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Team USA sweeps second day of 2023 Gee Bee Tournament

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Team USA went 6-0 during the second day of boxing at the 2023 Gee Bee Tournament in Helsinki, Finland, securing at least five bronze medals and advancing one to Sunday’s championship bout.

2021 World Champion Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) continued his winning ways in dominating fashion over Lithuania’s Arvydas Dainys. The light heavyweight gave his opponent three standing eight counts in less than a minute to result in the referee stopping the bout in the opening round. Gonzales will next face Keven Beausejour of Canada in tomorrow’s semifinal bout, which has guaranteed him his second international medal of 2023.

Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho) put on her own impressive performance against Asya Ari of Germany, the 2022 Youth World Championship silver medalists. Mendoza dominated all three rounds, which included multiple judges scoring the rounds 10-8 in favor of the American, as well as giving her opponent two standing eight counts throughout the bout, to advance to the medal rounds. The featherweight will next face Finland’s Vilma Viitanen, a two-time U22 European medalist, in tomorrow’s semifinal bout.

2021 featherweight World Champion Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) continued Team USA’s winning ways with a strong performance in his tournament debut against Kirill Serikov of Estonia, taking all five judges’ cards at the conclusion of the bout. Harvey will return to the ring tomorrow for a semifinal bout against Frederik Jensen of Denmark.

Light welterweight Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas) picked up his second victory of the tournament, this time a unanimous decision over two-time Olympian Enrico Lacruz of the Netherlands to secure his second straight international medal of 2023. Garcia will be back in the ring tomorrow to face another Olympian, Wyatt Sanford of Canada.

Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) was the fifth member of Team USA to win and advance to the medal rounds after his 4-1 decision victory over Martin Skogheim of Norway. The light middleweight will look to advance to the championship bout with a win tomorrow over Canada's Junior Petanqui.

Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) closed out the successful day, picking up Team USA’s sixth win of the day, becoming the first American to advance to Sunday’s championship bout. McCane took a 4-1 split decision victory over 2022 Elite Women’s World Championship silver medalist Charlie Cavanagh of Canada to set up a gold medal bout against Germany’s Stefanie von Berge, who McCane defeated at last year’s USA Boxing International Invitational.

Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas), Jewry Rodriguez (Houston, Texas) and Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) will join their five teammates that advanced today to tomorrow’s semifinal bouts.

USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will lead the team throughout their time in Helsinki along with National Resident Coach Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), National Developmental Coach Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas).

Tomorrow’s bouts will be broken into two sessions, 6:00 a.m. ET and 11:00 a.m. ET, and can be watched here.

Day 2 Results
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. over Kirill Serikov/EST 5-0 
57 kg: Alyssa Mendoza, Caldwell, Idaho/USA, dec. over Asya Ari/GER, 5-0
63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over Enrico Lacruz/NED, 5-0.
66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, dec. over Charlie Cavanagh/CAN, 4-1
71 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, vs. Martin Skogheim/NOR, 4-1
80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, won by RSC over Arvydas Dainys/LTU, RSC-1
Semifinals Schedule
50 kg: Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas/USA, vs. Tatiana Kob/UKR 
54 kg: Jewry Rodriguez, Houston, Texas/USA, vs. Anastasia Kovalchuk/UKR 
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, vs. Frederik Jensen/DEN
57 kg: Alyssa Mendoza, Caldwell, Idaho/USA, vs. Vilma Viitanen/FIN
63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, vs. Wyatt Sanford/CAN
71 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, vs. Junior Petanqui/CAN
80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, vs. Keven Beausejour/CAN 
92 kg: Jamar Talley, Camden, N.J./USA, vs. Umar Caracamo/CAN