Team USA takes four golds and advances three more to finals at 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
Team USA went 7-0 during today’s bouts at the 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup in Lindow, Germany to take gold in all four championship bouts and advance the three remaining male boxers to their championship bouts tomorrow.
The day started with a classic United States versus England battle with Emmanuel Chance (East Orange, N.J.) taking on Joseph Turner. Chance took the opening round 4-1 before extending his lead when he took all five judges’ cards in the second round.
The final round was a true contest, with Turner taking the round, 5-0, however, it was not enough to defeat the American featherweight when the 3-1 decision was announced. Chance will look to claim gold tomorrow with a victory over Okay Miles of Germany.
Juan Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa.) took the second win of the day, his third of the tournament, over Arthur Kuzmenko of Ukraine, 5-0. Rivera jumped out to a 3-2 lead after the first round before taking all five judges’ cards in the second round. The final round went in favor of the American, 4-1, to take the overall unanimous decision to advance to tomorrow’s championship bout against Germany’s Nick Smirnov.
The second session saw Ben Johnson (Springdale, Md.) and Ethan Smith (Las Vegas, Nev.) pick up their second win of the tournament, with Johnson advancing to the finals and Smith claiming gold.
Johnson dominated from the beginning, taking all five judges’ cards in the opening two rounds, then proved to be too much to his opponent, Janderson Schulz of Germany, landing numerous body shots and combinations before Schulz’s corner threw in the towel, resulting in an American victory by abandonment. Johnson will take on Walid Khakishov from Germany in the championship bout.
Smith had a more closely contested bout with Artur Kasainov of Ukraine through two rounds, taking the first by 4-1 and the second by 3-2. The light heavyweight closed out the third round, 5-0, as well as saw his opponent receive a point taken due to holding, to take the unanimous decision victory and the gold medal.
The final session was kicked off with Sa’Rai Brown-El (Marietta, Ga.) putting on a dominating performance against Diana Petrenko of Ukraine to pick up Team USA’s first gold medal of the evening.
Brown-El, who won bronze at last year’s Youth World Championships, jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first round and never looked back, taking the remaining two rounds unanimously, including multiple 10-8 scores from the judges.
Perla Bazaldua (Los Angeles, Calif.) grabbed the second gold medal of the day with her 5-0 decision victory over England’s Lauren Mackie, the 2022 Youth World Championship silver medalist.
Bazaldua won the first round, 4-1, before kicking it up a gear to take all five judges’ cards in the second round, before closing out the bout with her best round of the bout in the third and final round, which saw her give Mackie a standing eight count and two judges score the round 10-8 in favor of the American. Bazaldua’s unanimous decision victory clinched her first international medal in her career.
The final American to take to the ring today, Jennah Creason (Visalia, Calif.), had a rematch against Ukraine’s Ohla Pylypchuk for the gold medal.
Creason jumped out to the 5-0 lead at the end of the first round, then saw her opponent receive her second and third warning for holding before being disqualified, giving Creason her own first international gold medal of her career, and Team USA’s third of the night.
Today’s three females and Smith join previous gold medal winners, Ivy Enriguez (El Paso, Texas) and Gabriella Tellez (San Antionio, Texas), as well as Rishon Simms (Harrisburg, Pa.), whom all earned their medals earlier this week. Shamiracle Hardaway (Lagrange, Ga.) also earned a bronze during yesterday’s bouts.
The four remaining members of Team USA will step into the ring tomorrow, beginning at 5:00 a.m. ET, along with Enriguez and Bruno Rios (Los Angeles, Calif.) will take part in matched bouts. Click here to watch all the action.
Day 3 Results
51 kg: Emmanuel Chance, East Orange, N.J./USA, dec. over Joseph Turner/ENG, 3-1
52 kg: Sa’Rai Brown-El, Marietta, Ga./USA, dec. over Diana Petrenko/UKR, 5-0
54 kg: Perla Bazaldua, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, dec. over Lauren Mackie/ENG, 5-0
63.5 kg: Juan Rivera, Philadelphia, Pa./USA, dec. over Arthur Kuzmenko/UKR, 5-0
66 kg: Jennah Creason, Visalia, Calif./USA, wins by disqualification over Ohla Pylypchuk/UKR, DSQ
71 kg: Benjamin Johnson, Springdale, Md./USA, won by abandonment Janderson Schulz/GER, ABD
80 kg: Ethan Smith, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Artur Kasainov/UKR, 5-0
Day 4 Schedule (5:00 a.m. ET start)
51 kg: Emmanuel Chance, East Orange, N.J./USA, vs. Okay Miles/GER (Bout 11)
57 kg: Bruno Rios, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, vs. Blaine Fitzgerald/IRL (Bout 4) – matched bout
63.5 kg: Juan Rivera, Philadelphia, Pa./USA, vs. Nick Smirnov/GER (Bout 14)
71 kg: Benjamin Johnson, Springdale, Md./USA, vs. Walid Khakishov/GER (Bout 15)
92 kg: Rishon Simms, Harrisburg, Pa./USA, vs. Erik Wunsch/GER (Bout 18) – matched bout