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Graham and McCane finish World Championships in top 16

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Morelle McCane’s (Cleveland, Ohio) 2022 Elite World Championships run came to an end this weekend with both boxers finishing in the top 16 of their weight classes.

McCane saw the first two rounds of her bout with Sema Caliskan of Turkey be scored 4-1 in favor of Caliskan before putting on a dominate third round that saw the Turkish boxer receive a standing eight count in the closing seconds. Three of the five judges scored it 10-8 in favor of the American, resulting in two judges having the bout tied in the end, however, they both selected the Turkish boxer as the overall winner, resulting in a close 3-2 decision for Caliskan.

Graham once again faced a familiar opponent in Tammara Thibeault of Canada. Thibeault took the lead after the first round, however, Graham came back strong in the second round to even the score, 19-19, across the board. However, in the end, the Canadian took all five judges’ cards in the final round to pull out the unanimous decision. 

Team USA will have three boxers’ step into the ring today.
Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and Arika Skoog (Boston, Mass.) will be making their tournament debuts after receiving a first round bye, while Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) will be in her second bout of these championships.

Gonzalez will be competing in her first World Championships since 2016, while Skoog will be making her World Championships debut. 

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May 13 Results

70 kg: Sema Caliskan/TUR dec. over Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, 3-2

May 14 Results

75 kg: Tammara Thibeault/CAN dec. over Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, N.C./USA, 5-0