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Four Boxers Secure Place in Quarterfinals of World Championships

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Team USA saw four more boxers advance to the quarterfinals round of the 2021 Elite Men’s World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. 

Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) picked up his third win of these Championships by way of unanimous decision over a familiar opponent, Luiz Chalot of Brazil. The two boxers faced each other at the 2019 Emil Jechev Youth Memorial Tournament, which saw Harvey have the same outcome as this bout.

The American started off strong, taking four of the five judges’ cards, as well as all five cards in the second round following a dominate round. The third round saw the Brazilian try to play catch up, landing a few more shots on Harvey to grab the round 3-2, however, it was too late to catch Harvey. Harvey will return to the ring in tomorrow’s quarterfinal bout against Rujakran Juntrong of Thailand.

Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) closed out the first session of the day for Team USA with a strong performance over Martin Skogheim of Norway. Jones grabbed all three rounds of the judges’ scorecards, including a couple 10-8 rounds in the second round. 

Jones will now look to his next opponent, 2020 Olympian Wanderson De Oliveira of Brazil, in tomorrow’s quarterfinal bout. 

Flyweight Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) started the second session of the day with his second victory of the tournament, this time against 2019 European Games Champion and 2016 Olympian, Artur Hovhannisyan of Armenia. 

Hill began the fight by taking three of the five judges’ cards in the first round, followed by taking four of the five in the second. Hill closed out his victory with a strong final round, resulting in all judges’ awarding him the round and a 4-1 decision overall. Hill will go against Federico Serra of Italy, tomorrow. 

Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) closed out today’s boxing with an intense bout against Odiljon Aslonov of Uzbekistan. 

After the first round, Aslonov held a 4-1 lead, causing Gonzales to pick up the pace in round two. The American grabbed all five judges’ cards, however, took a point from both boxers, leading the score cards to be tied on four cards and one in favor of Gonzales. With the fight on the line, Gonzales left it all in the ring, taking the 3-2 victory and a spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinals bout against Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Bekzhigit. 

Light welterweight Vershaun Lee (Rock Island, Ill.) saw his World Championships run come to an end after falling short against the 2019 World Champion and 2020 Olympic Champion Andy Cruz Gomez of Cuba, resulting in Lee finishing in the top 16 in the world in his international debut.   

Obed Bartee-El (Harvest, Ala.) and Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) will join today’s four winners tomorrow, with Jones boxing in the first session and the remaining boxers taking to the ring in the evening session. Wins tomorrow will guarantee the boxers a medal.
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Day 8 Results

51 kg: Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, vs. Artur Hovhannisyan/ARM, 4-1

57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. over Luiz Chalot/BRA, 5-0

63.5 kg: Andy Cruz/CUB dec. over Vershaun Lee, Rock Island, Ill./USA, 5-0

67 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, vs. Martin Skogheim/NOR, 5-0

80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, vs. Odiljon Aslonov/UZB, 3-2 

Quarterfinals Bouts

51 kg: Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, vs. Federico Serra/ITA

57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, vs. Rujakran Juntrong/TBF

67 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, vs. Wanderson De Oliveira, BRA

71 kg: Obed Bartee-El, Harvest, Ala./USA, vs. Sarkhan Aliyev/AZE

80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, vs. Omurbek Bekzhigit/KGZ

92 kg: Jamar Talley, Camden, N.J./USA, vs. Emmanuel Reyes/ESP