Team USA Sweeps Final Day Of 2023 Gee Bee Tournament
by Brian Taylor
Emilio Garcia and Rahim Gonzales pose with their individual titles on the final day of the 2023 Gee Bee Tournament in Helsinki Finland on Sunday, April 16, 2023.
Team USA closed out the final day of boxing at the 2023 Gee Bee Tournament in Helsinki, Finland, 5-0, adding five gold medals to their four bronzes earned yesterday.
Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas) began the day against 2021 World Championship bronze medalist and 2022 Commonwealth Games Champion Reese Lynch of Scotland. Garcia took the early 3-2 lead after the first round before extending his lead with a 4-1 decision, as well as seeing Lynch receive a point deduction for excessive holding. The final round saw Garcia take full control, taking all five judges’ cards that round, to end up with the unanimous decision victory to earn the gold medal and his second international medal of 2023.
Light middleweight Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) continued Team USA’s winning ways with his own unanimous decision win over Ioan Croft of Wales. Jones took all five judges’ cards in the opening round to get off to an early lead, however, saw Croft fight back in the second, taking two of the judges’ cards, however, could not overtake the American’s early lead, resulting in the 5-0 decision in favor of Jones. Jones’ gold is his first international medal of 2023.
Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) faced a familiar opponent, Stefanie von Berge of Germany, in her championship bout. Like Garcia, McCane took the slightest 3-2 lead at the conclusion of the opening round against von Berge, who McCane defeated at last year’s USA Boxing International Invitational. McCane continued to extend her lead after a strong 4-1 second round, before closing out the fight in the final round, where all five judges scored it 10-9 in favor of the American. The victory marked McCane’s first international medal of 2023.
Team USA’s fourth gold medal of the day from Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.). The light heavyweight put up another impressive performance to win by unanimous decision over Ramtin Musah of England. Gonzales led 4-1, at the conclusion of the first round and then stepped it into another gear in the last two rounds to take all five judges’ cards by 10-9 in both rounds before taking the overall victory. The victory marked his fourth straight international gold medal and second this year.
Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) closed out the impressive day with his own 5-0 decision over Alexander Okafor of Germany. Talley led after the first round and extended that lead at the conclusion of the second. With a comfortable lead, Talley saw the ref take a point away in the final round for a late hit, however, the American dominated that round as well, resulting in the unanimous decision victory. Talley’s gold medal is his second international medal this year after winning bronze earlier this year in Bulgaria.
At the conclusion of the bouts, Gonzales was named Best Boxer of the Tournament, while Garcia was named Most Technical Boxer of the Tournament.
USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led the team throughout their time in Helsinki along with National Resident Coach Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), National Developmental Coach Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas).
The team will depart tomorrow morning for the German Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Kienbaum, where they will train alongside other countries for two weeks.
63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over Reese Lynch/SCO, 5-0
66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, dec. over Stefanie von Berge/GER, 4-1
71 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, dec. over Ioan Croft/WAL, 5-0
80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Ramtin Musah/ENG, 5-0
92 kg: Jamar Talley, Camden, N.J./USA, dec. over Alexander Okafor/GER, 5-0
Brian Taylor is the manager of digital and communications for USA Boxing.