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Cruz, Gonzalez and  Hemingway Record Challengers Bracket Victories to Stay Alive in the 2016 Olympic Trials for Women's Boxing
by Julie Goldsticker
October 30, 2015
Photo credit: Craig Thompson/USA Boxing

(OCT 30)  MEMPHIS, TENN. - While the three confirmed finalists enjoyed the first of two rest days at the Olympic Trials for Women's Boxing, three boxers kept their Olympic dreams alive with victories in Thursday's challengers bracket semifinal competition. Flyweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), lightweight Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and middleweight Tika Hemingway (Brackenridge, Pa.) all secured spots in the challengers bracket finals on Thursday at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tenn.

Cruz stepped in to the ring first, taking on Giovanna Camacho (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in flyweight competition. Camacho was the second straight U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program athlete that Cruz faced and once again, she emerged victorious. She used her experience, movement and reach to outbox Camacho in the contest and advanced in the tournament with a 3-0 win over Camacho. Cruz will face off with 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) for the second time in the 2016 Olympic Trials on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. The winner of her bout with Esparza will move on to the championship round to face Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas)

After a medical walkover victory on Wednesday, Junior and Youth World Champion Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) stepped back in to the ring on Thursday for a bout with the U.S. Army's Rianna Rios (Colorado Springs, Colo.). The bout was a rematch from the finals of the Olympic Trials Qualifier in Colorado Springs in June and Gonzalez duplicated the result from their first match-up. Gonzalez used her aggressive style and pressure to win a 3-0 decision over Rios in the rematch. Gonzalez's victory advances her to a showdown with 2012 World Champion Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) on Friday. It will be the first bout between the two accomplished boxers.

Thursday's middleweight bout was a hotly-contested match-up between Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) and Tika Hemingway (Brackenridge, Pa.). As is always the case when the two experienced boxers meet, the match-up was close with momentum swings throughout the contest. At the end of four rounds, both boxers eagerly awaited the decision as their Olympic hopes hung in the balance. Hemingway received the news she was hoping for as the announcer named her the victor by split decision. She moves on to a Friday bout with 2015 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist Raquel Miller (San Diego, Calif.).

Despite not making the Olympic Team, Crews is one of the most decorated American female boxers of the last decade. An eight-time USA Boxing National Champion and highly successful international boxer, Crews won a silver medal in the 2012 Women's World Championships.

The three challengers bracket final round bouts will begin at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Memphis Cook Convention Center with Friday's victors moving on to Saturday's championship bouts. Due to the double elimination format, the three challengers bracket winners will need to defeat the three current finalists, flyweight Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas), lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) and middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) twice to win the 2016 Olympic Trials.

The Men's Trials Qualifier moved in to the quarterfinal competition on Thursday at the Cook Convention Center and the night's 37 winners clinched spots in the semifinal round with victories in today's action. As the top two finishers in each weight division clinch spots in the Olympic Trials for Men's Boxing, the remaining male athletes only need one more time to qualify for their Olympic Trials.

Shields enjoyed a special treat on her first rest day, serving as the Honorary Duckmaster at the famed Peabody Hotel. The reigning Olympic, World and Pan American Games champion participated in the same tradition as numerous American Presidents, celebrities and dignitaries, leading the ducks in to the Peabody lobby and escorting them in to the fountain in front of a large crowd of spectators.

Olympic Trials for Women's Boxing Results
112 lbs/challengers bracket: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y., dec. Giovanna Camacho, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3-0
132 lbs/challengers bracket: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif., dec. Rianna Rios, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3-0
165 lbs/challengers bracket: Tika Hemingway, Brackenridge, Pa., dec. Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md., 2-1

Men's Trials Qualifier III Results
108 lbs: Rondarrius Hunter, Atlanta, GA., dec. Rodney De Baca, Hayward, Calif., 3-0
108 lbs: Nicholas Scaturicho, Hartsdale, N.Y., dec. Xenon Mallari, Las Vegas, Nev., 3-0
114 lbs: Eros Correa, San Jose, Calif., won on TKO over Adrian Ghisoiu, Las Vegas, Nev., TKO-1
114 lbs: Timothy Jarman, St. Louis, Mo., dec. Daniel Sandoz, Stroudsburg, Pa., 2-1
114 lbs: Khalid Twaiti, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Shon Mondragon, Commerce City, Colo., 2-1
123 lbs: Juan Gonzales, San Antonio, Texas won on disqualification over Dan Abram, Kansas City, Mo., DQ
123 lbs: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio dec. Anthony Chavez, San Bernadino, Calif., 3-0
123 lbs: Efren Lopez, Fresno, Calif., dec. Raheem Robinson, Jamaica, N.Y., 2-1
123 lbs: Sandy Rivas, Odessa, Fla., dec. Rocky Marzan, Scranton, Pa., 3-0
132 lbs: Arnold Alejandro, Grand Prairie, Texas dec. Trea Talton, Reno, Nev., 2-1
132 lbs: Bruce Carrington, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Michael Dutchover, Midland, Texas, 2-1
132 lbs: Maliek Montgomery, Macon, Ga., won on TKO over Elijah Peixoto, E. Providence, R.I., TKO-1
132 lbs: Jousce Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif., dec. Yousif Saleh, Chicago, Ill., 3-0
141 lbs: Richardson Hitchins, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. Eduardo Garcia, Houston, Texas, 3-0
141 lbs: Frank Martin, Indianapolis, Ind., dec. Christian Camarena, Pasadena, Calif., 3-0
141 lbs: Marcell Davidson, Kansas City, Kansas dec. Randy Moreno, Las Vegas, Nev., 2-1
141 lbs: Abraham Nova, Albany, N.Y., dec. Nasir Jones, Philadelphia, Pa., 3-0
152 lbs: Quinton Randall, Katy, Texas dec. Kenneth Thomas, Indianapolis, Ind., 2-1
152 lbs: Javaune James, Miramar, Fla., dec. Michael Montgomery, Macon, GA., 2-1
152 lbs: Ferdinand Kerobyan, N. Hollywood, Calif., dec. Nikolas Vasquez, Settle, Wash., 3-0
152 lbs: Rashid Stevens, Gahanna, Ohio, dec. Julian Smith, Robbins, Ill., 2-1
165 lbs: Carlos Monroe, Snellville, Ga., dec. Joseph Hicks, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2-1
165 lbs: Frederick Wilson, Cleveland, Ohio dec. Javier Martinez, Milwaukee, Wis., 2-1
165 lbs: Donald Wallace, Cantonsville, Md., dec. Gregory Soileau, Marion, La., 3-
165 lbs: Charles Conwell, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, dec. Kevin Green, New Orleans, La., 3-0
178 lbs: Martez McGregor, Maywood, Ill., dec. Jose Rodriguez, Tallmadge, Ohio, 3-0
178 lbs: Eric Moon, Marietta, Ga., dec. Emilio Rodriguez, Mission Hills, Calif., 2-1
178 lbs: Joseph George, Houston, Texas dec. Kiante Irving, Ambridge, Pa., 2-1
178 lbs: Chyrye Anderson, N. Las Vegas, Nev., dec. Edgar Berlanga, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2-1
201 lbs: Marquise Williams, Newburgh, N.Y., dec. Lonnie Adams, Long Beach, Calif., 2-1
201 lbs: Cedric Washington, Pearland, Texas won on disqualification over Jason Beauchamp, Henderson, Nev., DQ
201 lbs: Sardius Simmons, Flint, Mich., dec. Edmen Shabazyan, Glendale, Calif., 2-1
201 lbs: Brandon Glanton, Atlanta, Ga., dec. Randy Harris, Longview, Texas, 3-0
201+ lbs: Elvis Garcia, Tacoma, Wash., dec. Leonid Grachev, Boulder, Colo., 2-1
201+ lbs: Nkosi Solomon, Brooklyn, N.Y., dec. John Luna, Milwaukee, Wis., 3-0
201+ lbs: Brandon Lynch, Albany, N.Y., dec. Derrick Durr, Chicago, Ill.
201+ lbs: Elvis Garcia, Tacoma, Wash., dec. Leonid Grachev, Boulder, Colo., 2-1

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