Thoughts & Observations From USA Boxing’s 2022 National Qualifier
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Benjamin Johnson – This is my guy. If I were to tell you one fighter impressed me at this event it would be Benjamin Johnson, legit one-punch power, a high fight IQ, great character and beyond all of that, he also never seems to get tired. I am all-in on Benjamin Johnson’s potential as a fighter. Lamont Roach Sr. has some good fighters in the DMV.
Amir Anderson – “Cashman” Amir Anderson screams blue-chip prospect. He has a star-like personality, he winning national tournaments, and is looking to be one of the main guys in the amateur scene during his era. I am buying stock now on Amir Anderson, who I think will be headlining major television card on TV one day, which is a major feat for any pro boxer. Anderson feels like the next era of New York boxing.
Damian “Pistol” Flores – As good of a young fighter as I have seen in the country, and for his age, which I believe pre-teenage years. Flores has elite traits at a young age, that with the right guidance give him an edge over his competition. When young fighters are giving opponents standing eights it is something to take notice of.
Ryan Williams – A winner, a winner, a winner. Ryan Williams is someone who just keeps winning as the face of the Team Cartel Boxing movement in Ohio, is about as sweat of a boxer as you can see at this event, and boxes well beyond his years. I am excited to watch Ryan grow and encourage people to start following him now.
Kayla Gomez – A star in the making. An exciting pressure fighter who keeps winning national titles, and surely could be picked up by a major promoter in the future. A fighter to keep watching as she seems to be the total package thus far.
Terry Washington – “Terrible” Terry looks to be a young legend in the making. Fighting at the very lower weight classes, Washington is dominating, and though it is too soon to crown him as the next Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson, it is worth noting that tournament after tournament he keeps winning.
Joseline Perez – Two tournaments in a row Perez has won, and Perez is looking to be one of the key players in her division. I am excited to see what is in store for her at the end of the year, when she faces the best in the nation. Perez is a tricky fighter with a lot of craft.
Curmel Moton – Moton is one of those fighters everyone in the Mayweather Boxing Gym knows about and will burst on the pro seen one day, but when he fights at the national tournaments, it feels like a TV-level pro boxer already. Moton feels like he could be the next face of Mayweather Promotions, given his close relationship with the gym.
Cornelio Phipps – One of the most underrated fighters in the country. Just flat-out good in all aspects of the fight game, yet is going unnoticed by many so far. I think Phipps has a very good chance, if he continues on this path to be a world champion. Phipps is dominating his division at a very early age. Add to that his ability to already throw good power shots, I am excited about his future.
Jordan Roach – A future star. If moved right Lamont Roach Sr.’s son, Jordan Roach could be one of the best lower weight fighters of this era. Aggressive, strong and smart. Jordan Roach is someone I never miss a fight of as an amateur, he is that good.
Francis Stewart – Possibly fought the hardest schedule of fights of any fighter, and won gold. His opening match against Adel Mason, and winning a finals bout against Jordan Roach. Stewart passes the test of being the real deal, now we have to see if he can make the team, and get international experience – which is what the truly elite do.
Troy Nash – A well-coached boxer, who has a lot of tools and experience. Nash has the chance to be a very special fighter, and will get what he puts into the sport from this point onward, as the skills are not lacking.
Adonis Alcime – A big puncher from New York. I think everyone takes notice at fighters from New York, and guys who can knockout people. Alcime does both.
Alyssa Mendoza – One of the better fighters at elite female 125 lbs, Mendoza is a proven winner, road warrior, and formidable fighter, who should transition into a world title level pro. Mendoza got a close win over Lupe Gutierrez, who should’ve been the 2020 U.S. Olympian (just saying). Mendoza is someone who has a high upside.
Lupe Gutierrez – One of the stars of the Army’s WCAP program, Gutierrez’s return to nationals competition was solid as she brutally stopped her first opponent. Her next opponent, Alyssa Mendoza, saw the two take a bit of each other in one of the best fights of the tournament. Gutierrez should’ve been the 2020 Olympian as she won the Olympic Trials and seems more focused than ever about achieving her goal.
Sierra Martinez – It wasn’t the tournament Sierra Martinez wanted, but as we always say the talent is there. It is notable that both Gutierrez and Martinez lost after relocating and being a part of the Army’s WCAP program, so outside life events could have contributed, but honestly sometimes tournaments don’t go your way. We still see Martinez as one of the best of her division.
Justin Viloria – One of the most explosive power punchers in the country, who is also winning every tournament he enters. Very interesting guy to keep an eye on.
Alex Holley – “The Big Bully” won nationals, and seemingly wins a lot of split decisions. Being able to win a close fight is an art, and Holley seemingly knows how to do that. Holley will be a guy to watch for in the lead up to the Olympic Trials in 2024.
Jaleecia Dominguez – Winning an impressive bracket says a lot as Dominguez is nothing to play with showing different elements to win each bout. A bit of her inner dog to beat Natasha McQueen, and her fight IQ to defeat Mariana Rosado in the finals. A world-class performance Dominguez
Elijah Lugo – Like Spider-Man said ‘with great power comes great responsibility”. Both of the Lugo Brothers, Elijah and Nathan trained by their father Mike Lugo, are formidable power punchers, with styles of pure aggression like Mike Tyson. These guys will be exciting pros, it just comes down to the era, the fighters in the division and the intangibles to see how great either can become.
Kendra Samargis – A dominant women’s 165 pound fighter who has been at the top of her division for the two-to-three years and nothing changed at this event.
William Luther – Defeating Ramsey Vesey in the finals is a big win. Luther is a well-rounded boxer, who is in a division full of tough competition as at the the end of the year, Luther will more than likely face Jahmal Harvey or Julius Ballo, a stern test for any fighter pro or amateur.
Jordan Jenkins – One half of the Jenkins brothers from Texas, Jordan right now seems to have the higher upside as a lanky boxer. My gut tells me that Jordan Jenkins could be a very good pro in the right system, as he could have a chance to sell a lot of tickets, and seemingly has an entertaining personality to go with a solid skillset. Jenkins has a great jab, too.
Ali Monaghan – An impressive big puncher, who is fun to watch. Monghan has great distance control and catches opponents when they reach in. I am curious to see his development over the next few years.
Nevaeh Williams – A stoppage win in the finals is always nice. Williams is all-action throwing straight punches, I am not sure what the ceiling is with this style, but I am interested to watch. It will be interesting to see how she adapts to the more experienced divisions in the coming years.
Interesting To Follow
Brooke Mullen – One fight to win a gold medal, and she won it by a stoppage. Mullen is someone notable to watch for.
Luis Alvarado – The heavyweight that stood out in the tournament, and if history is indicator of the future, Luis Alvarado should be afforded some luxurious as a pro. A stoppage win at this tournament didn’t hurt his notable
Patrick O’Connor – O’Connor continues to stay on my radar, though for the next few years light heavyweight will be ruled by Rahim Gonzales. O’Connor is proving to be the top guy of the fighters in the next era.
Phillip Vella – One of the best lower weight fighters, tournament-in, and tournament-out. Vella never seems to get credit, but Vella has aspects of being very special. I hope one of these tournaments work out for him.
Noah Timoteo – Winning one of the deepest division at this tournament, EM 139 is no small feat. Timoteo is yet another great Hawiian fighter.
Lorenzo Powell – All the talent in the world, looks to be a great pro, when he and his coach Marty Chima decide to turn him pro, but the lack of national titles is a shock. His skillset is one of the best in the nation, yet for some reason the accomplishments are not yet matching the talent.
Marcell Bonnar – Your classic Ohio boxer. Able to bang, and box – Bonnar not unlike Powell, who he beat at nationals this year, seems to come up short in the judges eyes, but could make for an interesting pro.
Ramsey Vesey – An action-packed aggressive fighter, who only the truly elite fighter in amateur boxing can defeat. Vesey always makes it interesting and seems to be improving. I believe he comes from the same gym as Vershaun Lee, and has a style that most fight fans will love. I think in a year or two Vesey will also look like a different fighter as he is growing in each tournament.
Natasha McQueen – Well coached and tough, McQueen is a fighter who is game against anyone as she will lay it on the line against any foe.