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USA Boxing’s Experienced Women’s Squad Prepare to Travel South of the Border
for the 2014 Elite Women’s Continental Championships
by Julie Goldsticker/USA Boxing
September 20,  2014


(SEPT 20)  USA Boxing’s experienced team of female athletes is finalizing their preparations for the 2014 Elite Women’s Continental Championships, September 23-27 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Olympic Training Center resident athletes Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), and Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) welcomed seven fellow national team members to  their Colorado Springs digs on Wednesday, September 10 for the preparatory training camp.  The highly decorated roster of athletes, which boasts an Olympic champion, Olympic bronze medalist, 2012 Olympian, reigning world champion and a world championships bronze medalist, will face off with the best female boxers in the Americas at the continental event just two months before the 2014 World Championships.

2012 Olympic gold medalist 
Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) has enjoyed her reunion with London teammates Esparza and Underwood as well as the chance to sharpen her skills alongside the United States’ best female boxers. The squad includes 2012 World Champion Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) and two-time USA Boxing National Champions Alex Love (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) in addition to three newcomers to the U.S. squad. Light welterweight Destiny Chearino (Warwick, R.I.), light heavyweight Heidi Henriksen (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and heavyweight Krystal Dixon (New Rochelle, N.Y.) each earned berths on USA Boxing’s elite women’s national team for the first time in 2014 and will make their Continental Championships’ debuts in Guadalajara.

The team has utilized many of the outstanding services of the U.S. Olympic Training Center during their time in the Pikes Peak region, accessing the new strength and conditioning facilities, recovery center including the cold tub, and sport performance resources. Coaches 
Benny Roman (New York, N.Y.), Israel Acosta (Milwaukee, Wis.), Juan Estrada (San Diego, Calif.) and Patrice Harris (Hyattsville, Md.) have guided the squad’s boxing training in preparation for the upcoming international event.

The United States team will close training camp on Saturday before traveling south to Guadalajara on Sunday. They will join their fellow participants at the general weigh-in on Tuesday and await the results of the official tournament draw that afternoon. Preliminary competition will begin at 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, September 24 at the Pan American Volleyball Complex in Guadalajara with semifinal action taking place in two sessions on Thursday, September 25. All the event finalists will enjoy a rest day on Friday, September 26 prior to the championship bouts at 5 p.m. CT on Saturday, September 27.

Roman, Acosta and Estrada will travel with the team to Mexico with 
Dr. Larry Lovelace (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and AIBA official Kevina Franklin (Atlanta, Ga.) joining the three coaches. 

Roman and Acosta will be coaching at their second straight Women’s Continental Championships as the athletes aim to match their outstanding performance in the 2013 event where the squad won eight gold medals.

Women’s Continental Championships Team
106 lbs: Alex Love, Colorado Springs, Colo.
112 lbs: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas 
119 lbs: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y. 
125 lbs: Tiara Brown, Fort Myers, Fla.
132 lbs: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash. 
141 lbs: Destiny Chearino, Warwick, R.I.
152 lbs: Danyelle Wolf, San Diego, Calif.
165 lbs: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich.
178 lbs: Heidi Henriksen, St. Louis Park, Minn.
178+ lbs: Krystal Dixon, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Coach: Israel Acosta, Milwaukee, Wis.
Coach: Benny Roman, New York, N.Y.
Coach: Juan Estrada, San Diego, Calif.
AIBA Official: Kevina Franklin, Atlanta, Ga.
Physician: Dr. Larry Lovelace, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Tournament Schedule
Sunday, September 21: U.S. team departs
Tuesday, September 23: General weigh-in and tournament draw
Wednesday, September 24: Preliminary bouts (5 p.m. CT)
Thursday, September 25: Semifinal bouts (1 p.m. and 7 p.m. CT)
Friday, September 26: Off-day
Saturday, September 27: Championship bouts (5 p.m. CT


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