Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) picked up his third straight international gold medal yesterday on the final day of boxing at the 2023 Stranjda Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Gonzales took all five judges’ cards over Hambardzum Hakobyan of Armenia during today’s light heavyweight championship bout. All five judges scored the bout 30-27 to give Gonzales Team USA’s lone gold medal of the tournament and sixth medal overall.
The 2021 Elite Men’s World Champion path to gold included victories over Kristian Nikolov of Bulgaria (4-0), Kein Boakye Schumann of Germany (4-1) and Jasurbek Yuldoshev of Uzbekistan (5-0).
At the conclusion of the event Gonzales was also announced as the winner of the Runner-up Boxer of the Tournament award.
Gonzales gold resulted in six Team USA medals, as the team earned five bronze medals during yesterday’s semi-final bouts.
This marked the 74th edition of the Strandja Tournament and Team USA’s first time competing in the event since 2020. USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is leading the team at the tournament, along with Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas), Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), Jose Polanco (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Richard Stephenson (Middletown, N.Y.) and Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.). This year’s event featured over 375 boxers from around the world.
80 kg: Rahim Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, dec. over Hambardzum Hakobyan/ARM, 5-0