2021 Junior Pan-American Games USA Boxing Recap
51KG Kayla Gomez, El Paso, Texas/USA – a relentless aggressor, who is a 3rd generation boxer, who looks more like a model then a prizefighter, yet packs a heck of a punch. She got ready for the Pan-Am Games by stopping Vicky Zhao, at the Beautiful Brawlers event in Pacifica, California, and took the momentum from that event into a gold medal win internationally. Gomez has a very good pro-style, and the only thing left to see is how she handles fighters in the elite division, but right now Gomez looks to be someone you need to keep your eyes on for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team.
57KG Jewry Rodriguez, Houston, Texas/USA – USA Boxing is doing a phenomenal job of developing one of the foremost world-class women’s boxing programs, and Jewry Rodriguez is yet another example. A good counter-puncher, who finds her success with angles, movement, and well-placed shots. Rodriguez is still growing and has the chance to be a very elite fighter for years to come. I feel like we haven’t seen her ceiling at all.
57KG Julius Ballo, San Diego, Calif./USA – Ballo is a really smart fighter who has a good right hand from the orthodox stance, solid speed, but his elite trait, is he is good at selling other fighters on his feints. This allows him to dictate the action as fighter will become much more tentative to exchange with him. I see him and Jonathan Mansour being heavily sought after from a marketing stand-point by pro promoters.
69 kg Quincey Williams, Washington, D.C./USA – Williams is fast with cat-like reflexes and good boxing IQ as he stays composed and sees shots coming and makes opponents pay. Williams is a sharp shooter who catches opponents coming in and uses their aggression against them. Williams is a very interesting prospect to keep tabs on.
69 kg: Jesikah Guerra, Victorville, Calif./USA – An enjoyable action fighter, who has a good jab when she chooses to use it, but how mean she is in the ring is her best trait. Guerra looks to impose her will upon her opponents, it will be fun following her journey through the USA Boxing program.
52 kg: Steven Navarro, Los Angeles, Calif./USA – One of my favorite amateurs in the whole country, Steven Navarro, got a silver, but it wasn’t for nothing as the five-tool prospect, went to war with a very good Cuban fighter, in what could be a preview of the 2024 Olympics for all that we know. Navarro is defensively sound, has pro level conditioning, and is very intelligent with the way he moves in the ring. Barring something weird, I don’t know how he doesn’t become a world champion one day. Navarro feels like one of the next great L.A. fighters.
60 kg: Faith Mendez, Ocala, Fla./USA – Mendez is a very special fighter who is a southpaw who loves to throw straight punches, but will also be aggressive if she sees the openings. Mendez will always be in the top tier of any division she compete in.
91+ kg: Ali Feliz, Danbury, Conn./USA – Feliz must hit really hard, because to be honest I don’t quite understand his style just yet. Feliz likes to work in close, but at times stands a bit too tall for my liking, but will exchange with the best of them, and more often then not gets the better of his opponents. Being a young guy, I think as he grows into his body, I will better understand his elite traits, but he someone to watch for.
63 kg: Joel Iriarte, Bakersfield, Calif./USA – Iriarte reminds me of Jose Ramirez 2.0, a high-motor pressure fighter, who will never take a step backward. Iriarte has the ability to box, but his biggest attribute is his punch output, and punch placement, while not being reckless or stupid on defense. Iriarte would be a very good pro right now, and will be an even better pro, in a few years.
75 kg: Donte Layne, Elmont, N.Y./USA – A really good distance fighter, who is coming into his own, with more time and experience we will see him properly develop.
91 kg: Ali Almajdi, Arlington, Texas/USA – Very good at using his frame and fighting tall. At times can get a bit ahead of himself, but showed that he belongs on the world stage.
Sativa James, Dixon, Calif./USA – James is ascending to the world-level very quickly and though not the result she wanted from her first national tournament, it is just experience under her belt. James has good distance control, and is awkward, with more experience she can have a real chance to be in the running for the 2024 Olympic team.