(SPOKANE, WASH.) – 2014 USA Boxing National Championships action concluded with 20 final round bouts in both men’s and women’s action on Saturday at the Pend Oreille Pavilion at the Northern Quest Resort and Casino on Saturday. The day’s competition featured several rematches and action-packed contests in the 20 final round bouts.
Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) broke her own record for USA Boxing National Championships success, winning her eighth USA Boxing National Championships title. Esparza faced off with Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) in a rematch of the 2013 flyweight final. The bout was a battle for Houston supremacy and Esparza put her foot on the gas in the third meeting between the two. She gave Fuchs a standing eight count midway through the bout en route to a unanimous decision victory.
The women’s lightweight division final round contest featured a familiar scene with 2012 Olympian Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) battling 2012 World Championships bronze medalist Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.). In true rivalry form, the bout was hotly contested throughout and the tension was thick as the two boxers awaited the decision. Underwood took the victory by a 2-1 margin for her seventh USA Boxing national championship title.
2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) took the third win of the night for the 2012 Olympic Team in her bout with reigning titlist Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.). Shields always brings out the best in the veteran Crews and tonight was no exception. Crews kept the bout close through the early going, but Shields turned it up as the rounds wore on. The 18-year-old won a unanimous decision over Crews to claim her first USA Boxing Elite National Championships title.
Two male boxers won TKO victories in their championship round bouts on Saturday night. Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.) showcased impressive power in his bout with Jousce Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.). Gamez began unloading on Gonzalez early in the bout and the referee called a halt to the bout at the 2:18 mark of the first round, giving him the lightweight title.
In the men’s light welterweight division, Abraham Nova (Albany, N.Y.) won a first round TKO as well. Nova dropped Efrain Estrada (Hillsboro, Ore.) with a right hand and the referee stopped the bout, giving Nova the win at the 1:56 mark of the opening round.
2013 USA Boxing Youth Champion Jarico O’Quinn (Detroit, Mich.) made a successful transition to the elite division with a victory in the men’s bantamweight division. O’Quinn won a 3-0 decision over Sharone Carter (St. Louis, Mo.) for his first elite national title.
Three defending champions claimed a second gold medal in evening action. Bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) defeated Amanda Pavone (Burlington, Mass.) by unanimous decision to claim another USA Boxing national championship. In the men’s division, welterweight Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas) won his second national title in two years on Saturday. Alday defeated Chordale Booker (St. Louis, Mo.) by split decision to claim the welterweight championship.
2012 World Champion Tiara Brown (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) was pushed to the limit by Lisa Porter (Valley Village, Calif.), but Brown pulled out a 2-1 victory over Porter to win the 2014 USA Boxing National Championship at the featherweight division.
In the final bout of the event, defending middleweight champion LeShawn Rodriquez (Shirley, N.Y.) earned a 3-0 decision over Anthony Campbell (Covington, Tenn.) for his second straight national title.
The opening session was an even split of reigning and former titlists and brand new champions taking gold medals. In women’s light flyweight action, 2012 national champion Alex Love (Seattle, Wash.) returned to the top of the medal stand with a 3-0 victory over Natalie Gonzalez (New Rochelle, N.Y.). Love missed last year’s event while taking care of her duties as a member of the U.S. Army, but she was back with a vengeance in 2013, winning the first gold medal of the day for her Army squad.
Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.) put on a masterpiece in his second straight final round bout. He won a unanimous decision over Joshua Franco (San Antonio, Texas) in their men’s light flyweight contest to defend his 2013 championship.
The men’s flyweight finale between Malik Jackson (Washington DC) and Shawn Simpson (Chicago, Ill.) in the 2013 event was one of the fan favorites of the tournament and Saturday’s rematch lived up to their initial battle. Once again, the contest was razor close throughout all three rounds. Jackson was named the winner by split decision, taking the flyweight championship for the second straight year.
Welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) earned her second straight championship in Saturday’s afternoon session. Wolf took a unanimous decision victory over Melissa Kelly (Somerville, Mass.) in the championship bout to retain her number one status.
Super heavyweight champion Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) faced off with home state athlete Elvis Garcia (Tacoma, Wash.) in the final bout of the afternoon session. It was a typical performance from Awesome, known for his unique style. The referee took points from both boxers in an effort to clean up the match, but Awesome pulled out the win by a 2-1 split decision.
The men’s and women’s heavyweight bouts were crowd-pleasing showdowns with both boxers landing major shots throughout the match. Krystal Dixon (New Rochelle, N.Y.) upset defending champion Denise Rico (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) in an action-packed and entertaining contest. Dixon took a 3-0 decision over Rico to win her first USA Boxing national championship. In the men’s bout, 2013 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) took his first gold medal in the event following a split decision win over Sardius Simmons (Flint, Mich.). For the second straight day, Temple’s bout had the fans on their feet as he and Simmons traded powerful blows.
Destiny Chearino (Warwick, R.I.), who defeated defending champion Bertha Aracil (Yonkers, N.Y.) earlier in the week, took gold in the women’s light welterweight division with a win on Saturday afternoon. Chearino defeated Jasmine Singh (Anaheim, Calif.) by a 3-0 margin to take the gold medal.
In women’s light heavyweight competition, Dara Shen (Alexandria, Va.) claimed gold with a unanimous decision win over Heidi Henriksen (St. Louis, Park, Minn.)
Saturday’s Championship Results
106 lbs/female: Alex Love, Seattle, Wash./U.S. Army, dec. Natalie Gonzalez, New Rochelle, N.Y., 3-0
108 lbs/male: Leroy Davila, New Brunswick, N.J., dec. Joshua Franco, San Antonio, Texas, 3-0
112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas dec. Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas, 3-0
114 lbs/male: Malik Jackson, Washington DC dec. Shawn Simpson, Chicago, Ill., 2-1
119 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., dec. Amanda Pavone, Burlington, Mass., 3-0
123 lbs/male: Jarico O’Quinn, Detroit, Mich., dec. Sharone Carter, St. Louis, Mo., 3-0
125 lbs/female: Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla., dec. Lisa Porter, Valley Village, Calif., 2-1
132 lbs/male: Genaro Gamez, San Diego, Calif., won on TKO over Jousce Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif., TKO-1 (2:18)
132 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash., dec. Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif., 2-1
141 lbs/female: Destiny Chearino, Warwick, R.I., dec. Jasmine Singh, Anaheim, Calif., 3-0
141 lbs/male: Abraham Nova, Albany, N.Y., won on TKO over Efrain Estrada, Hillsboro, Ore., TKO-1 (1:56)
152 lbs/female: Danyelle Wolf, San Francisco, Calif., dec. Melissa Kelly, Somerville, Mass., 3-0
152 lbs/male: Jose Alday, Odessa, Texas dec. Chordale Booker, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2-1
165 lbs/female: Claressa Shields, Flirnt, Mich., dec. Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., 3-0
165 lbs/male: LeShawn Rodriquez, Shirley, N.Y., dec. Anthony Campbell, Covington, Tenn., 3-0
178 lbs/male: Julius Butler, St. Louis, Mo., dec. Jasper McCargo, Oakland, Calif., 3-0
178 lbs/female: Dara Shen, Alexandria, Va., dec. Heidi Henriksen, St. Louis, Park, Minn., 3-0
178+ lbs/female: Krystal Dixon, New Rochelle, N.Y., dec. Denise Rico, E. Los Angeles, Calif., 3-0
201 lbs/male: Joshua Temple, St. Louis, Mo., dec. Sardius Simmons, Flint, Mich., 2-1
201+ lbs/male: Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas dec. Elvis Garcia, Tacoma, Wash., 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).