41 National Champs are Crowned in Spokane
March/April 2013
The 2013 edition of the USA Boxing National Championships took place in Spokane, Wash., March 31-April 6 with over 320 athletes competing in the annual event. The event featured the introduction of several new divisions and the recent AIBA rule changes with national champions being crowned in five different divisions. The preliminary rounds took place at the HUB Sports Center Monday through Thursday with the men’s elite semifinals and all the championship round action taking place at the Pend Oreille Pavilion at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. The event was a tremendous success and the event hosts at Northern Quest look forward to welcoming USA Boxing back to the Pacific Northwest for the next three years. Next year's event will take place January 18-25, 2014 with the 2015 edition being contested January 17-24, 2015. The Olympic year event will be contested January 23-30, 2016 in Spokane. 

Forty-one boxers claimed national championships over two days of final round competition at Northern Quest. Congratulations to all of the 2013 USA Boxing National Champions. The winners in the youth men’s division are: light flyweight Gilbert Renteria (Houston, Texas), flyweight Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.), bantamweight Jarico O’Quinn (Lansing, Mich.), lightweight Lamont Roach (Upper Marlboro, Md.), light welterweight Alexis Urbina (Phoenix, Ariz.), welterweight Kareem Martin (Clinton, Md.), middleweight Alex Rincon (Carrollton, Texas), light heavyweight Elvis Figueroa (New Haven, Conn.) and heavyweight John Luna (Milwaukee, Wis.). Lamont Roach was named the Outstanding Boxer in the men’s youth division. 

2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) headlined the women’s youth division, but due to no one entering the tournament in her weight division, she won her first USA Boxing National Championships title unopposed. Four talented young ladies did compete in tournament action and the winners were: light flyweight Marisol Lopez (Stratford, Calif.), featherweight Dida Gonzalez (Houston, Texas), lightweight Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) and welterweight Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.). Rashida Ellis took home the Outstanding Boxer award in her youth female division.  

With the AIBA rule change removing headgear in the men’s elite division, the male senior division was introduced in 2013 USA Boxing National Championships action. The competitors in the senior men’s division competed with headgear but will not advance to the international level. The 2013 USA Boxing National Championships in the senior division were: flyweight Charles Williams (Colorado Springs, Colo.), bantamweight Gary Antonio Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.), lightweight Canton Miller (St. Louis, Mo.), light welterweight Patrick Harris (Hyattsville, Md.), welterweight Reyes Marquez (Colorado Springs, Colo.), middleweight Christopher Galeano (Bronx, N.Y.), light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), heavyweight Alvin Varmall (Laplace, La.), and super heavyweight Stephan Shaw (St. Louis, Mo.). Gary Russell claimed the Outstanding Boxer award in the newly created division.  

The elite women’s roster was talented from top to bottom with the first-ever Olympic medalist taking the ring in USA Boxing National Championships flyweight action and her lightweight teammate both winning gold and numerous internationally experienced athletes earning berths on another national team. The 2013 elite women’s champions are: light flyweight Elisha Halstead (Philadelphia, Pa.), flyweight Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), bantamweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), featherweight Jennifer Hamann (Seattle, Wash.), lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.), light welterweight Bertha Aracil (Yonkers, N.Y.), welterweight Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.), middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) and light heavyweight Tiffanie Hearn (Oxnard, Calif.). 2012 Olympian Queen Underwood won the Outstanding Boxer award in elite women’s action.  

The final athletes to take home the gold in Spokane were the elite male competitors, who competed for the first time in Olympic-style boxing action without headgear. The list of winners includes a couple of veterans as well as new faces to the elite scene. The ten champions who will now prepare for the 2013 AIBA Men’s World Championships are: light flyweight Leroy Davila (New Brunswick, N.J.), flyweight Malik Jackson (Washington DC), bantamweight Eduardo Martinez (Aurora, Calif.), lightweight Kenneth Sims, Jr. (Chicago, Ill.), light welterweight Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas), welterweight Jamontay Clark (Cincinnati, Ohio), middleweight Leshawn Rodriguez (Shirley, N.Y.), light heavyweight Geremias Torres (Holyoke, Mass.), heavyweight Michael Hilton (Trenton, N.J.) and super heavyweight Cam Thompson (Kansas City, Kansas). Malik Jackson was named the Outstanding Boxer in the men’s elite division following his impressive run through the best in the division.