(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The three most experienced boxers on the U.S. team emerged from the USA vs. Ireland Dual competition with victories on Friday at the National Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. With one walkover victory, the United States took four of the 12 bouts at the event. Due to an AIBA rule change, the time and number of rounds has changed to three, three-minute rounds in 2009, and the USA vs. Ireland Dual was the first event featuring the new change for many of the boxers..
Two-time Olympian and 2007 Flyweight World Champion Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) recorded the first victory of the event for the United States team. Warren enjoyed a quick start in his bout with Declan Gareghty of Ireland, taking a 9-2 advantage after the first round of action. His output began to slow in the second as he looked to protect his lead, and Warren enjoyed a 12-2 edge in the second. The third and final round featured more of the same and Warren went on to win a 15-4 decision.
2008 Olympic teammate Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) claimed the second victory of the dual for the United States, winning a closer contest over Ireland’s Carl Frampton. Williams came out strongly as well, grabbing a 6-2 edge after the opening round. He held a four-point lead after the second round of boxing as well, taking an 8-4 advantage into the third round. Frampton pulled one point closer over the final three minutes, but Williams held on to win a 13-10 final decision.
Super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) closed the event in victorious fashion for the U.S., winning a second stoppage over Ireland’s Anthony Crampton. Hunter led by a 5-1 margin after the first round, but Hunter’s onslaught caused the referee call a halt to the bout in the second, giving Hunter the victory.
In other action, light flyweight Louie Byrd (Denver, Colo.) dropped a 22-2 decision to 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes of Ireland while bantamweight Ernesto Garza suffered a 16-1 loss to 2008 Olympian John Joe Nevin. In lightweight action, Ireland’s Ross Hickey recorded a 19-6 victory over the United States’ Eric Fowler (Montgomery, Texas). Light welterweight Charles Watson (Johnson City, Tenn.) faced off in a highly competitive bout with Phillip Sutcliffe of Ireland, but dropped a 13-9 decision to the home nation boxer. Welterweight Javontae Starks (Minneapolis, Minn.) and middleweight Aleem Whitfield (Geneva, N.Y.) both lost their dual contests with Starks suffering a 15-10 loss to Willie McLoughlin and Whitfield dropping a 13-5 decision to Darren O’Neill. Due to the unexplained absence of Ken Eagan, the U.S. claimed a walkover win in light heavyweight Siju Shabazz’s bout. Heavyweight Paul Koon (Philadelphia, Pa.) lost his contest by a 14-4 margin to Con Sheehan.
Two-time World Champion Katie Taylor of Ireland proved why she earned her titles, winning a 30-3 decision over the United States’ Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.)
Coaches Hal Chernoff (Fruitland, Md.); Ray Velez (Ridgewood, N.Y.) and Ken Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa) led the United States team into action on Friday. Richard Trindle (Mercer, Pa.) is serving as Team Manager for the event with Larry Ferebee (Lynchburg, Va.) and Tom Cleary (Cincinnati, Ohio) working as AIBA officials and Dr. John Denker (Portland, Ore.) joining the squad as the Team Physician.
The two teams will face off in a second dual on Sunday, March 1 at the Arch Centre Athy in Kildare, Ireland.
The line-up for the second dual on Sunday will be:
106 lbs/48 kg: Louie Byrd, Denver, Colo./USA vs. Paddy Barnes, Ireland (2008 Olympic bronze medalist)
112 lbs/51 kg: Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA (two-time Olympian) vs. Ruairi Dalton, Ireland
119 lbs/54 kg: Ernesto Garza, Saginaw, Mich./USA vs. Ryan Lindberg, Ireland
125 lbs/57 kg: Raynell Williams, Cleveland, Ohio/USA (2008 Olympian) vs. David Oliver Joyce, Ireland
132 lbs/60 kg: Eric Fowler, Montgomery, Texas/USA vs. Eric Donovan, Ireland
141 lbs/64 kg: Charles Watson, Johnson City, Tenn./USA vs. John Joe Watson, Ireland (2008 Olympian)
152 lbs/69 kg: Javontae Starks, Minneapolis, Minn./USA vs. Roy Sheahan, Ireland
165 lbs/75 kg: Aleem Whitfield, Geneva, N.Y./USA vs. David Joyce, Ireland
178 lbs/81 kg: Siju Shabazz, Las Cruces, N.M./USA vs. Denis Hogan, Ireland
201 lbs/91 kg: Paul Koon, Philadelphia, Pa./USA vs. John Sweeney, Ireland
201+ lbs/91+ kg: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev./USA vs. Anthony Crampton, Ireland
USA vs. Ireland Results
106 lbs/48 kg: Paddy Barnes, Ireland, dec. Louie Byrd, Denver, Colo./USA, 22-2
112 lbs/51 kg: Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA dec. Declan Geraghty, Ireland, 15-4
119 lbs/54 kg: John Joe Nevin, Ireland dec. Ernesto Garza, Saginaw, Mich./USA, 16-1
125 lbs/57 kg: Raynell Williams, Cleveland, Ohio/USA dec. Carl Frampton, Ireland, 13-10
132 lbs/female: Katie Taylor, Ireland, dec. Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash./USA, 30-3
132 lbs/60 kg: Ross Hickey, Ireland dec. Eric Fowler, Montgomery, Texas/USA, 19-6
141 lbs/64 kg: Phillip Sutcliffe, Ireland dec. Charles Watson, Johnson City, Tenn./USA, 13-9
152 lbs/69 kg: Willie McLoughlin, Ireland, dec. Javontae Starks, Minneapolis, Minn./USA, 15-10
165 lbs/75 kg: Darren O’Neill, Ireland, dec. Aleem Whitfield, Geneva, N.Y./USA, 13-5
178 lbs/81 kg: Siju Shabazz won on walkover
201 lbs/91 kg: Con Sheehan, Ireland, dec. Paul Koon, Philadelphia, Pa./USA, 14-4
201+ lbs/91+ kg: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev./USA stopped Anthony Crampton, Ireland, RSC-
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). It is responsible for the selection and management of the United States Olympic Boxing Team, and for the governance and oversight of USA Boxing’s national organization of 38,000 members, 1,400 individual boxing clubs, and 1,600 sanctioned events annually.