USA Boxing will bring the 2018 American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Youth Continental Championships to Colorado Springs, Colo., May 19-26, marking the first major international boxing tournament in Colorado Springs and the first major international tournament on American soil since the 2007 World Championships.
"We are enthusiastic about assisting USA Boxing in bringing this dynamic, world-class event to Olympic City USA," said Tom Osborne, President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. "This is one of the most prestigious events for young male and female boxers in the world, and is in concert with our mission to make Colorado Springs an attractive sports event destination."
Hosted at the Hotel Elegante, the week-long tournament will bring an estimated 175 boxers from about 20 different countries. This year's tournament will serve as the final qualifying opportunity to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina this October, as well as the qualification pathway to the 2018 Youth World Championships in August.
"USA Boxing has great talent at the youth level and we're looking forward to showcasing that talent on home soil," stated USA Boxing High Performance Director, Matt Johnson.
"Given the significance of the Youth American Confederation Boxing Championships, in terms of qualification for the 2018 Youth Olympics and Youth World Championships, it's very important that we give our team the best possible opportunity to be successful. We feel that hosting this event will provide another competitive edge to help set our team up for success in May, as well as for the major events later in the year."
Team USA will bring a strong delegation to the tournament, with hopes of qualifying the maximum of four boxers to the Youth Olympics and 18 boxers to the World Championships.
Four members of the 2017 Youth World Championships team are anticipated to compete, including bronze medalist Isamary Aquino (Universal City, Texas), Aidly Cardenas (Calexico, Calif.), 2015 Junior World Champion Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.) and 2017 Youth World Champion Citlalli Ortiz (Coachella, Calif.).
Two-time USA Boxing Youth National Champions Alexis Espino (Las Vegas, Nev.), Angel Martinez (Rockford, Ill.) and Lorenzo Simpson (Baltimore, Md.) are expected to lead the 10 men representing the United States. A full roster will be released closer to the start of the tournament.
General admission tickets and VIP tables will go on sale in the coming weeks for the championship bouts taking place Saturday, May 26. The preliminary rounds and semi-finals will be free to the public. USA Boxing will also live stream the tournament on usaboxing.org.