Team USA goes 4-0 on first night of boxing against Canada
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
All four Team USA boxers picked up victories over Team Canada at last night’s Melee Gala VIIII in Winnipeg, Canada, to get their two-day dual off to a strong start.
Steven Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) started the evening for the Americans’ taking on Dalis Gures, the 2023 Canadian National Championship silver medalist. Navarro, who was making his elite international debut and return to the international stage since taking gold at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, overcame an early eight count to take the victory, as well as earned Best Boxer of the Night honors.
2022 Youth World Championship bronze medalist Dedrick Crocklem (Tacoma, Wash.) continued Team USA’s winning ways. Crocklem took the decision against an experienced opponent, Jonathan Bourget, in his own elite international debut. In the end, Crocklem walked away victorious and with the Best International Bout of the Night award.
Kayla Gomez (El Paso, Texas), the lone American to come into this event with elite international experience, picked up the third victory of the evening with her win against Priyanka Dhillon, 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist.
The final member of Team USA to enter the ring was Carlos Flowers (Dover, Del.). The light middleweight faced the 2023 Canadian National Champion, Dylan Martin, in his international debut, and came out on top to close out the strong night for Team USA.
“It’s amazing to see the continuous growth of our boxers. Three of our male boxers went out there and fought for their first time without headgear, and they stayed composed and maintained a high level of awareness. They listened well and it showed up in the overall decisions,” stated Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), USA Boxing National Resident Coach and head coach of this event.
“Kayla Gomez came to Canada and displayed her ability to execute on a high level against a tough opponent, showing a variety of skills that we are pleased with from a coaching perspective. There is one more day of competition, so we must not get complacent and stay focused to continue to get better and grow in order to close the trip out strong.”
All four boxers will return to the ring on Sunday for a rematch against their same opponents to close out the two-day event. Follow USA Boxing on social media for updates on streaming and results.
50 kg: Kayla Gomez, El Paso, Texas/USA, dec. over Priyanka Dhillon/CAN
57 kg: Steven Navarro, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, dec. over Dalis Gures/CAN
63.5 kg: Dedrick Crocklem, Tacoma, Wash./USA, dec. over Jonathan Bourget/CAN
71 kg: Carlos Flowers, Dover, Del./USA, dec. over Dylan Martin/CAN