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Naomi Graham Wins Gold at 2021 Strandja Tournament

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Middleweight Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) capped off her impressive tournament run with a 4-1 victory over Kazakhstan’s Nadezhda Ryabets, a former Junior World Champion and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 qualifier, to win her third Strandja Tournament gold medal in a row. 

Graham, who was boxing in her fourth bout of the tournament, defeated Anastasiia Chernokolenko of Ukraine (4-1), Kachari Bhagyabati of India (5-0) and Aoife Orourke of Ireland (5-0) to advance to today’s championship bout.  At the conclusion of the women’s finals Graham was announced as the second runner-up in the Boxer of the Tournament standings to add to her medal. 

Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) was awarded her bronze medal she secured during yesterday’s semifinal bouts during today’s medal ceremony. 

This year marked the 72nd edition of the Strandja Tournament, which brought over 200 boxers from 30 different countries to Sofia, Bulgaria to compete. Team USA leaves the tournament with a 12-6 record. 

The seven boxers, along with
Bruce Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y.), will head to Spain tomorrow to compete in the Boxam Tournament, which is set to begin on Tuesday.  

Continue to check USA Boxing’s social media platforms and for updates on the tournament in Spain. 


75 kg: Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, N.C./USA, dec. over Nadezhda Ryabets/KAZ, 4-1