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Team USA earns two gold and one silver on final day of 2023 Brandenburg Cup

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

The 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup concluded today in Lindow, Germany, where Team USA earned three more medals.

Juan Rivera (Philadelphia, Pa.) was the first member of Team USA to step into the ring for his championship bout, facing Nick Smirnov of Germany. Smirnov took the early 4-1 lead; however, Rivera came back to grab all five judges’ cards in the second round but was deducted a point from the referee.

The final round saw Rivera land numerous blows to the body and head, causing his opponent to continue to hold, resulting in a point taken from him as well. In the end, Rivera took the final round, resulting in a unanimous decision victory and the gold medal.

Benjamin Johnson (Springdale, Md.) picked up the teams second gold medal with his unanimous win over Germany’s Walid Khakishov. Johnson grabbed the opening two rounds by 4-1 before closing out the bout by taking all five judges’ cards and sealing the victory.

Heavyweight Rishon Simms (Harrisburg, Pa.) closed out the day with a rematch of his final’s opponent, Erik Wunsch of Germany, in exciting fashion. Like the first bout, the two battled it out, each landing strong blows, however, the American once again took the unanimous decision in the end.

Emmanuel Chance (East Orange, N.J.) was the other member of Team USA scheduled to step into the ring, however, was pulled due to medical and earned the silver.

At the conclusion of the bout, three USA Boxing team members were announced for special awards. Sa’Rai Brown-El (Marietta, Ga.) was awarded Best Female Boxer of the Tournament, while Simms and Perla Bazaldua (Los Angles, Calif.) were named Best Male and Female Bout of the Tournament, respectively.

Team USA leaves Lindow with nine gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

For full results and a look back at photos and videos of the team’s time in Germany, click here.

Day 4 Results

51 kg: Okay Miles/GER wins by walkover over Emmanuel Chance, East Orange, N.J./USA, WO

63.5 kg: Juan Rivera, Philadelphia, Pa./USA, dec. over Nick Smirnov/GER, 5-0

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

92 kg: Rishon Simms, Harrisburg, Pa./USA, vs. Erik Wunsch/GER, 5-0 - matched bout