(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The United States squad continued to roll at the 2013 Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships in Albena, Bulgaria on Wednesday. Six of the 10 American boxers competing in the event have advanced on to the medal round, including 2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.). Three junior boxers and three youth competitors will compete for the red, white and blue in semifinal round competition on Friday at the Albena Resort in Bulgaria following a rest day on Thursday.
Pinweight Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.), featherweight JaJaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and lightweight Iesha Kenney (Alexandria, Va.) each won their quarterfinal bouts in junior division action on Wednesday afternoon. The United States went undefeated in the evening’s youth action with light flyweight Marisol Lopez (Stratford, Calif.), welterweight Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.) and Shields all taking quarterfinal wins.
For the second straight day, Shields’ bout didn’t go the distance. The history-making Olympic champion unloaded on Hungary’s Fanni Kaszanyi in the opening seconds of the contest, trapping her on the ropes and landing several powerful shots. The referee jumped in and gave Kaszanyi a standing eight count and the Hungarian coaches decided they’d seen enough, throwing in the towel only 24 seconds in the bout. The quick win advances Shields on to a semifinal bout with Russia’s Matrena Viachkina on Friday.
Orosco made her tournament debut in Wednesday’s quarterfinal action in a pinweight bout with Russia’s Iuliia Chumgalakova in the afternoon session. Orosco got her United States team off to a winning start, taking a 3-0 win over her Russian foe to claim the first spot in the semifinal round. She will battle Ukraine’s Veronika Shakshuy on Friday.
Gonzalez claimed the second semifinal spot for the United States in her bout with Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst. She took a 3-0 decision over Broadhurst in their featherweight quarterfinal contest to move on to Friday’s semifinal round action. She will face Nazym Ichshanova of Kazakhstan for a berth in the final round.
Kenney continued her strong showing in Bulgaria with a 2-1 victory over Russia’s Kaysarat Khazikhanova in lightweight quarterfinal round competition. Wednesday’s victory earned her a semifinal showdown with Turkey’s Esra Yildiz on Friday.
Lopez kicked off the evening session for Team USA and she did so in victorious fashion with a win in her light flyweight quarterfinal bout. She claimed a 2-1 decision over Romania’s Stefania-Melinda Pantis in her second bout of the tournament to earn the first youth semifinal berth for Team USA. She moves on to a semifinal contest with Bulgaria’s Venelina Valentinova Poptoleva on Friday.
Kinchen was the final United States boxer to compete in Wednesday’s action and she closed the day in style. Utilizing her stalking and aggressive style, Kinchen claimed a convincing 3-0 victory over Ukraine’s Tetiana Ryzhenkova in their welterweight contest. She will face off with Kazakhstan’s Gauhar Yermekbay in Friday’s semifinal round competition.
Junior light bantamweight Ashley Perez (Sparks, Nev.) and junior bantamweight Jessica Galvez (Sparks, Nev.) both dropped their quarterfinal bouts, falling to Italy’s Irma Testa and Armenia’s Ani Hovsepan respectively.
The Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships will be live streamed throughout the tournament at boxing.albena.bg and bgboxing.org. Thursday will be an off day for all of the 2013 Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships competitors and they will return to the ring in semifinal round action on Friday. The 2013 event is the first Women’s Junior/Youth World Championships that the United States has competed in. The U.S. team is the only squad from the Americas in the tournament.
Coaches Jason Crutchfield (Flint, Mich.), William Farris (Lexington, Ky.), Michael Newson (Las Vegas, Nev.), and Bienvenido “Benny” Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.), will guide the U.S. boxers in Bulgaria with Dr. Larry Lovelace (Oklahoma City, Okla.) serving as the Team Physician.
101 lbs/junior: Caitlin Orosco, Anaheim, Calif./USA dec. Iuliia Chumgalakova, RUS, 3-0
114 lbs/junior: Irma Testa, ITA, dec. Ashley Perez, Sparks, Nev./USA, 3-0
119 lbs/junior: Ani Hovsepan, ARM, dec. Jessica Galvez, Sparks, Nev./USA, 3-0
125 lbs/junior: JaJaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA dec. Amy Broadhurst, IRL, 3-0
132 lbs/junior: Iesha Kenney, Alexandria, Va./USA dec. Kaysarat Khazikhanova, RUS, 2-1
106 lbs/youth: Marisol Lopez, Stratford, Calif./USA dec. Lan Xiao, CHN, 2-1
152 lbs/youth: Samantha Kinchen, Lexington, Ky./USA dec. Tetiana Ryzhenkova, UKR, 3-0
165 lbs/youth: Claressa Shields/Flint, Mich./USA won on TKO over Mariya Viachkina, UKR, TKO-1 (:24)
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).