Eight U.S. boxers took home hardware from two international events in Europe over the weekend. Team USA won three medals at the Olympic Test Event in London, England and five American athletes advanced to semifinal competition at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries in Surgut, Russia. Both competitions took place November 24-27 with different U.S. squads competing in the key international events.
Flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) advanced to final round action at the World Cup following two victories in Russia. Esparza opened the tournament with a 21-16 win over Nandintsetseg Myagmardulam of Mongolia before taking a 14-12 decision over home nation boxer Alexandra Kuleshova of Russia in semifinal action. Esparza dropped a slim 10-8 decision to her second straight Russian foe, Svetlana Gnevanova, in the championship bout to win a silver medal.
Heavyweight Joseph Williams (Queens, N.Y.) took home a silver medal as well, advancing to the championship bout at the Olympic Test Event in London, England. Williams earned his first victory of the event on opening day, taking a decision over a home nation boxer as well, as he defeated Great Britain’s Simon Valilly, 15-11, on Thursday. Williams added a second victory to his win total on Saturday, defeating Kamran Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan, 17-10 to advance on to the finals. Unfortunately, an injury kept Williams from competing in the final round contest on Sunday and he returns to the United States with a silver medal.
Four male boxers joined Esparza on the medal stand at the World Cup event in Russia with lightweight Toka Kahn Clary (Providence, R.I.), welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas), heavyweight Jordan Shimmell (Hudsonville, Mich.) and super heavyweight Laron Mitchell (San Francisco, Calif.) all taking bronze medals.
Kahn Clary, Spence and Shimmell all opened the tournament with quarterfinal victories, but each fell to Russia foes in semifinal action. Kahn Clary dropped an 18-10 decision to Ruslan Kamilov, 2012 Olympian Spence lost a 12-12 tiebreaker to Sukhrob Shidaev, and Shimmell was defeated by an 8-4 margin by Vladimir Lokaychuk. Mitchell lost his tournament opener in semifinal action to Russia’s Ilya Rudenko.
The World Cup squad traveled to Ukraine on Monday where they will face their national team in dual action.
In London, female middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) lost her semifinal contest to another home nation opponent, falling 14-12 to Great Britain’s Savannah Marshall. Male super heavyweight Lenroy “Cam” Thompson dropped his semifinal contest as well, losing 15-8 to Greece’s Evgenios Lazaridis.
The Olympic Test Event squad is currently en route back to the United States.
USA Boxing National Coach Joe Zanders (Long Beach, Calif.) and Gloria Peek (Norfolk, Va.) led the athletes into action in London with Jose Martinez (Bryan, Texas) serving as Team Manager. Ken Porter (Akron, Ohio), Ed Rivas (Abilene, Texas) and Everette Elliston (Denver Colo.) are coaching the team at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries and USA vs. Ukraine Dual with Bruce Kawano (Pearl City, Hawaii) serving as the Technical Advisor, and Ken Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa) joining the squad as Team Manager.
Olympic Test Event, London, England
Sunday, November 27 - Finals U.S. heavyweight Joseph Williams was forced to withdraw from his final round bout due to injury
Saturday, November 26 - Semifinals
165 lbs/female: Savannah Marshall, GBR, dec. Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md./USA, 14-12
201 lbs/male: Joseph Williams, Queens, N.Y./USA dec. Kamran Mehdiyev, AZE, 17-10
201+ lbs/male: Evgenios Lazaridis, GRE, dec. Lenroy “Cam” Thompson, Lenexa, Kansas/USA, 15-8
World Cup of Petroleum Countries, Surgut, Russia Sunday, November 27 – Finals
112 lbs/female: Svetlana Gnevanova, RUS, dec. Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA, 10-8
Saturday, November 26 – Semifinals
112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas/USA dec. Alexandra Kuleshova, RUS, 14-12
132 lbs/male: Ruslan Kamilov dec. Toka Kahn Clary, Providence, R.I./USA, 18-10 152 lbs/male: Sukhrob Shidaev, RUS, dec. Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas/USA, 12-12
201 lbs/male: Vladimir Lokaychuk, RUS, dec. Jordan Shimmell, Hudsonville, Mich./USA, 8-4
201+ lbs/male: Ilya Rudenko, RUS, dec. Laron Mitchell, San Francisco, Calif./USA, 8-3