The United States’
Top Female Boxers Begin the Historic Run Toward the Olympic Debut
by Julie Goldsticker
June 14, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – With just over a year until the
Olympic debut of women’s boxing, a talented group of women will
descend on Colorado Springs for the 2011 USA Boxing National
Championships. For the first-time ever, one event will serve as
a qualifying tournament for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for
both male and female athletes with the top four finishers in the
three female Olympic weight classes and 10 men’s divisions
clinching the critical qualifying spots. Both the participant
numbers and talent level on the women’s rosters reflect the
importance of the tournament with a record-breaking 36 athletes
slated to compete in the female lightweight division.
The defending champions in the three Olympic weight divisions
are back to defend their titles in 2011 with flyweight Marlen
Esparza (Houston, Texas) competing for her sixth straight
national championship, lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle,
Wash.) boxing for her fifth title and middleweight Tiffanie
Hearn (Louisville, Ky.) vying for her second consecutive
middleweight crown and third overall. Esparza could become only
the third female boxer in history to win six straight national
championships should she win gold in Colorado Springs.
Yet the trio will face stiff competition from every direction.
Esparza will look to avenge a recent loss to 2010 National PAL
Champion Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) and could face a
rematch of her 2010 final round victory over Tyrieshia Douglas
(Baltimore, Md.). Former bantamweight national champion Cynthia
Moreno (Guadalupe, Ariz.) and 2010 USA Boxing National
Championships bronze medalist Alex Love (Monroe, Wash.) will
both look to make noise in the flyweight division as well.
The jam-packed lightweight division boasts five former national
champions in addition to 2010 National PAL Champion Stephanie
Han (El Paso, Texas) all vying for one spot atop the medal
stand. Underwood could face four-time titlist Caroline Barry
(Boulder, Colo.), former featherweight national champions
Melissa Parker (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) and Jody Ann Weller (Pomona,
N.Y.), as well as 2010 bantamweight gold medalist Lauren Fisher
(Dania, Fla.) in a busy week in Colorado Springs.
The middleweight division will showcase tremendous talent as
well with numerous former or current titlists converging in the
final Olympic weight division. Hearn could face a strong test
from four-time national champion Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.)
in a rematch from their Pan Am Box-offs showdown. Former light
heavyweight champion Tika Hemingway (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and
defending heavyweight titlist Denise Rico (Los Angeles, Calif.)
have both moved down to the middleweight division for a run at
London and will make their national debut at the new weight
class in Colorado Springs. 2009 USA Boxing National
Championships gold medalist Alyssa DeFazio (Peoria, Ariz.)
rounds out a strong group of former titlists.
One defending national champion has returned outside of the
Olympic weight divisions with light welterweight titlist and
2010 Women’s World Championships bronze medalist Cashmere
Jackson (Cleveland, Ohio) looking to defend her crown in the
All three Olympic weight divisions will open action on Monday
for the preliminary bouts at the Colorado Springs Christian
School. The athletes in the three female weight divisions will
need to earn berths in Thursday’s semifinal action to clinch
their spots in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s Boxing.
Two sessions per day will be contested Monday-Wednesday with
boxing at noon and 6 p.m. prior to Thursday’s lone semifinal
session beginning 2 p.m. session on Thursday. The consolation
bouts in all of the weight divisions will be contested at 4 p.m.
on Friday in the final action at the Colorado Springs Christian
School. The event will close with a bang as the competition
moves to the historic City Auditorium and the women’s
non-Olympic bouts take place at 2 p.m. and the 13 Olympic weight
division contests will begin at 6 p.m.
2011 USA Boxing National Championships tickets are only $15
before June 20 and will run $20 after June and can be purchased
through ticketswest.com. The USA Boxing National Championships
have been held annually since 1888, making it the longest
running amateur boxing tournament in the United States, and the
event consistently showcases future Olympians and future World
Champions. Former champions include Muhammad Ali (as Cassius
Clay). Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard,
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Andre Ward.
2011 USA Boxing National Championships Female Athletes by Weight
Light flyweight/106 lbs (Six Boxers)
Natalie Gonzalez, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Elizabeth Rodriguez, Gilroy, Calif.
Lisa Ha, Honolulu, Hawaii
Vanessa Guzman, Chula Vista, Calif.
Marina Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev.
Amy Sowers, Bozeman, Mont.
Flyweight/112 lbs (22 Boxers) - Olympic
Tyreishia Douglas, Baltimore, Md. (2010 USA Boxing National
Championships silver medalist)
Noemi Bosques, Pinellas Park, Fla.
Megan Rembold, Oswego, Ill.
Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas (Five-time National Champion)
Alicia Avila, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jamie Mitchell, Pacific Grove, Calif.
Bernice Hernandez, Las Vegas, Nev.
Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y. (2010 National PAL Champion)
LaTonya King, Harrison, Mich.
Heather Han, El Paso, Texas
Rhonda McGee, Vacaville, Calif.
Nicole Pasillas, Aurora, Colo.
Autumn Anderson, Bellevue, Neb.
Paola Estrada, Palmdale, Calif.
Cassandra Mendoza, Greeley, Colo.
Alex Love, Monroe, Wash. (2010 USA Boxing National Championships
Cynthia Moreno, Guadalupe, Ariz. (2008 National Champion)
Taversha Norwood, Marietta, Ga.
Virgina 'Ginny' Fuchs, Baton Rouge, La.
Tiffany Perez, Hammond, Ind.
Ashlee Reyes, San Antonio, Texas
Maryguenn Vellinga, Salt Lake City, Utah
Bantamweight/119 lbs (12 Boxers)
Amanda Pavone, Burlington, Mass.
Rayleen Williams, Lincoln, Del.
Rosa Rodriguez, Miami, Fla.
Tiffany Griffin, Chicago, Ill.
Shanice Herron, St. Louis, Mo.
Shanne Ruelas, Fresno, Calif.
Bryonna Jumandig, Tacoma, Wash.
Haley Pasion, Waipahu, Hawaii
Nephateria Miller, New Haven, Conn.
Lindsay Bartels, Omaha, Neb.
Amanda Pavone, Burlington, Mass.
Erica Rosenburg, Fountain, Colo.
Featherweight/125 lbs (10 Boxers)
Heather Hardy, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Alecia DeFrank, Rickey, Fla.
Ronica Rodriguez, Lansing, Mich.
Carissa Casey Morton, San Francisco, Calif.
Lori Argumedo, Commerce City, Calif.
Andrea Peters, Ft. Carson, Colo.
Elizabeth Leddy, Portland, Maine (2010 USA Boxing National
Championships silver medalist)
Kristen McKnight, Angien, N.C.
Asia Stevenson, Washington, D.C.
Emily Dagman, Jasper, TN
Lightweight/132 lbs (36 Boxers) - Olympic
Comel Chandler, Brooklyn, New York
Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla.
N'yteeyah Sherman, Barberton, Ohio
Marianne Kraus, Indianola, Iowa
Jeanelle Leal, Corpus Christi, Texas
Earnestine Wesley, Garland, Texas
Amorena Baca, Denver, Colo.
Jayli Fimbres, Newton, N.D.
Brenda Gutierrez, Sacramento, Calif.
Maira Madrigal, Wenataliee, Wash.
Lisa Porter, Northridge, Calif.
Caroline Barry, Boulder, Colo. (Four-time National Champion)
Melissa Parker, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (2009 National Champion)
Mikaela Mayer, Marquette, Mich.
Stephanie Han, El Paso, Texas (2010 National PAL Champion)
Queen Underwood, Tacoma, Wash. (Four-time National Champion)
Jody-Ann Weller, Pomona, N.Y. (2010 Featherweight National
Darina Mims, Greensboro, N.C.
Tiara Brown, Lehigh Acres, Fla.
Bertha Aracil, Yonkers, N.Y.
Storm Chandler, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Robin Conroy, Wilmington, N.C.
Stefanie Taylor, West Hills, Calif.
Jasmedh Rosales, Los Angeles, Calif.
Micaela Arce, Reno, Nev.
Rita Martinez, Las Cruces, N.M.
Madeline Guzman, Perth Amboy, N.J.
Jessie Owens, Virginia Beach, Va.
Amber Smith, Ft. Worth, Texas
Selina Barrios, San Antonio, Texas
Alecia Gutierrez, Chicago, Ill.
Ishika Lay, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Takesha Edward, Houston, Texas
Lauren Fisher, Dania, Fla. (2010 Bantamweight National Champion)
Sherry Whetten, Tucson, Ariz.
Kymmberli Stowe, Millersville, Pa.
Light welterweight/141 lbs (12 Boxers)
Kathleen Walsh, Rankankama, N.Y.
Samantha Griffith, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Rebecca Laborde, Tampa, Fla.
Cashmere Jackson, Cleveland, Ohio (2010 USA Boxing National
Jessica McCaskill, St. Louis, Mo.
Urbana Hernandez, El Paso, Texas
Ariel Beck, Deer Lodge, Mont.
Luvisa Matali, Denver, Colo.
Griselda Madrigal, Wenataliee, Wash.
Rachell Wehrle, Stafford, Va.
Kendra Macon, Charlotte, N.C.
Kristin Gearhart, Oak Park, Ill.
Welterweight/152 lbs (Seven Boxers)
LaTarishia Fountain, Flushing, N.Y.
Christine Poulauskis, Oakland Park, Fla.
Amournix Stamp, Milwaukee, Wis.
Lindsey Soderberg, Holt, Mich.
Faith Franco, Duarte, Calif.
Jen Johnson, Kalispell, Mont.
Diona Wigand, Lexington, Ky.
Middleweight/165 lbs (21 boxers) - Olympic
Christina Jenson, Centereach, N.Y.
Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md. (Four-time National Champion)
Heather Bassett, Jackson, Tenn.
Audrey Drew, Dallas, Texas
Tara Weisshaar, Burlington, Colo.
Amy Castillo, Bakersfield, Calif.
Fallon Farrar, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Tiffanie Ward, Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Raven Barnes, Marquette, Mich.
Kalita Marsh, Smithfield, N.C.
Denise Rico, Los Angeles, Calif. (2010 USA Boxing National
Alyssa DeFazio, Peoria, Ariz. (2009 National Champion)
Tiffanie Hearn, Louisville, Ky. (2010 Heavyweight National
Dara Shen, Fairfax, Va.
Melinda Levasseur, Magnolia, Del.
Tika Hemingway, Pittsburgh, Pa. (2009 Light Heavyweight National
LaTeisha Darden, Wilmington, N.C.
Danyelle Wolf, San Diego, Calif.
Maria Dominguez, Wouchula, Fla.
Jennifer Egan, Mohopac, N.Y.
Marie Ybarra, Greeley, Colo.
Light heavyweight/178 lbs (1 Boxer)
Kimberly Olech, Canton, Ohio
Heavyweight/178+ (3 Boxers)
Natalie Pacheco, Bronx, N.Y.
Charnita Johnson, Columbus, Ohio
Natacia Manuma, Mililoni, Hawaii
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style
boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the
International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of
the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).