CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Nearly 200 of the best young boxers in the United States will be in Charleston beginning Wednesday competing in the 2014 Junior Olympic National Championships.
“Thirty-nine states will be represented among the athlete base,” said USA Boxing spokesperson Julie Goldsticker. “They’re going to start boxing on Wednesday here at the Civic Center and box through Saturday at the finals.”
Two rings will be set up and two fights will be ongoing simultaneously with some of the nation’s best boxing talent. The fighters competing at all levels qualified to be there through regional and state competitions.
Also on hand for the first day of the event will be boxing legend Evander Holyfield, former heavyweight champion and himself a former member of the Junior Olympic boxing squad.
Holyfield plans to arrive Wednesday for a 5 p.m. meet-and-greet at the Charleston Civic Center. “Evander Holyfield is one of the great alumni whose come through USA Boxing,” said Goldsticker. “He was a 1984 Olympic bronze medalist and he’s always been great to come out and support the young athletes and we’re happy to have him here.”
The championships were previously held in Mobile, Ala., but moved to Charleston for a three-year commitment after the city made a pitch to the organization.
“They provided a great opportunity for our athletes to be able to box, to have housing and meals in the same area, and it was a great location for people to drive from all over the East Coast,” she said.
Tickets are $10 per session or a $30 pass for all sessions for bouts Wednesday through Saturday.