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Christina Cruz and Damarius Russell to Open Pan American Games
by Julie Goldsticker
October 21, 2011

     
   
   
   
   

(OCT 21) 2011 Pan American Games boxing action will begin today at the Expo Guadalajara Arena in Guadalajara, Mexico. Eight U.S. boxers will compete in the multi-sport event with a pair of American pugilists opening the competition in preliminary bouts tonight.

Flyweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) will make history as the first American female boxer to compete in the Pan American Games when she battles Colombia’s Isaias Mena in quarterfinal action. The 2011 Pan American Games are the first-ever for women’s boxing and the flyweight division will be the lone female weight class to compete on Friday.

U.S. Marine Corps’ middleweight Damarius Russell (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) will face a tough test in his opening bout as he challenges reigning Pan Am Games champion and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Emilio Correa on Friday night. Friday’s boxing action will begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

2010 Women’s World Championships bronze medalist Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) will make her Pan Am Games debut on Saturday in the lone bout for her U.S. team. Underwood will battle Puerto Rico’s Kiria Tapia in lightweight quarterfinal competition.

Middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) will be the final U.S. female boxer to compete in Guadalajara, and she will have her hands full in her quarterfinal bout. Crews will face off with three-time World Champion Mary Spencer of Canada in the middleweight opening bout.

Four American male boxers will make their Pan American Games debuts in quarterfinal competition on Monday. Flyweight John Franklin (Fort Carson, Colo.), lightweight Toka Kahn Clary (Providence, R.I.) and super heavyweight Danny Kelly (Washington DC) will all compete in the 2 p.m. (CT) session while light heavyweight Jeffery Spencer (Fort Carson, Colo.) will box in the evening (6 p.m. CT). Franklin will challenge former Youth World Champion Robeisy Ramirez in his opening contest while Khan Clary awaits the winner of the first round bout between Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Kelly’s opening round contest will feature a showdown with Colombia’s Isaias Mena, and Spencer will close the day for Team USA in a quarterfinal bout with newly crowned 2011 World Champion Julio De La Cruz of Cuba.

Semifinal action will begin on Tuesday and Wednesday and final round competition will be contested on Friday and Saturday following Thursday’s rest day. Coaches Gloria Peek (Norfolk, Va.), Charles Leverette (Fort Carson, Colo.), and Bruce Kawano (Pearl City, Hawaii) are leading the team into action in Mexico.

 
     
     
   
 
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