Gonzales and Harvey Crowned World Champions; Hill Takes Silver on Final Day of 2021 World Championships
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
Team USA concluded their World Championships run with a strong performance on the final day of competition in Belgrade, Serbia, resulting in two golds and one silver.
Featherweight Jahmal Harvey (Oxon, Hill, Md.) closed out his impressive World Championships debut with his sixth win of the tournament to become USA Boxing’s first male elite World Champion since 2007. Harvey also becomes the first USA Boxing featherweight World Champion since Rocky Juarez accomplished the feat in 1999.
Harvey defeated Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan, 5-0, to take the world title. The American grabbed all five judges’ cards after the first round, however, saw Temirzhanov come back strong in the second round to pick up two of the judges’ cards to make the fight closer in the final round. Harvey proved to be too quick and skillful for his opponent, winning four out of the five cards in the final round to take the unanimous decision.
Harvey’s World Championship run included wins over Vasile Usturoi of Belarus, 2019 World Champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan, Luiz Chalot of Brazil, Rujakran Juntrong of Thailand, as well as 2020 Olympian Samuel Kistohurry of France.
Light heavyweight Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) came from behind for the second fight in a row to become the light heavyweight World Champion. Gonzales overcame a first-round knock-down that resulted in a standing eight count, as well as a second standing eight count in the second round following a low blow, to take the overall 3-2 decision over Aliaksei Alfiorau of Belarus.
The American saw Alfiorau take all five judges’ cards after the first round before taking his own two cards in the second. With the fight on the line, Gonzales needed to win all five judges’ cards in the final round, as well as have at least one judge score the round 10-8 in his favor. Gonzales continued to dominate in the final round, while Alfiorau threw barley any punches, as well as seemed to run from the American.
When the final score was shown, Gonzales did exactly what he needed in the final round to take the victory and world title, the first for an American male light heavyweight since Michael Simms in 1999.
Gonzales defeated Sachin Kumar of India, Odiljon Aslonov of Uzbekistan, Omurbek Bekzhigit of Kyrgyzstan and Vladimir Mironchikov of Serbia in route to his final bout.
Flyweight Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) fell short of becoming Team USA’s third World Champion of the tournament after suffering a 5-0 loss to 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and 2019 World Championships bronze medalist Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan. Hill’s silver medal performance was the first men’s elite flyweight medal since Rau’see Warren won bronze in 2011.
Gonzales, Harvey and Hill join Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) as Team USA’s medalist of these World Championships. The four medals is the most medals won by a men’s elite team since 1999.
Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Boxing National Head Coach, Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.), National Development Coach, Jose Polanco (Colorado Springs, Colo.), National Strength and Conditioning Coach, will lead the team throughout the World Championships, alongside assistant coaches Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.) and Pete Rojas Jr. (Grand Prairie, Texas).
511 boxers from 87 different countries will take to the rings in the Stark Arena, looking to take a world title. For a complete look back at the tournament, click here.
51 kg: Saken Bibossinov/KAZ dec. over Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, 5-0
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. over Serik Temirzhanov/KAZ, 5-0
80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Aliaksei Alfiorau/BLR, 3-2