Cleveland wins right to host week-long boxing tournament

CLEVELAND, Ohio – USA Boxing’s first national tournament of the year will take place in Cleveland, organizers said on Tuesday.

The fights will be held April 23-30 at the Wolstein Center on the Cleveland State University campus. The event serves as qualifier for the 2022 USA Boxing National Championships.

In a press release, United States Boxing Events Coordinator Taryn Cass mentioned Cleveland’s rich boxing history and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission’s “highly competitive bid” to win the event.

The tournament offers boxers aged 18 to 39 the chance to advance to the National Championships. Fighters in other divisions try to earn national ranking points. Children as young as eight in the pee-wee divisions will also participate.

In 2019 in Columbus, USA Boxing’s qualifying tournament attracted over 800 boxers.

The Cleveland event is seen as a first step for those competing for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Cleveland’s own Delante Johnson competed for the US Olympic team in Tokyo in 2020. Johnson, a welterweight, is 63-18 in his professional career. It was the fourth consecutive Olympic Games that Clevelanders fought in the Olympics:

• 2016 – Superwelterweight Charles Conwell, who is undefeated in 16 professional fights.

• 2012 – Superwelterweight Terrell Gausha, who is 22-2-1 as a professional.

• 2008 – lightweight Raynell Williams, who is 12-1-0 as a pro.

“Cleveland has such a rich boxing history. Many Olympians and world champions have been shaped by our community, both in and out of the ring,” Chris Cugliari, director of the USA Boxing Alumni Association, said in a release.

Cleveland’s boxing history goes back more than 100 years, with arguably the most famous name being Johnny Kilbane. Cleveland-born Kilbane was a featherweight from 1912 to 1923 and later became a politician. A series of three statues in Cleveland’s Battery Park neighborhood commemorate Kilbane’s life.

Go online for more information about applying.

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