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Team USA grabs three wins on first day of 41st Annual Gee Bee Tournament

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Team USA began its first leg of their month-long European tour by picking up three victories during today’s first session of boxing at the 41st annual Gee Bee Tournament in Helsinki, Finland. 

Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas) started the day facing a familiar opponent, Hampus Bromman of Sweden, who he faced in the opening round of this year’s Strandja Tournament. The bout ended in similar fashion, as Garcia once again took all five judges’ cards at the conclusion of the bout to advance to tomorrow’s quarterfinal bout against two-time Olympian Enrico Lacruz of the Netherlands in the evening session.

Bantamweight Jewry Rodriguez (Houston, Texas) picked up her own impressive unanimous decision victory to take Team USA’s second victory of the day. Rodriguez used strong combinations and power shots to the body to advance to Saturday’s semifinal bout against Ukraine’s Anastasia Kovalchuk, the 2022 European Champion. 

Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) closed out the day in dominating fashion over Finland’s Jenni Kiili, which saw the referee stop the bout during the second round. Morelle landed numerous combinations and gave her opponent multiple eight counts in the first two rounds before the referee called the bout. McCane will return to the ring tomorrow against 2022 World Championship silver medalist Charlie Cavanagh of Canada during the day’s second session.

2021 World Championship silver medalists Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) returned to the ring for the first time since his 2022 AMBC Elite Championships gold medal performance against Germany’s Salah Ibrahim. Hill started slow but starte
d to find his groove in the later rounds, however, could not overcome Ibrahim’s stronger opening rounds to fall short in a 4-1 decision. 

Garcia and McCane will be joined by Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) and Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) in tomorrow’s evening session, while Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho) will box in the first session of the day. Session one begins at 6:00 a.m. ET, while the second session begins at 11:00 a.m. ET. 

Both sessions can be streamed by clicking here, and you can follow along the action on USA Boxing’s social media accounts. 

Day 1 Results

51 kg: Salah Ibrahim/GER dec. over Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, 4-1 

54 kg: Jewry Rodriguez, Houston, Texas/USA, dec. over Zeina Nassar/GER, 5-0

63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over Hampus Bromman/SWE, 5-0

66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, won by RSC over Jenni Kiili/FIN, RSC-2

Day 2 Schedule

57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, vs. Kirill Serikov/EST 

57 kg: Alyssa Mendoza, Caldwell, Idaho/USA, vs. Asya Ari/GER 

63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, vs. Enrico Lacruz/NED  

66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, vs. Charlie Cavanagh/CAN 

71 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, vs. Martin Skogheim/NOR 

80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, vs. Arvydas Dainys/LTU