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Six United States Boxers Earn Final Round Berths at the 2015 Junior and Youth Women’s World Championships
by Julie Goldsticker
May 22, 2015

(MAY 22)  (NEW TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN) – Six American boxers clinched berths in the finals of the 2015 Junior and Youth Women’s World Championships in New Taipei City, Taiwan on Friday. All five junior boxers won their semifinal bouts on Friday morning and 2013 Junior World Champion and 2014 Youth Olympic gold medalist Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) earned a semifinal victory in the late session at the Xinzhuang Stadium. Junior boxers Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.), Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.), Zhane Crockett (Toledo, Ohio), Guadalupe Gutierrez (Sacramento, Calif.), and Kylie Hall (Fresno, Calif.) each won semifinal bouts to move on to the finals. In the youth division, light welterweight Ariel Arismendez (Tolleson, Ariz.) and middleweight Iesha Kenney (Alexandria, Va.) earned bronze medals in the youth division. 

Garcia started the day’s six-bout U.S. winning streak on Friday morning in her light flyweight contest with Mongolia’s Enkhjargal Munguntsetseg. Competing in her third bout of the tournament, Garcia showcased her entertaining style and aggressive nature in a wide unanimous decision win over Munguntsetseg. The 14-year-old won every round on the scorecards on her way to a spot in the gold medal bout.  She will take on India’s Soniya in the light flyweight finale on Saturday. 

Ramirez kept the momentum going in the second straight showdown between the United States and Mongolia. She put her foot on the gas from the opening bell, winning the first round by a 10-8 margin over Angarg Lkhagdvadorj on all three judges’ scorecards. She continued to press the action in the second round and the referee stopped the bout at the 1:12 mark, giving Ramirez a TKO victory.  Ramirez will also battle India in her gold medal bout, facing off with Sakshi for the bantamweight championship. 

Crockett was the third U.S. boxer to compete against Mongolia, taking on Namuun Monkhor in featherweight semifinal competition. The tall teenager used her height, reach and activity to build up a lead in her three-round bout with Monkhor. She continued to pepper Monkhor with straight shots over the six minutes on her way to a unanimous decision victory. Crockett will face Russia’s Liudmila Vorontsova in the featherweight championship on Saturday. 

The lightweight division bout showcased a battle between Gutierrez and home nation boxer Ya-Xuan Lin of Chinese Taipei. In her second bout of the tournament, Gutierrez won a split decision victory over Lin to join her teammates in the tournament finals. Gutierrez will challenge historic Kosovo boxer Donjeta Sadiku in the lightweight gold medal bout. Sadiku is the first boxer from Kosovo to clinch a medal in Junior and Youth World Championships competition. 

Hall was the final U.S. boxer to make her tournament debut in Taipei, taking the ring in the event for the first time on Friday. She faced off with Ireland’s Joanne Richards in welterweight competition after waiting nearly a week to compete. Hall pulled out the closest U.S. win of the day, taking a split decision win over Richards. She will close junior competition for the United States in a bout with Kazakhstan’s Nadezhda Ryabets on Saturday. 

As the most decorated athlete on the U.S. roster, competing in semifinal action at a major international event is nothing new to Gonzalez. She showcased her experience and pedigree in her youth lightweight bout with Kazakhstan’s Nazym Ichshanova on Friday afternoon. Gonzalez once again won a unanimous decision, finishing the four-round bout with a 10-8 round on all of the judges’ scorecards. Her fourth victory of the tournament clinched her berth in the lightweight finale with Sweden’s Stephanie Thour. 

Arismendez took part in a close bout with Russia’s Elizaveta Nemtseva in a light welterweight semifinal match-up on Friday. She dropped the bout by one round on each of the judges’ scorecards to take a bronze medal in her first world championships competition. 

Kenney claimed a bronze medal in the 2013 Junior Women’s World Championships and she duplicated the feat in the 2015 youth tournament. She faced off with China’s Lu Zheng in Friday’s middleweight semifinal competition at the Xinzhuang Stadium. Kenney dropped a 3-0 decision in the bout to claim another world championships bronze medal. 

Tomorrow’s final round bouts will take place in two sessions with the junior athletes competing at 11 a.m. and the youth matches taking place at 5 p.m. The eight American medals are the most in the most for the United States in the event, up from five in 2013. 

Christy Halbert (Nashville, Tenn.), Kay Koroma (Burke, Va.), Don Fain (Reno, Nev.), Caroline Barry (Boulder, Colo.), and Arthur James (Anaheim, Calif.) are leading the United States team in Taipei. 

U.S. Results

106 lbs/junior: Heaven Garcia, El Monte, Calif./USA dec. Enkhjargal Munguntsetseg, MGL, 3-0

119 lbs/junior: Yarisel Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev./USA won on TKO over Angarg Lkhagdvadorj, MGL, TKO-2

125 lbs/junior: Zhane Crockett, Toledo, Ohio/USA dec. Namuun Monkhor, MGL, 3-0

132 lbs/junior: Guadalupe Gutierrez, Sacramento, Calif./USA dec. Nisha, IND, 2-1

145 lbs/junior: Kylie Hall, Sacramento, Calif./USA dec. Joanne Richards, IRL, 2-1

132 lbs/youth: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA dec. Nazym Ichshanova, KAZ, 3-0

141 lbs/youth: Elizaveta Nemtseva, RUS, dec. Ariel Arismendez, Tolleson, Ariz./USA, 3-0 

165 lbs/youth: Lu Zheng, CHN, dec.  Iesha Kenney, Alexandria, Va./USA, 3-0

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