Who To Follow After The Last USA Boxing Nationals Of 2021


Flyweight region (110-119 lbs.)

Steven Navarro, YM 119 – One of my favorite fighters in the country, Navarro is the total package of discipline, skill, smarts, and dedication. Navarro is going to be tough for anyone to beat, and at the junior Pan-Am Games it took everything the Cuban he faced had to beat Navarro. Navarro is trending towards being a very special fighter.

Aaron Garcia, EM 112 lbs winner – Garcia won a competitive division coming in as the fourth seed to start, and will be someone to watch in future events.

Richard Fernandez, EM 112 silver – Fernandez is notable since he beat one the best fighters in the lower weights, Jordan Roach, who is the son of Lamont Roach Sr.

Jordan Roach, EM 112 lost in semi-finals – A dominant force in USA Boxing at nationals got ousted in the semi-finals, but is still viewed as a pro-ready fighter in the lower weight classes, who targets to body well for a young fighter.

Jovanny Aguilar-Sanchez, EM 119 winner – Aguilar-Sanchez stood out in the elite men’s 119 division winning his bracket, now he has the chance to be a part of the Team USA Boxing program, and is notable.

Ryan Williams, YM 112 winner – Williams beat Bruno Rios, of Compton, California, and continues to have a lot of success on big stages. Williams out of Ohio, looks to be yet another solid boxer coming from this region, who will probably grow into bigger weight classes over time.

Phillip Vella – Easy to look past him, but he may have given Navarro his toughest fight of the tournament. Good angles, southpaw, a lot to like about him.

Featherweight (125-132)

Julius Ballo, EM 125 winner – Ballo is really good. After winning gold a week prior at the Pan-Am Games, Ballo was dominant and looked the part of a true world class boxer. The Bomber Squad Academy in San Diego, California is developing some very good fighters.

Keith Colon, EM 125 silver – Colon is good at everything, and might not have a trait that stands out like others, but he makes every fighter fight honest, and is very underrated for how consistent he is.

Justin Viloria, YM 132 winner – The class of the division in youth as a direct family member to boxing legend, Brian Viloria. Viloria’s lead hand hook is a winner, and was unstoppable in this tournament as he looked a level above his peers, getting stoppage wins as he was a notable of this tournament.

Javier Zamarron, EM 132 winner – Zamarron is a southpaw with a lot of skill and is a big fish in a smaller pond. Zamarron feels elite, and will be an interesting fighter to watch moving forward at nationals.

Steve Johnson, EM 125 – He might have lost a close decision to Adel Mason, but San Francisco’s Steve Johnson is proving he is a world-level fighter, and now he has to just get the finals and semi-finals consistently to make the jump to the next tier of fighter in his age bracket. Johnson has a very high ceiling.

Adel Mason, EM 125 – Mason is yet another out of the fighting Mason family that is really good boxing, and crafty beyond his years. Adel Mason is going to be someone who upsets people in this division for years to come.

Cornellio Phipps, YM 125 – Phipps defended the #1 seed in a solid division, and is looking to be the class of the division in youth currently. Phipps is a fighter to watch for.

Jesus Martinez, YM 125 – Martinez beat one of the best in the country in Troy Nash, and for that reason he is someone to watch moving forward.

Troy Nash, YM 125 – Nash lost earlier than expected, but has good pedigree and is an interesting fighter, who not unlike Steve Johnson will make for being a solid pro.

Lightweight (139 lbs)

Emilio Garcia, EM 139 winner – He won the deepest division in nationals that is filled with at least two future world champions, and even more who will contend at a high-level. Garcia is someone to be aware of.

Abdurrrahman Mason EM 139 – Yet another Mason brother who went deep into the tournament. The fighting family produces quality like a selective art-house cinema. Mason will be a force in this division especially with Powell leaving for the pros.

Deric Davis, EM 139 – “The Big Shark”, training out of Barry Hunter’s Headbangers Boxing Gym, is a solid fighter, who has good wins under his belt. Davis hold back-to-back tournament wins over Powell who is one of the best in the division and should be a force in the division.

Lorenzo Powell, EM 139 – Powell is as solid as they come and might be a bit too patient for the sprint of amateur boxing. Powell’s coach, Marty Chima took to IG to announce their plans to go pro after this event, and brought on Adrian Clark, a power broker in the boxing industry. Powell is very good, and should be someone who makes a dent in the boxing world shortly.

Dedrick Crocklem, YM 139 winner – As solid as they come, and even more so – he will improve with time. Crocklem is someone who is standing out amongst his peers and will be interesting when he goes to elite how he fits into that picture.

Welterweight (147 lbs)

Joshua Pagan, EM 147 winner – Pagan has been around for years and the only guys that have been the truly elite such as Vershaun Lee, Lorenzo Powell, and he holds a win over a good fighter in Angel Perez. Pagan is solid and will now be looking to compete against Omari Jones, who is the gold standard of this division.

Keon Davis, EM 147 – The youngest brother of the DB3 organization that is Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn, as well as Kelvin, lost in the finals, but looks to be a player in this division moving forward. He has the last name, and the skills, now we just have to see how he improves moving forward.

Benjamin Johnson, YM 147 winner – Johnson is really good, and if anyone is going to challenge Omari Jones for the Olympic spot this is the guy right here. Johnson is a special fighter with a high-motor, a lot of talent, and willingness to throw punches. Keep Johnson on your radar

Bobbie Pettigrew, YM 147 runner-up – A future boxing star out of New York, Pettigrew, is a fighter who will be very good at the next level and coming out of a major media market like New York, should be afforded chances to shine. Pettigrew is an emerging and notable boxers that will be on the scene for years to come, both professional and amateur.

Middleweight (156-165)

Justin Lacey Pierce, EM 156 winner – He beat Quincey Williams, who just won gold last week or so at the junior Pan-Am Games. That win makes you take notice of Lacey-Pierce.

Quincey Williams, EM 156 – Williams has been holding down this division both in America and outside of America, as he just won the gold at the Pan-Am Games. Williams is a good pro, who is currently fighting in the amateurs, and with Barry Hunter as his coach, he will be well-versed in all things boxing.

Amir Anderson, YM 156 winner – A future star, “Cashman”, has flash, power, and a high boxing IQ. I see him as part of a new wave of American boxing that will take place in the middle of the upcoming decade.

Donte Layne, EM 165 winner – Really good, keeps winning, and won’t stop. Great ring IQ, along with a good coach who appears to have unconditional love for the young fighter. Layne is the fighting pride of where he resides and bringing a lot to the middleweight division in amateur boxing currently.

Joseph Almajdi, YM 156 runner-up – Almajdi is another fighter who is going to be a very good pro, and fought Anderson tough in the finals, with the right experience, Almajdi will be someone who turns into a rough outing for any fighter.

Ruben Salazar, EM 156 – Salazar made it to the finals, and is a formidable foe for any in this division. Salazar is a match-up nightmare for a lot of fighters, as only the elite seem to get by him.

Joshua Dodson, YM 165 winner – The local kid won the national tournament while sleeping in his own bed. It will be fun to see Dodson’s story progress as well as seeing how he fairs at elite in the future. Dodson could be a fun ticket seller if they take advantage of his amateur success in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Joshua Jenkins, EM 156 – The talent is there, but never seems to put together the performances in back-to-back days to win the big events. Has a brother, Jordan, the two are always notable fighters who give honest efforts in the ring.

Light Heavyweight (176)

Arjan Iseni, EM 176 winner – The class of the division to make a name in this division you have to beat him. Iseni has a great frame for the division, and fights composed as well as choose the best path to victory. Iseni is the guy in America at this weight

Nasheed Smith, EM 176 runner-up – Smith is a solid fighter coming out of the Headbangers Gym in Washington D.C. Smith will be a good pro, and is a good amateur, and with the team he has behind him he has a lot of potential.

Patrick O’Connor, YM 176 winner – Solid fighter, who could negate the feared Ramir Wise’s power. To be able to take away a big punchers biggest gift shows the IQ of a fighter.

Ramir Wise, YM 176 – A big puncher from Philly, who I hope gets signed to a major promoter, and gets to display his ability to land big shots on opponents. Wise is designed to be a fun professional boxer, who will look to land big shots.

Heavyweight (203 & +)

Joshua Edwards, 203+ winner – Edwards has reminded me of a young Steve Cunningham, a boxer in a big man’s world. Edwards has a lot of talent, and it is nice to see him emerge out of this tournament, as he seemingly disappeared from my radar after the Olympic Trials.

Pryce Taylor, 203+ runner-up – The berserker as his nickname goes is going to be a very solid pro, packs a good punch, and is willing to exchange. Taylor will have to add a bit more to his game as the crop of heavyweights in the amateur might be able to get him in short rounds, but his game will be for the long haul, long durations.

Jett Blackwell, 203+ – A good slugger from Fresno, California, who sparred Mike Tyson in Tyson’s return against Roy Jones Jr. Blackwell is getting valuable experience over the course of these national tournaments, and has seen fighters like Jose Ramirez and Marcos Hernandez win as pros and will probably follow in their footsteps.

Demetrius Reed, 203 winner – A solid fighter in the no man’s land that is heavyweight or what we know in the pro-game as cruiserweight. He beat Ali Almajdi, who was the number one guy in the country, so keep tabs on him, and the fact that he stopped him in the finals made it more note-worthy.

Lorenzo Medina, YM 203 + – Having faced the Lugo’s and Cameron Patton over the course of time leveled up Medina, who won the 203 plus tournament with something like 12 amateur fights. Medina is facing the best in the division, and willing to compete.


Flyweight (106, 110 and 114)

Jennifer Lozano, YF 114 – Lozano beat Kayla Gomez en route to yet another amateur title and more than likely was the best women’s boxer in this calander year. Lozano is tough, but smart in the ring. Toughness is often a double-edged sword meaning that a tough fighter will rely too much upon, Lozano doesn’t she is tough, but can box – and not have to show her toughness. Lozano is special.

Jazzelle Bobadilla, EF 110 – A really good boxer, very experienced, and someone who gives any-and-all hard fights. Always overlooked and underrated which is a shame. Very good at what she does, nice to see her win.

Kayla Gomez, EF 114 – Won seemingly every fight this year regionally and internationally prior to facing Lozano, and is still one of the best in the sport. Gomez screams off the page as being a star, as she is a third-generation boxer with a pressure fighter style that merits stoppages in the amateurs.

Jocelyn Camarillo, YF 106 – Camarillo is all action and got a stoppage win in the finals. Rarely do people get this excited about the lower weights, but she is a different tier amongst her current competitors, and we’re excited to see what she does next.

Lexus Ramirez, YF 110 – Anyone from Hanford, Ca, will always have a piece of my heart, as my aunt Mary Betteschild, was taken from this earth far too soon, and lived there. Ramirez won this tournament, and the word we should use is took it, as she took the fight from everyone she faced.

Sa’rai Brown-El, YF 114 – The proven winner Brown-El out of the Lugo Fighting Team, only knows one way, that is to win. Weaponizing pace, conditioning and strength, Brown-El is someone to keep on your radar as she is getting better year after year.

Featherewight (119, 125 and 132)

Amelia Moore, EF 125 – Moore was a force at this tournament as her tall frame gave fighters fits, and she refused to not win this tournament. Moore is looking improved from the 2019 Olympic Trials, and looks to be one of the major forces fighters will have to face to compete for a spot at the Olympics.

Jewry Rodriguez, EF 125 – The experience of Moore provided a bit too much for Rodriguez, but she made it to the finals and put up a game effort. Rodriguez will now have to adjust to what didn’t work against Moore, and get herself back into that position to compete against Moore in the near future.

Jasmine Hampton, EF 119 – Hampton beat experienced amateur Natalie Dove in the finals, and that places her on the national stage.

Rashida Ellis, EF 132 winner – Ellis is just more experinced than the fighters in this tournament, and though at times looked tentative fighting on the outside, Ellis knew how to win, and what to do to win, and she did it.

Faith Mendez, EF 132 – Mendez pushed Ellis in the finals giving her a tough first round, but it appeared the theme was in this tournament the old guard was not going to go away as Mendez couldn’t beat the experience and compsure of Ellis. Mendez is a world level fighter.

Alyssa Mendoza, EF 125 – Mendoza defeated Amy Minter, who was the previous national champion at this weight class, and that is a marquee win. She was unable to get passed Jewry Rodriguez, but still knocking off a previous national champion is no small feat.

Daisy Bamberger, EF 132 – Bamberger ran into Ellis in the semi-finals, and just didn’t have the life experience to beat Ellis yet, but it will be interesting how this experience will play a factor. Bamberger is a big punching southpaw with a good pro-style.

Yoseline Perez, YF 125 – Her brother is a pro, and she was as dominant as any fighter in this bout en route to winning her division. As Perez continues in these tournaments it will be curious to see how she looks against the highest tier of the division.

Paige Gilbert, YF 119 – Gilbert of Wyoming, gave the sweetest speech after winning as she thanked her mom, who she knew was watching at home. Gilbert is from a place where no one thinks about boxers from, and she is winning national tournamnets. That is pretty cool.

Lightweight/Welterweight (139-146)

Jajaira Gonzalez, EF 139 – Gonzalez is a superstar. She stepped away for three years from the sport, and the two-time international gold medalist dominated the tournament, and said via her actions all roads lead through her to go to the Olympics. Gonzalez is something special.

Stephanie Simon EF 146 – Fighting like Marvin Hagler, Simon defeated one of the best fighters in the country in Ariana Carrasco and then stopped Arika Skoog in the finals. Simon is a part of the armed forces, and defeated two of the best young fighters in the country, with very little hype about her going in (besides Abe Gonzalez of Simon has the makings of a special fighter

Sharahya Moreu, EF 139 – The second nationals in a row in which Moreu didn’t win, and had a rough outings in the end. Moreu, one of the best women’s boxers over the past few years, has ran into some special fighters in the finals. I am not sure what is next for Moreu.

Carson Crawford, EF 139 – A good fighter who have talked about prior, who entered as the number one seed and is committed to the sport, and someone to be aware of on the national stage.

Ariana Carrasco, EF 146 – Carrasco has been the golden standard in the higher weight classes for many years, but Simon seemed a bit too strong for her. Carrasco is always someone to watch in national tournaments.

Arika Skoog, EF 146 – Skoog had one of the best nationals in her previous outing, but Simon got sparring with Skoog a few weeks prior to nationals, and that might have doomed that match-up in nationals. Skoog has an interesting ceiling as a pro since she hits really hard.

Middleweight To Heavyweight (154, 165 and 178 +)

Morelle McCane, EF 154 – The Ohio native is looking like the current major factor in this division and someone who has a ton of experience especially after competing in the Olympic Trial process in 2019. McCane stood out amongst the rest as she can box, as well as punch. Possibly another Ohio Olympian

Jesikah Guerra, EF 154 – After winning gold at the Junior Pan-Am Games, Guerra was unsuccessful against McCane who just appeared too seasoned, but Guerra of Victorville, Ca, will be a factor in every tournament moving forward.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle