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USA Boxing comes to Reno for junior competition

Updated: Tuesday, January 7 2014, 03:25 PM EST
USA Boxing comes to Reno for junior competition story image
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - USA Boxing will open 2014 national action on Tuesday with five days of Olympic-style boxing competition at the Junior and Youth Open in Reno, Nev. Young boxers battled treacherous weather and travel delays throughout the country to journey to Reno for the event, which will feature the nation’s top 15-18-year-old boxers. Athletes, coaches and supports arrived in Nevada throughout the weekend and several more will land on Monday in preparation for the first day of competition on Tuesday.
 
The general weigh-in will take place on Tuesday morning prior to the official event draw and the first session of competition tomorrow afternoon. The Junior and Youth Open will assist in identifying the athletes who will represent Team USA in a wide variety of international events throughout 2014. The junior division will include athletes born in 1998 and 1999 while boxers born in 1996 and 1997 will compete in the youth age group.
 
Over 30 national champions from 2013 junior and youth action are slated to compete in the 2014 Junior and Youth Open with three junior world champions moving in to the youth division for this year’s competition.
 
AIBA Junior Male Boxer of the Year Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) will arrive in Reno on Monday afternoon following travel challenges in time for his first bout in the youth division. He could face a stiff test in the youth flyweight division from 2013 youth national champion Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) during this week’s tournament action.
 
Female junior world champion Caitlin Orosco (Anaheim, Calif.) is moving up to the youth flyweight class for her first event of 2014 and she could battle 2013 youth national champion and world championships bronze medalist Marisol Lopez (Stratford, Calif.) in her opening event in the youth division.
 
Fellow junior world champion Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) is moving up in weight and age groups for 2014 as well. Gonzalez will compete in the youth lightweight division in her first event of 2014 and could challenge defending Junior Olympic titlist Anna Crutchfield (Travelers Rest, S.C.) in Reno. 
 
Due to the weather challenges, the first day of tournament competition has been pushed to Tuesday with two daily sessions taking place on the first two days of action.  Thursday and Friday’s competition will begin at 5 p.m. and Saturday’s final round bouts will kick off at noon with all of the tournament action taking place in the Grand Sierra Resort Reno Ballroom.
 
Several Olympians are in attendance in Reno supporting the young athletes looking to follow in their footsteps. 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and her London teammates Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) and Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.) will be in Reno as well as 1992 Olympian and professional world champion Raul Marquez. 
 
Admission for the first three days of the 2014 Junior and Youth Open will be free of charge and 5$ on Friday and Saturday for any spectators interested in catching the high level Olympic-style boxing action.
 
USA Boxing’s junior and youth programs are critical to the organization’s developmental pipeline and have consistently produced Olympians and World Champions, including the United States’ last two Olympic gold medalists Andre Ward (2004) and Claressa Shields (2012).
 
2014 Junior and Youth Open Schedule
Tuesday, January 7 – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Wednesday, January 8 – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Thursday, January 9 – 5 p.m.
Friday, January 10 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, January 11, Championship Bouts - NoonUSA Boxing comes to Reno for junior competition
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