(OCT 10) (COLORADO SPRINGS,
COLO.) – While one squad of athletes competes in the Elite Men’s
World Championships in Kazakhstan, a second U.S. team will box
in neighboring Russia at the SportAccord World Combat Games. A
mixed squad of nine athletes will represent the United States in
the multi-sport event in St. Petersburg, Russia, October 18-26.
Over 1300 athletes from across the world are scheduled to
participate in 15 different martial and combat sports in the
second edition of the event.
The three female members of the U.S. squad possess the majority
of the team’s international experience with 2012 Olympic bronze
medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) and 2012 Olympian Queen
Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) both competing in their second
international event of the year. Esparza and Underwood have been
training full-time at the Olympic Training Center with USA
Boxing International Teaching Coach Pedro Roque as members of
USA Boxing’s resident program. Middleweight Franchon Crews
(Baltimore, Md.) is also no stranger to the international arena
and she returns to global competition at the World Combat Games.
The six male members of the U.S. squad all claimed silver medals
at the 2013 USA Boxing National Championships in April to earn
their berths in the international tournament. Light flyweight
Leopoldo Martinez (Laredo, Texas), bantamweight Stephen Fulton
Jr. (Philadelphia, Pa.), lightweight Cresencio Ramos (San
Antonio, Texas), light welterweight Nicholas Jefferson (Tacoma,
Wash.), welterweight Tony Losey (Wichita, Kansas), and
heavyweight Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) will compete
alongside the experienced trio of women in Russia.
The 15 Martial Arts and Combat Sports included in the World
Combat Games are aikido, boxing, fencing, judo, jujitsu, karate,
kendo, kickboxing, muaythai, sambo, Ssavate, sumo, taekwondo,
wrestling, and wushu. The SportAccord World Combat Games promote
the values of self-control, determination and technical mastery,
integrating elements of culture, wisdom and friendship to create
an elite sports competition in the art of combat.
In addition to the eight days of tournament competition, the
Combat Games will feature a cultural program reflecting the
ancient traditions of martial arts as well as the social and
cultural values of the 15 sports and the event as a whole.
Topics will deal with the cultural dimensions of the martial
arts and their social value and contribution to society.
The United States team will travel to Russia on October 16,
arriving in St. Petersburg prior to the opening ceremony on
October 18. The three days of boxing competition will begin with
quarterfinal round competition on October 20. Semifinal round
action will take place on October 22 and the championship bouts
will be contested on October 24 prior to the United States team
returning home on October 25.
In the first year following the 2012 Olympic Games, USA Boxing’s
athletes have already won 75 medals in international action and
the nine boxers competing in St. Petersburg plan to add to that
total at the World Combat Games.
Bienvendio “Benny” Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Andrews Soto
(Phoenix, Ariz.) and Daniel Soto (Kissimmee, Fla.) will serve as
the United States coaches in Russia with Dr. Kenneth Kurt
(Franksville, Wis.) joining the squad as the Team Physician.
108 lbs/male: Leopoldo Martinez, Laredo, Texas
112 lbs/female: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas (2012 Olympic
123 lbs/male: Stephen Fulton, Jr., Philadelphia, Pa.
132 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash. (2012 Olympian)
132 lbs/male: Cresencio Ramos, San Antonio, Texas
141 lbs/male: Nicholas Jefferson, Tacoma, Wash.
152 lbs/male: Tony Losey, Wichita, Kansas
165 lbs/female: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md.
201 lbs/male: Joshua Temple, St. Louis, Mo.
Coach: Bienvenido “Benny” Roman, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Coach: Andrews Soto, Phoenix, Ariz.
Coach: Daniel Soto, Kissimmee, Fla.
Team Physician: Dr. Kenneth Kurt, Franksville, Wis.