The 2013 edition of the USA Boxing National Championships took place in Spokane, Wash., March 31-April 6 with over 320 athletes competing in the annual event. The event featured the introduction of several new divisions and the recent AIBA rule changes with national champions being crowned in five different divisions. The preliminary rounds took place at the HUB Sports Center Monday through Thursday with the men’s elite semifinals and all the championship round action taking place at the Pend Oreille Pavilion at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. The event was a tremendous success and the event hosts at Northern Quest look forward to welcoming USA Boxing back to the Pacific Northwest for the next three years. Next year's event will take place January 18-25, 2014 with the 2015 edition being contested January 17-24, 2015. The Olympic year event will be contested January 23-30, 2016 in Spokane.
Forty-one boxers claimed national championships over two days of final round competition at Northern Quest. Congratulations to all of the 2013 USA Boxing National Champions. The winners in the youth men’s division are: light flyweight Gilbert Renteria (Houston, Texas), flyweight Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.), bantamweight Jarico O’Quinn (Lansing, Mich.), lightweight Lamont Roach (Upper Marlboro, Md.), light welterweight Alexis Urbina (Phoenix, Ariz.), welterweight Kareem Martin (Clinton, Md.), middleweight Alex Rincon (Carrollton, Texas), light heavyweight Elvis Figueroa (New Haven, Conn.) and heavyweight John Luna (Milwaukee, Wis.). Lamont Roach was named the Outstanding Boxer in the men’s youth division.
2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) headlined the women’s youth division, but due to no one entering the tournament in her weight division, she won her first USA Boxing National Championships title unopposed. Four talented young ladies did compete in tournament action and the winners were: light flyweight Marisol Lopez (Stratford, Calif.), featherweight Dida Gonzalez (Houston, Texas), lightweight Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) and welterweight Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.). Rashida Ellis took home the Outstanding Boxer award in her youth female division.
With the AIBA rule change removing headgear in the men’s elite division, the male senior division was introduced in 2013 USA Boxing National Championships action. The competitors in the senior men’s division competed with headgear but will not advance to the international level. The 2013 USA Boxing National Championships in the senior division were: flyweight Charles Williams (Colorado Springs, Colo.), bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.), lightweight Canton Miller (St. Louis, Mo.), light welterweight Patrick Harris (Hyattsville, Md.), welterweight Reyes Marquez (Colorado Springs, Colo.), middleweight Christopher Galeano (Bronx, N.Y.), light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), heavyweight Alvin Varmall (Laplace, La.), and super heavyweight Stephan Shaw (St. Louis, Mo.). Gary Russell claimed the Outstanding Boxer award in the newly created division.
The elite women’s roster was talented from top to bottom with the first-ever Olympic medalist taking the ring in USA Boxing National Championships flyweight action and her lightweight teammate both winning gold and numerous internationally experienced athletes earning berths on another national team. The 2013 elite women’s champions are: light flyweight Elisha Halstead (Philadelphia, Pa.), flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), featherweight Jennifer Hamann (Seattle, Wash.), lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.), light welterweight Bertha Aracil (Yonkers, N.Y.), welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.), middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) and light heavyweight Tiffanie Hearn (Oxnard, Calif.). 2012 Olympian Queen Underwood won the Outstanding Boxer award in elite women’s action.
The final athletes to take home the gold in Spokane were the elite male competitors, who competed for the first time in Olympic-style boxing action without headgear. The list of winners includes a couple of veterans as well as new faces to the elite scene. The ten champions who will now prepare for the 2013 AIBA Men’s World Championships are: light flyweight Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.), flyweight Malik Jackson (Washington DC), bantamweight Eduardo Martinez (Aurora, Calif.), lightweight Kenneth Sims, Jr. (Chicago, Ill.), light welterweight Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas), welterweight Jamontay Clark (Cincinnati, Ohio), middleweight Leshawn Rodriguez (Shirley, N.Y.), light heavyweight Geremias Torres (Holyoke, Mass.), heavyweight Michael Hilton (Trenton, N.J.) and super heavyweight Cam Thompson (Kansas City, Kansas). Malik Jackson was named the Outstanding Boxer in the men’s elite division following his impressive run through the best in the division.
USA Boxing would like to thank everyone who traveled to Spokane for the 2013 USA Boxing National Championships for conducting themselves in a professional and respectful fashion. We received extremely positive feedback from the staff at Northern Quest about our group with everyone from the staff at the buffet to the leadership complimenting our delegation for their behavior and respect with which they treated everyone on property.
USA Boxing is placing a renewed focus on not only providing international competition for its top athletes at every level, but also in preparing them for the global events. With several international events quickly approaching, there will be a high level preparatory training camp for the top junior and elite competitors in both the male and female divisions.
The recently crowned national champions in the men’s elite division traveled to Colorado Springs yesterday and the elite female and junior champions will arrive in the Pikes Peak region next week. A second ring has been put up in the boxing gym at the Olympic Training Center to accommodate the large number of athletes participating in the camp, which is the fourth of the year for USA Boxing.
Coach Pedro Roque will lead the camp with assistance from personal coaches of the athletes participating in the training camp. The junior athletes and elite men close camp on May 7 with the elite women staying in Colorado Springs through May 11 before heading to Venezuela for the Women’s Continental Championships. The junior females will travel to Finland for a competition following training while the elite men will journey to Puerto Rico for the Cheo Aponte Tournament shortly after returning home. The junior males will travel to Ukraine for an international event prior to competing in the World Championships this summer.
It is not too late to watch any of the action from the 2013 USA Boxing National Championships. All of the bouts can be downloaded from the live stream via the Watch Live tab on www.usaboxing.org. To watch and or download the videos, create a log in and password by using your email. You will then have the option to select a viewing option based upon what you would like to purchase. Once you have made your selection, select the 2013 USA Boxing National Championships and chose the bout(s) you would like to watch from the drop down menu.
USA Boxing has added coaching veteran John Dussliere to the organization’s staff in the newly created position of Sport Director. A former member of USA Swimming’s Olympic staff, Dussliere brings over two decades in elite coaching experience and success to USA Boxing. He will work closely with International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque to develop and execute high performance strategy for USA Boxing’s elite athletes in conjunction with efforts at the grassroots level.
Dussliere has coached in the competitive swimming industry for 25 years, guiding athletes at every level of their development. The head coach for the men’s open water team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Dussliere developed the first United States’ Open Water 10k Olympic marathon swimmer. He has been highly involved in developing coaching education systems for USA Swimming and will utilize his past experience to help create a new program for USA Boxing.
He had the chance to meet several of USA Boxing’s top coaches and athletes at the USA Boxing National Championships and looks forward to working with our membership to increase the organization’s future success.
The USA Boxing Nominating and Governance Committee will be named this week and will hold their first official meeting shortly thereafter. This committee will be responsible for vetting the candidates for the new USA Boxing Board of Directors.