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Team USA goes 10-2 and wins 3 medals to impress on first day of 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Team USA put on an impressive performance at the first day of competition 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup in Lindow, Germany, winning 10 out of their 12 bouts, including two gold and one silver medals.

Emmanuel Chance (East Orange, N.J.) started the team off in impressive fashion over Sweden’s Joshua Muyinda. Chance proved to be too much for Muyinda within the first minute of the bout, giving him two standing eight counts before the referee waved off the bout.

Philadelphia’s Juan Rivera picked up Team USA’s second win of the day by way of a 4-1 decision over Nikolaos Kosmadakis of Germany. The American jumped out to a 4-1 decision after the first round, however, saw Kosmadakis take the second round 3-2 to make for an interesting final round. Rivera was able to take all five judges’ cards to take the final decision and advance to face Nick Smirnov of Germany tomorrow.

The second session saw Team USA pick up victories from all six boxers that stepped into the ring.

Perla Bazaldua (Los Angeles, Calif.) started the session with a unanimous decision victory over Germany’s Steffi Grin to advance to the next round of competition. Bazaldua jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the opening round and never looked back, taking control of the last two rounds to take all five judges’ cards on both rounds and the 5-0 victory.

2020 Youth World Championships bronze medalist Sa’rai Brown-El (Marietta, Ga.) had to come from behind to take her 3-2 victory over England’s Lauren Mackie. Mackie took the opening round, 3-2, before Brown-El came back and took the second round, 4-1. The final round saw the American win the round, 3-2, to earn the overall victory in her matched bout.

Brown-El will begin her bracketed bouts tomorrow when she faces Milana Nurislamov of Germany in the 52 kilogram division.

Jennah Creason (Visalia, Calif.) and Shamiracle Hardaway (Lagrange, Ga.) stepped up to face tough opponents from Ukraine to clinch Team USA’s third and fourth victory of the session.

Creason grabbed the narrow 3-2 lead after the first round against Ohla Pylypchuk before taking all five judges’ cards the second and third round and the overall unanimous decision victory, while Hardway came back from being down 4-1 after the first round against Maryna Shevchenko to take her own unanimous decision win after coming back strong in the second and third rounds. Both Creason and Hardaway, where they will swap today’s opponent for tomorrow’s bouts.

The day concluded with three Americans boxing in their championship bouts.

Ivy Enriguez (El Paso, Texas) and Sindi Salazar (Carthage, Texas) went to head-to-head once again for a title bout. The two Americans put on strong performances, however, Enriguez pulled out the victory to take the gold medal, while Salazar earned the silver. Both are their first international medals.

Lightweight Gabrielle Tellez (San Antonio, Texas) closed out the strong day for Team USA landing strong blows to her opponent, Celine Broccolo of Germany, which resulted in Broccolo’s corner to throw in the towel during the second round.

Featherweight Bruno Rios (Los Angeles, Calif.) put up a tough fight against Ukraine’s Rasul Guliev, however, fell short of taking the judges cards.

Team USA will have five boxers’ step into the ring tomorrow, including Rishon Sims (Harrisburg, Pa.), who will be making his tournament debut.  

Day 1 Results

50 kg: Ivy Enriquez, El Paso, Texas/USA, dec. over Sindi Salazar/USA, 5-0*

51 kg: Emmanuel Chance, East Orange, N.J./USA, wins by RSC over Joshua Muyinda/SWE, RSC-1

54 kg: Perla Bazaldua, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, dec. over Steffi Grin/GER, 5-0

54 kg: Sa’rai Brown-El, Marietta, Ga./USA, dec. over Lauren Mackie/ENG, 3-2 – matched bout

57 kg: Rasul Guliev/UKR dec. over Bruno Rios, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, 5-0

60 kg: Gabriella Tellez, San Antonio, Texas/USA, won by abandonment over Celine Broccolo/GER, ABD-2*

63.5 kg: Juan Rivera, Philadelphia, Pa./USA, dec. over Nikolaos Kosmadakis/GER, 4-1

66 kg: Jennah Creason, Visalia, Calif./USA, dec. over Ohla Pylypchuk/UKR, 5-0

66 kg: Shamiracle Hardaway, Lagrange, Ga./USA, dec. over Maryna Shevchenko/UKR, 5-0

71 kg: Benjamin Johnson, Springdale, Md./USA, dec. over Fatlind Dreshaj/GER, 5-0

80 kg: Ethan Smith, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Ammar Smesem/SWE, 5-0

*Championship bouts

Day 2 Schedule

Session 1 (5:00 a.m. ET start)

63.5 kg: Juan Rivera, Philadelphia, Pa./USA, vs. Nick Smirnov/GER (Bout 3)

Session 2 (9:00 a.m. ET start)

52 kg: Sa’Rai Brown-El, Marietta, Ga./USA, vs. Milana Nurislamov/GER (Bout 1)

66 kg: Jennah Creason, Visalia, Calif./USA, vs. Maryna Shevchenko/UKR (Bout 3)

66 kg: Shamiracle Hardaway, Lagrange, Ga./USA, vs. Ohla Pylypchuk/UKR (Bout 4)

92 kg: Rishon Simms, Pittsburg, Pa./USA, vs. Erik Wunsch/GER (Bout 9)