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Graham Moves to Finals; Fuchs Wins Bronze at 2021 Strandja Tournament

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Today’s semifinal bouts saw Team USA go 1-1 at the 72nd Annual Strandja Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) got one step closer to winning her third straight Strandja title with a dominating performance over 2019 European Champion Aoife Orourke of Ireland. Graham, who took all five judges’ cards, will face 2015 Junior World Champion and Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 qualifier Nadezhda Ryabets of Kazakhstan. 

2017 and 2020 Strandja Champion,
Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas), had another strong performance during her semifinal bout against Bulgaria’s Stoyka Krasteva, however, fell short of reaching the championship bout in a 4-1 decision. 

Team USA brought a team of seven boxers under the guidance of National Head Coach
Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), along with National Strength and Conditioning Coach Jose Polanco (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and assistant coaches Tim Back (Cincinnati, Ohio), Marc Gargaro (Newton, Mass.), Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas) and Jeff Mays (San Antonio, Texas). Following this competition, the Americans will go directly to Spain to compete in the Boxam Tournament. 

Follow Graham’s championship bout by
clicking here

Semifinal Results

51 kg: Stoyka Krasteva/BUL dec. over Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas/USA, 4-1

75 kg: Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, N.C./USA, dec. over Aoife Orourke/IRL, 5-0