(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA swept all four of the squad’s quarterfinal bouts on Wednesday at the Independence Cup in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The squad’s two heavyweights, Sardius Simmons (Flint, Mich.) and Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) opened competition with convincing TKO victories in their preliminary round contests. 2012 Olympian Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) earned her second straight unanimous decision of the tournament and light welterweight Abraham Nova (Albany, N.Y.) advanced in a walkover in his quarterfinal match.
Underwood moved on to her second straight Independence Cup semifinal contest on Wednesday with a semifinal victory over host nation boxer Jasiel Cena Milkien of the Dominican Republic. The Olympian’s unanimous decision win set up a semifinal match-up with a familiar face to Underwood – Pan American Games champion Kiria Tapia of Puerto Rico. Thursday’s showdown between the two boxers will be a rematch from the 2013 Independence Cup semifinal match-up, which Tapia pulled out by one point.
Simmons battled the Dominican Republic’s Jose Almonte in his first major international bout on Wednesday. The 20-year-old put an early end to his contest with Almonte, stopping him in the second round of their heavyweight match-up. Simmons will face Mexico’s Brandon Olvera Hernandez in semifinal action on Thursday in Santiago.
Awesome enjoyed the same success in his tournament opener with a home nation foe in Wednesday’s quarterfinal competition. He took the final victory of the night for Team USA with a second round TKO over Nilson Perez Abigail in super heavyweight competition. Awesome will battle Edgar Alberto Ramirez Vargas of Mexico on Thursday night for a berth in the super heavyweight finale.
Following a walkover win on Wednesday, Nova will challenge the Dominican Republic’s Wascar Ramiez in light welterweight semifinal competition on Thursday. Light welterweight Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) enjoyed a rest day on Wednesday after earning his spot in the semifinals with victories on Monday and Tuesday. Gamez will face off with Luis Salazar of the Dominican Republic in tonight’s lightweight semifinal competition.
Coaches Enrique Cedeno (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jason Crutchfield (Flint, Mich.) and Luis Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) are leading the squad in Santiago with Dr. Robin Goodfellow (Albion, Mich.) serving as the Team Physician at her second straight Independence Cup.
132 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash./USA dec. Jasiel Cena Milkien, DOM, 3-0
141 lbs/male: Abraham Nova, Albany, N.Y./USA won on walkover over Juan Pablo Romero Marin, MEX, W/O
201 lbs/male: Sardius Simmons, Flint, Mich./USA won on TKO over Jose Almonte, DOM, TKO-2
201+ lbs/male: Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas won on TKO over Nilson Perez Abigail, DOM, TKO-2
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).