Jahmal Harvey, Rahim Gonzales Claim First Boxing World Titles For U.S. Men Since 2007
by Chrös McDougall
Jahmal Harvey celebrates winning gold at the AIBA Boxing World Championships on Nov. 6, 2021 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Boxers Jahmal Harvey and Rahim Gonzales claimed their first world titles, and Team USA’s first in 14 years, while Roscoe Hill finished with silver as the Elite Men’s World Championships wrapped up Saturday in Belgrade, Serbia.
Combined with Omari Jones’s silver medal on Friday, the U.S. closed out the world championships with four medals, marking the country’s best finish since 1999, when it won four gold medals. The wins also marked the first for U.S. men at an Olympics or world championships since Rau’shee Warren and Demetrius Andrade won world titles in 2007.
All four U.S. medalists made their world championships debut in Belgrade.
Harvey, who like Jones is just 18, claimed his world title in the 57 kg. division by unanimous decision over Kazakhstan’ Serik Temirzhanov, a 2020 Olympian. The Oxon Hill, Maryland, native got past another Olympian in the semifinals when he beat Samuel Kisohurry of France. He previously scored one of the biggest upsets of the competition when he beat defending world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan in the second round.
“Feeling good, 2021 world champion, all my hard work paid off,” Harvey said in a video released by USA Boxing.
Rahim Gonzales celebrates winning gold at the AIBA World Boxing Championships on Nov. 6, 2021 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Gonzales, at 80 kg., became just the fourth American to win a world championships medal in the light heavyweight division, and the first since Michael Simms won gold in 1999.
After coming from behind to beat hometown star Vladimir Mironchikov of Serbia in the semifinals, the Las Vegas native kept it up by claiming a hard-fought 3-2 win against Aliaksei Alfiorau of Belarus.
“We did it,” an elated Gonzales said afterward, thanking his coaches, family and support staff at USA Boxing.
Hill had what might have been the toughest match up of the American contingent, going against 2020 Olympic bronze medalist and 2019 world championships bronze medalist Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan. The veteran proved his ability again in winning 5-0.
With his silver, Hill, a native of Spring, Texas, became the first American featherweight to medal at the world championships since Warren also won silver in 2011.
Competing Friday, Jones won the silver medal in the 67 kg. weight class after falling to Sewonrets Okazawa of Japan.
Nine U.S. men competed in Serbia, with six reaching as far as the quarterfinals.