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USA Boxing Holds a Mega Training Camp for the Junior and Elite Champions at the Olympic Training Center
by Julie Goldsticker
April 22, 2013

(APR 22) USA Boxing is holding its first multi-divisional training camp for both male and female boxers at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The elite male athletes arrived last week while all the junior boxers and elite females landing in the Pikes Peak region on Sunday. Thirty-nine athletes are participating in the major training camp under the tutelage of USA Boxing International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque and seven personal coaches assisting him in Colorado Springs. Following the camp, the different age and gender groups will travel to a variety of international competitions.

The ten elite men earned their spots at the recent USA Boxing National Championships in Spokane, Wash., with nine of the 10 boxers winning gold and flyweight silver medalist Shawn Simpson (Chicago, Ill.) joining the champions. The 2013 National Champions taking part in the training camp are: light flyweight Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.), 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). The elite men will all compete in the 2013 Cheo Aponte Tournament in Puerto Rico following the training camp. Coach Kevin Benford (Cincinnati, Ohio) will assist Coach Roque with the elite men.

The newly crowned national champions in the elite women’s division had a quick turnaround before heading to training camp as well. The group, which includes an Olympic medalist and 2012 U.S. Olympian, boasts strong experience with a few newcomers sprinkled in with the veterans. The elite women’s roster includes: light flyweight Elisha Halstead (Philadelphia, Pa.), 2012 flyweight Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), featherweight Jennifer Hamann (Seattle, Wash.), 2012 U.S. lightweight Olympian Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.), light welterweight Bertha Aracil (Yonkers, N.Y.), welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.), middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) light heavyweight Tiffanie Hearn, and heavyweight Denise Rico (Los Angeles, Calif.). The elite women will remain in training camp through May 11 before heading to the Women’s Continental Championships in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela. Coaches Benny Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Eugene Hart (Philadelphia, Pa.) are serving as the camp coaches for the elite women.

The junior athletes will get the unique opportunity to train side-by-side with their older counterparts at the Olympic Training Center, and both groups are participating in a camp at the OTC for the second time in 2013. The junior males will head to the Victory Day Tournament in Uman, Ukraine following their training camp for their first international competition of the year. The 13 young men enjoying this outstanding competitive experience are: light flyweight Jordan White (Waldorf, Md.), flyweight Daniel Gonzalez (Moreno Valley, Calif.), flyweight Evan Sanchez (Fresno, Calif.), light bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.), bantamweight Devin Haney (Las Vegas, Nev.), featherweight Michael Nelson (Mansfield, Ohio), lightweight Keoni Adric, Jr. (Haleima, Hawaii), light welterweight Brandon Trejo (Napa, Calif.), welterweight Javier Estrada (Palmdale, Calif.), light middleweight Alexis Rocha (Santa Ana, Calif.), and middleweight Eric Murguia (Mission Hills, Calif.), light heavyweight Suray Mahmutovic (Daly City, Calif.), and heavyweight Pano Tiatia (St. George, Utah). Coaches Edward Rivas (Abilene, Texas), Willie Moses (Newark, N.J.) and Omar Sanchez (Parlier, Calif.) will work with the junior men.

The junior girls took part in their first-ever training camp just over a month ago and they are back for another round before heading to Tampere, Finland for the Pirkka Tournament. Pinweight Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.), flyweight Nysja Barrientes (Las Vegas, Nev.), light bantamweight Ashley Perez (Sparks, Nev.), bantamweight Jessica Galvez (Sparks, Nev.), featherweight Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.), and lightweight Iesha Kenney (Alexandria, Va.) will represent Team USA at the training camp and event. Coach Michael Newson (Las Vegas, Nev.) is back for his second camp with the junior girls at the Olympic Training Center.

The training camp will run through May 7 for all of the athletes other than the elite women who will remain in Colorado Springs until May 11.

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