(SPOKANE, WASH.) – USA Boxing’s Pathway to the Podium series moves to Spokane this week for the 2015 USA Boxing Elite National Championships. The annual event holds special importance in 2015 with both male and female boxers earning Olympic Trials berths. The tournament kicked off with one session on Monday as the two deepest weight divisions boxed at the HUB Sports Center on opening night. A full 32-man bracket of lightweights took the ring along with 12 welterweight boxers in tonight’s competition.
Several top lightweights competed in the first session of the tournament with a rematch from the 2014 lightweight championship highlighting the evening’s action. Reigning national champion Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) and 2014 silver medalist Jousce Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) battled on opening night following the random computer draw. The 2015 contest went the distance but Gamez once again earned the victory, taking a 3-0 decision over Gonzalez.
2014 National PAL youth champion Hector Tanajara (San Antonio, Texas) competed in his first elite division bout on Monday and he made a successful debut, winning a 3-0 decision over Christopher Gooch (Ashburn, Va.).
The welterweight division boasts the most boxers of any weight division in the tournament and therefore will box every day of the 2015 USA Boxing Elite National Championships. Arthur Saakyan (Montebello, Calif.), Kevin Torres (Bellingham, Wash.), Damien Lopez (Burbank, Calif.), Abram Martinez (Greeley, Colo.), Veshawn Owens (St. Louis Park, Minn.), Andrick Robinson (Sacramento, Calif.) claimed the first six victories of the tournament in the welterweight division.
Four more weight divisions will open tournament competition on Tuesday with the male bantamweight, light welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight classes all debuting in second day action.
The champions in the 10 men’s weight divisions and the top two finishers in the women’s Olympic weight divisions will all earn Olympic Trials berths in Spokane. Just under 260 boxers registered for the 2015 event, marking a large increase from the 2014 tournament.
Preliminary competition will take place at noon and 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the HUB Sports Center.
Monday’s Preliminary Results
132 lbs/male: Maliek Montgomery, Macon, Ga., dec. Jose Gonzalez, Harlem, N.Y., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Jesse Garcia, Kingwood, Texas, dec. Raul Estrada, Aloha, Ore., 2-1
132 lbs/male: Abel Mendoza, El Paso, Texas, dec. Gabriel Chacon, Hollywood, Fla., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Roberto Meza, Temecula, Calif., dec. Demarco Carter, Madison, Wis., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Rodrigo Rubio, Waterloo, Iowa, dec. Jesus Arevalo, Sierra Vista, Ariz., 2-1
132 lbs/male: Nasir Jones, Philadelphia, Pa., dec. Herkin de la Rosa, Union City, N.J., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Francisco Esparza, Las Vegas, Nev., dec. Rajiv Hernandez, Cleveland, Ohio, 3-0
132 lbs/male: Hector Tanajara, San Antonio, Texas dec. Christopher Gooch, Ashburn, Va., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Titus Williams, Elmont, N.Y., dec. Jude Franklin, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2-1
132 lbs/male: Charles Vasquez Vera, New Port Richey, Fla., dec. Brannon Terry, Little Rock, Ark., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Rosino Legan, Gilroy, Calif., dec. Mariel Crumby, Compton, calif., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Lorenzo Caldera, Portland, Ore., dec. Rock Myrthil, Las Vegas, Nev., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Genaro Gamez, San Diego, Calif., dec. Jousce Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif., 3-0
132 lbs/male: Jamaine Ortiz-Rodriguez, Worcester, Mass., dec. Jerll Barbour, Tacoma, Wash., 2-1
132 lbs/male: Treven Coleman-Avant, Omaha, Neb., dec. Israel Medina, Youngsville, La., 2-1
132 lbs/male: Jesus Vasquez, Englewood, Colo., dec. Thomas Walters, Cypress, Calif., 3-0
152 lbs/male: Arthur Saakyan, Montebello, Calif., dec. Quinton Randall, Katy, Texas, 3-0
152 lbs/male: Kevin Torres, Bellingham, Wash., dec. Devlin Thompson, Omaha, Neb., 2-1
152 lbs/male: Damien Lopez, Burbank, Calif., dec. Jacob Operskalski, Oakland, Calif., 3-0
152 lbs/male: Abram Martinez, Greeley, Colo., dec. Ivan Pandzic, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., 3-0
152 lbs/male: VeShawn Owens, St. Louis Park, Minn., dec. Kenneth Thomas, Indianapolis, Ind., 3-0
152 lbs/male: Andrick Robinson, Sacramento, Calif., dec. Anthony Rodriguez, Humble, Texas, 2-1
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).