Salt Lake City, UT (U.S. Army) — Two Soldiers in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program won 2013 National Golden Gloves Boxing Championships at the Salt Palace Convention Center, May 18, in Salt Lake City.
Spc. Marquis Moore won the 165-pound weight class with a decision over Kyrone Davis of Pennsylvania. Spc. Steven Nelson won the 178-pound division with a decision over Randy Foster of Knoxville, Tenn.
"The guys showed up and showed out," said World Class Athlete Program, or WCAP, head boxing coach Staff Sgt. Charles Leverette, who also coached Team USA boxers at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Both Soldiers won four bouts to reach the finals in their respective weight class.
Moore's busy week began Monday with a victory over Paul Robinson of Chicago. On Wednesday, he defeated Carlos Monroe of Florida, followed by victories in successive days over Texas' Kameron Jones and Deandre Ware Jr. of Toledo, Ohio.
"Our struggle with Specialist Moore has been to get him to stick with the game plan and box," Leverette said. "I think this tournament he had some tough, young kids in front of him that actually were just as strong as he was. So him kind of breaking that shell and starting to box and keep his distance, he showed himself that he's able to box and he doesn't have to try and fight everybody. He's one of those boxers that comes from around D.C., and that's what they live off of: if you can't outbox them, let's just fight, step to them.
"He doesn't have to do everybody like that. His boxing skill set is probably one of the most superior in our gym right now. It's just been hard to get him to box."
Nelson started Tuesday with a victory over Akheim Nurse of Pennsylvania, followed by conquests of Nevada's Dugan Lawton, Tyshan Murray of New Jersey, and John Phillips of Hawaii.
"It's unfortunate that Specialist Nelson did not get to box in the elite division with no headgear at the [USA Boxing] national championships because he's been showing that he is the superior light heavyweight since the Olympic Trials and the reload last year," Leverette said. "What he did at the Golden Gloves was kind of expected of him. He's been that leader, the one who stands out among all the Soldier-athletes that we have. And his growth, that's the greatest thing about it; because he's still learning. We're looking for great things from him."