(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA enjoyed an undefeated opening day at the 2014 Cheo Aponte Tournament in Caguas, Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Female flyweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), male flyweight Malik Jackson (Washington DC) and male lightweight Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) each recorded first round victories in the international tournament, which runs through Saturday.
Jackson took the ring first for his United States squad and he earned a unanimous decision win over host nation boxer Jesus Garcia of Puerto Rico in their flyweight match-up. Cruz also faced off with a Puerto Rican boxer in her opening bout, battling Monica Gonzalez in flyweight action. She didn’t let the bout go to the judges, stopping Gonzalez in the third round of their match-up to claim the TKO victory. Gamez closed day one action for Team USA, winning a 3-0 decision over Brazil’s Max Santos in lightweight competition.
Four American boxers will compete in today’s action in Puerto Rico with solely male athletes taking the ring for the U.S. squad. Bantamweight Jarico O’Quinn (Detroit, Mich.) will face off with the Dominican Republic’s Alfredo Santiago in his opener while light welterweight Abraham Nova (Albany, N.Y.) takes on the Bahamas’ Rahshield Williams. The two American heavyweights will close the day’s competition for the U.S. squad with heavyweight Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) challenging Brazil’s Juan Nogueira and international veteran Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) battling hometown boxer and familiar foe Gerardo Bisbal of Puerto Rico.
A trio of U.S. boxers will compete for the first time on Friday. 2012 Olympic flyweight bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) will face Puerto Rico’s Rose Matos in her first bout of the tournament while female lightweight Melissa Parker (Fountain, Colo.) takes on Guatemala’s Karen Perez. Male light welterweight Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas) will await the winner of the preliminary bout between Puerto Rico and Brazil.
Reigning Olympic champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) will compete in her first elite division international bout on Saturday in the female middleweight championship bout with the Dominican Republic’s Yenebian Guilla.
USA Boxing International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Luis Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) and Jerrick Jones (Albany, N.Y.) are leading the U.S. team in Puerto Rico with Dr. Lucien Parillo (Wallingford, Conn.) joining the squad as the Team Physician and David Zawacki (Reno, Nev.) serving as the AIBA official.
Wednesday’s U.S. Results
112 lbs/male: Malik Jackson, Washington DC/USA dec. Jesus Garcia, PUR, 3-0
112 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y./USA won on TKO over Monica Gonzalez, PUR, TKO-3
132 lbs/male: Genaro Gamez, San Diego, Calif./USA dec. Max Santos, BRA, 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).