The 2017 Elite Men’s World Championships official draw was held today in Hamburg, Germany as the five athletes set to represent Team USA now know their opening round opponents. Freudis Rojas Jr. (Las Vegas, Nev.), Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Troy Isley (Alexandra, Va.) will be the first to step into the ring for the United States on Friday afternoon making their debuts on the elite international world stage. The remaining two members of the USA Boxing High Performance squad including reigning Youth World Champion Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Quinton Randall (Katy, Texas) will head into the ring for the first time on Saturday afternoon.
Light welterweight Rojas will begin the competition against Norway’s Hadi Srour. Rojas is no stranger to the pressure of international competition having taken a part in last year’s Youth World Championships. Bantamweight Ragan must face powerhouse nation Cuba in his World Championship debut as he’s set to face Javier Ibanez Diaz on Friday evening. Middleweight Isley will close the opening day of action against Seyi Dieudonne of Cameroon.
Image: Delante "Tiger" Johnson
Lightweight Johnson will open Saturday’s competition first as he faces Netherland’s Enrico Lacruz. After stunning the world in St. Petersburg in 2016 taking home the youth world title, Johnson looks to add his first international elite world title to his list of accolades. Welterweight Quinton Randall is set to close Saturday evening’s session against Uganda’s Muzamiru Kakande. Randall looks to be the first welterweight since 2007 to take home the coveted elite world title.
Six Team USA men qualified for their spot at the event over the course of 2017 however super heavyweight Nkosi Soloman (Brownsville, N.Y.) is unable to compete due to injury. All of the competitors had to make their assigned weight at the general weigh-in earlier in the week to secure their place in the event. The nine day event will open on Friday afternoon and run through Saturday, September 2. More than 240 boxers from 75 countries traveled to Hamburg, Germany to take part in the 2017 AIBA Elite Men’s World Championships.
Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Kay Koroma (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Joe Guzman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Augie Sanchez (Las Vegas, Nev.) will lead the team in Hamburg.