Rahim Gonzales Wins Gold and Boxer of Tournament
On Final Day of 2023 Strandja Tournament!
(February 27th) Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nevada) picked up his third straight international gold medal yesterday on the final day of boxing at the 2023 Stranjda Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Gonzales took all five judges’ cards over Hambardzum Hakobyan of Armenia during today’s light heavyweight championship bout. All five judges scored the bout 30-27 to give Gonzales Team USA’s lone gold medal of the tournament and sixth medal overall.
The 2021 Elite Men’s World Champion path to gold included victories over Kristian Nikolov of Bulgaria (4-0), Kein Boakye Schumann of Germany (4-1) and Jasurbek Yuldoshev of Uzbekistan (5-0).
At the conclusion of the event Gonzales was also announced as the winner of the Runner-up Boxer of the Tournament award.
Gonzales gold resulted in six Team USA medals, as the team earned five bronze medals during yesterday’s semi-final bouts.
This marked the 74th edition of the Strandja Tournament and Team USA’s first time competing in the event since 2020. USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is leading the team at the tournament, along with Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas), Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), Jose Polanco (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Richard Stephenson (Middletown, N.Y.) and Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.). This year’s event featured over 375 boxers from around the world.
80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Hambardzum Hakobyan/ARM, 5-0
USA Boxing Condemns IBA
For Its False and Misleading Position Regarding
The Qualification System-Games of the XXXIII
Olympiad-Paris 2024 For Boxing!
(February 21st) USA Boxing Condemns IBA for its False and Misleading Position regarding the Qualification System-Games of the XXXIII Olympiad-Paris 2024 for Boxing
The International Boxing Association (IBA) announced today its “2024 Olympic Qualification Guidelines”, a totally unacceptable announcement that clearly intends to cause confusion in the United States and the world boxing community. IBA has been suspended as the International Federation for the sport of boxing since 2019 and was excluded from participation in both the Tokyo Olympic Qualification System and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. IBA has since failed to regain the authority to hold the Qualification System-Games of the XXXIII Olympiad-Paris 2024 for Boxing.
USA Boxing condemns in the strongest possible terms this attempt by IBA to confuse boxers from around the world, knowing full well that IBA is not associated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) nor the IOC’s published Qualification System- Games of the XXXIII Olympiad-Paris 2024 for Boxing. IBA is, at best, incompetent. At worst, USA Boxing believes this may be an attempt to sabotage the Olympic Qualification for Paris Olympic Games.
On December 6, 2022, the IOC published the Qualification System-Games of the XXXIII Olympiad-Paris 2024 for Boxing. USA Boxing’s Olympic Qualification team members will have three opportunities to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games like all boxers from other National Federations (NF).
• USA Boxing’s first qualifying event will be the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. If a boxer does not qualify through the 2023 Pan American Games, there will be two additional opportunities per IOC’s published Qualification System to qualify in 2024.
• Two open World Qualifying events will be held in the first and second quarters of 2024. These qualification events are open to all boxers who previously failed to
qualify at their continental qualifying events.
The IOC reaffirmed this qualification criteria today, reiterating that “the only valid boxing qualification system for Paris 2024 is the one approved by the IOC EB in September 2022, published and distributed to NOCs and boxing National Federations on 6 December 2022. Following an investigation and report by an IOC Inquiry Committee in 2019, recognition of the International Boxing Association was suspended by the IOC. This suspension is still in force today.”
USA Boxing’s selection procedures, Preliminary 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympic Games Athlete Selection which are approved by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, clearly and legally set out the correct qualification process for USA Boxing members to be a part of TEAM USA and represent USA in Paris next summer. IBA does not have any constitutional authority regarding qualification generally; more specifically, the Women’s and Men’s World Championships and other IBA tournaments are NOT qualifying events for the Olympic Games.
USA Boxing remains committed to the Olympic movement by following the principles of proper governance, promoting neutral third-party oversight of the field of play,
condemning false and misleading information from IBA leadership, demanding transparent financial management, and following the IOC requirements that boxers whose National governments that are under current IOC sanctions must/shall not compete under their national symbols, flags, anthems, and colors.
ABOUT USA BOXING: The mission of USA Boxing shall be to enable United States’ athletes and coaches to achieve sustained competitive excellence, develop character, support the sport of boxing, and promote and grow Olympic style boxing in the United States. The responsibility of USA Boxing is not only to produce Olympic gold, but also to oversee and govern every aspect of amateur boxing in the United States.