Team USA Clinches Four Medals at 2021 World Championships
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
Team USA continued their strong showing at the 2021 Elite Men’s World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia by clinching four medals, the most for a men's team since winning a total of four golds in 1999.
Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) got the day started with an impressive win over 2020 Olympian Wanderson De Oliveira of Brazil.
The American earned all five judges’ cards at the conclusion of the first round, which resulted in the Brazilian to come back strong in the second, however, three judges still scored it in favor of Jones. The final round was another tightly contested round, resulting in Jones taking four of the five cards and the overall unanimous decision.
Jones, who secured Team USA’s first medal of these Championships, will look to advance to the championship bout when he goes head-to-head against Lasha Guruli of Georgia.
Flyweight Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) began the second session of the day with another impressive performance, using his defensive skills to set himself apart from his opponent. The first two rounds went 4-1 in favor of Hill, and he secured his victory over Italian Federico Serra with a strong final round to take all five judges’ cards for the 4-1 final decision.
Hill’s victory sets him up for a semifinal matchup against Russia’s Akhtem Zakirov Thursday, where he will look to improve his already guaranteed bronze medal.
Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) continued Team USA’s winning ways with his fourth victory of the tournament. The 18-year-old grabbed all five judges’ cards in each of the three rounds to take the unanimous decision over Rujakran Juntrong of Thailand.
Harvey will face 2020 Olympian France’s Samuel Kistohurry in Thursday’s semifinal bout.
Light heavyweight Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) clinched Team USA’s fourth medal of these championships following a strong performance against Omurbek Bekzhigit of Kyrgyzstan. The American took all five judges’ cards at the conclusion of round one, followed by a 4-1 second round. Gonzales closed out the bout by taking all five judges’ cards to win unanimously.
Gonzales’ semifinal matchup will be against Serbia’s Vladimir Mironchikov.
Obed Bartee-El (Harvest, Ala.) and Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) saw their World Championships run come to an end following close split decision losses. Both boxers will leave the tournament with a top eight finish in their World Championships debut.
Semifinal action, including bout sheets, can be found here.
51 kg: Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, dec. over Federico Serra/ITA, 4-1
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. Rujakran Juntrong/TBF, 5-0
67 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, dec. Wanderson De Oliveira, BRA, 5-0
71 kg: Sarkhan Aliyev/AZE, 3-2 dec. over Obed Bartee-El, Harvest, Ala./USA, 3-2
80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Omurbek Bekzhigit/KGZ, 5-0
92 kg: Emmanuel Reyes/ESP dec. over Jamar Talley, Camden, N.J./USA, 4-1