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The United States' Best Youth Stars to Compete Alongside Elite Veterans at USA Boxing's Pathway to Glory Olympic Trials Qualifier I, June 22-27 in Colorado Springs
by Julie Goldsticker
June 19, 2015

(JUNE 19) COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO Youth and experience will collide at USA Boxing's Pathway to Glory Olympic Trials Qualifier I next week in Colorado Springs, Colo. More than 250 boxers have registered to compete in the tournament, June 22-27 at City Auditorium and the athlete rosters boast a wide array of former youth stars and established veterans in the sport.

Two-time world champions and Youth Olympic Games gold medalists Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) and Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) will lead the youth contingent making their transitions to the elite age division in Colorado Springs. Gonzalez enters the tournament fresh off her youth world title in May and the recent high school graduate will face off with several top opponents in the talent-laden women's lightweight division.

Stevenson will make his elite division debut just one week short of his 18th birthday, and the former AIBA junior boxer of the year hopes to celebrate with a berth in the Olympic Trials in the men's bantamweight division. 

2015 Youth World Championships bronze medalist Ariel Arismendez (Tolleson, Ariz.) and 2013 Junior World Champion Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.) will compete in the women's lightweight and flyweight division respectively after boxing in the 2015 Youth World Championships in Taiwan in late May. 

2013 Youth National Champion and 2012 Olympic Training partner Gilbert Renteria (Houston, Texas) and newly crowned National Golden Gloves champion Ruben Villa (Salinas, Calif.) will also bring some young flavor to the event. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, four former men's national champion will look to clinch their Olympic Trials berths in Colorado Springs. A trio of two-time national champions will compete in their respective weight divisions with lightweight Genaro Gamez (San Diego, Calif.), welterweight Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas) and middleweight Leshawn Rodriquez (Medford, N.Y.) all boxing in the Olympic Trials qualifier.  Four-time super heavyweight national champion Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) will show off a new svelte frame in heavyweight division action in Colorado Springs. 

Despite all of the men's national champions competing in Colorado Springs, the women's weight divisions feature some of the most experienced boxers in the tournament. Multi-time national champions Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) and Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) will each move in to a different weight division than they competed in at the 2015 USA Boxing National Championships. Both boxers competed in the first-ever Olympic Team Trials for Women's Boxing in 2012 and they will look to return in the flyweight and middleweight divisions. Two-time light flyweight national champion Alex Love (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and fellow 2012 Olympic Trials participants N'yteeyah Sherman (Barberton, Ohio) and Tika Hemingway (Pittsburgh, Pa.) are also back for another run at Olympic glory.  

The tournament participants will begin arriving in the Pikes Peak region on Saturday prior to the general weigh-in and tournament draw on Sunday at the Hotel Elegante. Preliminary competition will be contested at noon and 6 p.m., Monday-Thursday at City Auditorium prior to the all-important semifinal bouts in two sessions on Friday and the women's consolation bouts and event finals on Saturday. 

For those that can't make it out to Colorado Springs, the event will be available for purchase via live stream at https://livecoverage.flosports.tv/event/587-usa-boxing-trials-qualifier-pikes-peak-international-championships.


Tickets for the event start at only $15 and can be purchased at the door at City Auditorium. For more information about the event, go to www.usaboxing.org.


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