sofia, Bulgaria. 2013 Junior World Champions Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) and Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) both advanced to their second straight World Championship finale while 2014 Youth Continental Champion Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) claimed his first World Championships final round berth with wins in semifinal action today. 2014 Youth Continental Champion Martha Fabela (Oakland, Calif.) will take home a bronze medal from Bulgaria following her semifinal loss.
Gonzalez once again overwhelmed her opponent with her patented punch output, controlling her lightweight match-up with Ukraine’s Anhelina Bondarenko in Team USA’s first bout of the day. The 17-year-old earned a unanimous decision win over Bondarenko in the semifinal showdown to move on to a championship round contest with Turkey’s Esra Yildiz.
Stevenson faced off with China’s L V Ping in flyweight semifinal action on Wednesday evening in Bulgaria. The 16-year-old American extended his international winning streak to 12 straight victories with a 3-0 decision over Ping. Stevenson will compete for flyweight gold on Thursday in a match-up with Great Britain’s Muhammad Ali.
Both Gonzalez and Stevenson can become the first U.S. boxers ever to win both a junior world championship and youth world title with victories in Thursday’s final round action. The pair is a combined 22-0 in international action over the past two years.
Rock joined Stevenson and Gonzalez in the final round with his second stoppage victory of the tournament on Wednesday night. He once again won the first round of his bout on all three judges’ scorecards and then turned up the heat in the second round of his super heavyweight contest with Hungary’s Lazlo Komor. Rock stopped Komor at the 1:18 mark of the second round to move on to the championship bout. He will battle Germany’s Peter Kadiru in the super heavyweight finale on Thursday.
Fabela is competing in her second international tournament with only one bout of experience at the Youth Continental Championships to prepare her for the best youth boxers in the world. She advanced all the way to today’s semifinal round before falling to Australia’s Caitlin Parker by a 3-0 decision in today’s middleweight competition. Fabela will win a bronze medal for her performance in Bulgaria.
2014 Youth World Championships final round competition will begin at 2 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT) at the Armeec Arena in Sofia, Bulgaria. Stevenson will compete in the second bout, Rock will box in bout 10 and Gonzalez will be the final U.S. boxer to take the ring in bout 12.
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.
114 lbs/male: Shakur Stevenson, Newark, N.J./USA dec. L V Ping, CHN, 3-0
132 lbs/female: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA dec. Anhelina Bondarenko, UKR, 3-0
165 lbs/female: Caitlin Parker, AUS, dec. Martha Fabela, Oakland, Calif./USA , 3-0
201+ lbs/male: Darmani Rock, Philadelphia, Pa./USA won on TKO over Lazlo Komor, HUN, TKO-2 (1:18)
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).