Monday, December 30, 2019

Western Kentucky's Lucky Jackson named SERVPRO First Responder Bowl MVP

Photo by
Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

DALLAS, TEXAS (December 30, 2019) Western Kentucky wide receiver Lucky Jackson (shown right) caught 17 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown as the Hilltoppers downed the Western Michigan Broncos 23-20 at the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas.

The red-shirt senior, who hails from Lexington, Kentucky, caught a five-yard pass from quarterback Ty Storey for the last touchdown of the game. As a result of his play, Jackson was named the game's Most Valuable Player. 

The First Responder Bowl was the first bowl game the Hilltoppers had played in Texas. They are now 4-2 in bowl games since joining the FBS ranks in 2009.  Western Kentucky and Western Michigan had played 15 times previously, with the Broncos coming out on top 11 times. All previous games were contested between 1923 and 1947.

The Hilltoppers finish the 2019 season with a 9-5 record

Western Michigan makes retrun to Dallas-area for SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

By Chris Price
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

DALLAS, TEXAS (December 30, 2019) Western Michigan will face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the 2019 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on Monday, December 30, 2019. The game is scheduled for an 11:30 a.m. CT kickoff at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. 

They are playing in their third consecutive bowl game and 10th in program history. They are 1-8 all-time in bowl season, the lone win coming over Middle Tennessee State in 2015; a 45-31 win. Bronco junior linebacker Treshaun Hayward was named to the Sportine News All-American team,  in addition to receiving the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year with 132 tackles, fifth most in the nation. 

The Broncos (7-5, 5-3 MAC) is playing in the Dallas area for the second time since the 2016 season. They played Wisconsin in the 2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl, played in Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, falling by the score of 24-16. 

The offense is paced by 2019 MAC Offensive Player of the Year running back LeVante Bellamy. A Doak Walker Award semifinalist, the senior leads the nation with 23 rushing touchdowns and is tenth in the country with 1,412 yards rushing. 

Senior quarterback Jon Wassink was the recipient of the Wuerffel Trophy, presented by the Chickfil-A Foundation. The award is the premier award for community service is presented annually to the FBS player best combining exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Western Kentucky makes first bowl trip to Texas for SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

By Chris Price
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

DALLAS, TEXAS (December 30, 2019) The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are headed to Dallas, Texas to face the Western Michigan Broncos in the 2019 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on December 30, 2019 at SMU's Gerald J Ford Stadium.

The Hilltoppers are making their sixth bowl appearance since 2012 after it’s 2012 Little Caesars Bowl appearance ended a drought dating back to 1975, which they lost in the NCAA Division II National Championship Game. WKU is 7-4 all-time in bowl games and 3-2 in the FBS era. 

Tyson Helton, in his first season as a head coach, was named the C-USA Coach of the Year. With a win, Helton would help the program earn its ninth win of the year to equal the total of 2017 and 2018 wins combined. Helton joins his father, Kim Helton, as the only father-son duo to be named Coach of the Year in the C-USA’s 25-year history in any sport. 

Junior defensive end DeAngelo Malone was named the 2019 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. Malone racked up 21.0 tackles for loss (11th in the nation) with 11.5 sacks. Malone averages 7.5 total tackles per game. 

Senior quarterback Ty Storey earned the 2019 C-USA Newcomer of the Year honor after tossing 12 touchdowns, 2,209 yards and just five interceptions. Topping his former squad Arkansas in November, he was 22-of-32 on the way to being named the Manning Award National Quarterback of the Week, a first in program history.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Western Kentucky, Western Michigan to meet in SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

DALLAS, TEXAS (December 29, 2019) On Monday, December 30, the final football game of the decade at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium (shown left) will see the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky University. (8-4, 6-2 C-USA) facing off the Broncos of Western Michigan (7-5, 5-3 MAC) in the 2019 Servpro Frist Responder Bowl. 

This the first First Responder Bowl to be played at SMU's stadium. The previous nine contests were all contested at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas. It is not the first bowl game ever played in Ford Stadium, however. The 2010 and 2011 Armed Forces Bowl games were played at SMU while renovations to TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium were made. The 2018 contest, scheduled between Boston College and Boise State, was cancelled due to weather. It is believed to be the first bowl game cancelled after kickoff.

WKU and Western Michigan are meeting for the first time since 1947. The programs have met 15 times prior, with Western Michigan leading the all-time series 11-3-1.  Neither team has ever played in the city of Dallas prior to the bowl. Western Michigan did play in the 2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Broncos were selected as an at-large as the highest ranked College Football Playoff (CFP) Group of Five team. Western Michigan dropped a 24-16 decision to Wisconsin in that contest.

This is the third time that Western Michigan has played a bowl game in the state of Texas. In addition to earning a trip to the 2017 Cotton Bowl, where the team lost 24-16 to Wisconsin, the Broncos also played in the Texas Bowl in Houston in 2008. WMU lost 38-14, to hometown Rice in that contest. In all, Western Michigan is 1-8 all time in bowl games

This marks WKU’s first bowl game played in the state of Texas. The Hilltoppers are 3-2 in its previous five all-time bowl appearances since joining the FBS ranks in 2009.

The WKU Hilltoppers and Western Michigan Broncos have played 15 times previously, and Western Michigan leads the series 11-3-1. The teams have not played in 72 years, however, as all 15 games were played between 1923-47. Ironically, WMU athletic teams were once known as the Hilltoppers, a reference to the school’s location on top of Prospect Hill, but changed their nickname in 1939 to the Broncos to avoid confusion with teams of other schools such as WKU.

This is the latest date that the SERVPRO First Responder game has been played since the 2013 contest was played between North Texas and UNLV on Jan. 1, 2014. All 10 games have been played between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.

Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Louisiana Tech overcomes Miami (Fla) 14-0 for Independence Bowl Title

Photo by
Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Phtotgraphy
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA (December 26, 2019) In a game that saw a record 18 punts, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs shut out the Miami Hurricanes by the score of 14-0 to win the 44th Walk-On's Independence Bowl. The Bulldogs scored midway through the second quarter and late in the fourth. 

The first score came at 9:34 in the second quarter, when quarterback J'Mar Smith (Meridian HS, Meridian, Mississippi) connected with running back Israel Tucker (Archbishop Rummel HS, Metairie, Louisiana) on a 26-yard pass play for the only aerial touchdown of the game. Smith, who threw for 17 touchdowns during the regular season, carried the ball the final eight yards of a 55-yard, five play drive for the second Tech TD. The 6-1, 218-pound red shirt senior completed his final season with four rushing touchdowns. Kicker Bailey Hale (Iowa Park HS, Iowa Park, Texas), shown below, added the two extra points, to push his total to 53 for the season. Red shirt junior running back Justin Henderson (Lake Wales HS, Lake Wales, Florida), shown above, who carried the ball 22 times for 95 yards, was awarded the Offensive Player of the Game.

Photo by
Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Phtotgraphy
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

Defensively, the Bulldogs were paced by inside linebacker Conner Taylor (Davis HS, Kaysville, Utah) and outside linebacker Ezekiel Barnett (Benton HS, Benton, Louisiana). Taylor tallied nine tackles, six of them solo, along with 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for a loss, sharing the stats with defensive end Milton Williams. Barnett added six total tackles (four solo) and one sack and one tackle for a loss. Defensive back Aaron Roberson (Huntington, HS, Shreveport, Louisiana) added five tackles (four solo), two pass breakups, and one game-sealing interception. Taylor, for his performance, was named the Defensive Player of the Game.

For the Hurricanes, quarterback Jarren Williams (Central Gwinnett HS, Lawrenceville, Georgia) was 9-of-20 for 94 yards while freshman Sam Brooks, Jr. (Miami Northwestern HS, Miami Gardens, Florida) posted 12 tackles.

Sapporo, Japan expresses interest to host 2030 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games

By Chris Price

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

TOKYO, JAPAN (December 26, 2019)  Sapporo, Japan is set to enter the race to host the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games after expressing an interest in hosting the Games a second time. Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1972. Read more here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Miami to face Louisiana Tech in 2019 Independence Bowl

SHREVEPORT. LOUISIANA (December 25, 2019) On Thursday, December 26, 2019, the 44th annual Walk-On's Independence Bowl will kick off at 3 p.m. CST at Independence Stadium in Shreveport with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will face the Miami Hurricanes (6-6, 4-4 ACC).

Louisiana Tech (9-3, 6-2 C-USA) makes its fifth appearance in Independence Bowl history, tying Ole Miss for the most appearances in Independence Bowl history. The Bulldogs have a 2-1-1 record in their previous four appearances. La Tech’s last trip came in 2008 vs. Northern Illinois (17-10 La Tech). 

They are making their sixth-consecutive bowl appearance under head coach Skip Holtz. Tech enters the 2019 bowl season as one of only two FBS programs with five consecutive bowl wins (Wisconsin). The Bulldogs are playing in their 12th bowl game in program history, with a record of 7-3-1 in their first 11 bowls. 

The Bulldogs played in the lone tie game in Independence Bowl history, tying Maryland 34-34 in the 1990 Independence Bowl. Miami is making its second-ever appearance in the Independence Bowl, with its last trip being in 2014 versus South Carolina, with South Carolina winning 24-21. 

The 2019 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl is Miami’s seventh-consecutive bowl appearance and 43rd bowl appearance in school history (20-22 record). Their last bowl win came in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl over West Virginia, 31-14. 

Miami head coach Manny Diaz was the Louisiana Tech defensive coordinator in 2014 under La Tech head coach Skip Holtz. Miami defensive coordinator Blake Baker took over as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator following Diaz’s departure to Mississippi State. Baker served as La Tech’s DC from 2015-2018. 

This is the fifth-ever matchup between Louisiana Tech and Miami (Miami is 4-0). Their last game against each other came in 2004, and they previously played in Independence Stadium in a regular season tilt in 2003, with Miami winning 48-9. 

The ACC sports a 6-5-1 record in 12 Independence Bowl appearances and have won each of the last four Independence Bowl’s dating back to Virginia Tech in 2015. 

C-USA holds a record of 0-1 in the I-Bowl. Southern Miss fell to FSU 42-13 in 2017.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

2019 Independence Bowl: Miamai (Fla) pre-game press conferennce

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA (December 24, 2019) Pre-game press conference with Miami (Fla) head coach Manny Diaz, running back K.J. Osborn and linebacker Shaquille Quarterman for the Walk-On's Independence Bowl. Click here for the video.

2019 Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech pre-game press conferennce

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA (December 24, 2019) Pre-game press conference with Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz, quarterback J'Mar Smith and safety Darryl Lewis for the Walk-On's Independence Bowl. Click here for the video.

Friday, December 20, 2019

North Central Cardinals dominates Wisconsin-Whitewater for NCAA D3 title

Photo by
Darla S Tamulitis
La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

(SHENANDOAH, TEXAS (Decemebr 20, 2019) It only took the North Central Cardinals two minutes, 33 seconds to put the first points of the game on the scoreboard in route to a 41-14 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks in the 47th Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. With the win, the Warhawks captured their first NCAA Division III Football Championship.

Running back Ethan Greenfield (Lakes HS, Lindenhurst Illinois) (shown right) carried the ball the final five yards of a seven-play, 45-yard driv for the score. The Cardinal possession began when Terrance Hill (Effington HS, Effington, Illinois) returned the Warhark kickoff 49 yards to begin the game.

With thrity-five seconds remaining in the first quarter North Central added to their lead when quarterback Broc Rutter (Neuqua HS, Naperville, Illinois) with wide receiver Blake Williams (Metea Valley HS, Aurora, Illinois) on a 31-yard pass for their second touchdown of the game. Freshman Mangus Meyer (Nesbru, Norway) add the extra point to give the Cardinals a 13-0 lead going into the second quarter.

Early in the second quarter, the Warhawks were moving the ball well, until Cardinal cornerback Julian Bell intercepted a Wisconsin pass; returning it to the Cardinals' 46-yard line. Eight plays later, Rutter carried the ball the final  yard to put six more points on the board. Meyer again split the uprights to push the Warhawks' lead to 20-0 wth 10:12 left in the half.

The Cardinals were not done in the first half as they added seven more points to their total with the 1:49 mark of the first half. Greenfield capped a 13-play, 7-yard drive with a two-yard run for score, with Magnus adding the extra point to post a 27-0 lead after 30 minutes of play. In the fourth quarter, they added seven more points 

The second half was a mirror image of the first, with the Cardidals picking up where they left off, scoring halfway into the third quarter. Greenfield again carried the ball 38 yards for his thord TD of the night, with Magnus addign the extra point.

The Warhawks finally found the endzone at the 4;32 mark of the quarter when Max Meylor (Mt. Horeb HS, Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin) connected with Jared Zausch (Ozaukee HS, Saulville, Wisconsin) for six points, with Wojciech Gasienica (Ridgewood HS, Norridge, Illinois) adding the extra point. In the fourth quater they added seven more points on a Alex Peete (Johnstown HS, Ringwood, Illinois) one-yard run and Gasienica's extra point.

The Cardinals added an insurance touchdown and extra point with 1:58 remaining in the game with a Andrew Kamienski (South Elgin HS, Pingree Grove, Illinois) run and Meyer's extra point.

For his efforts, Greenfield was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the game.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Texan Virgina Fuchs wins U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials in 112-pound division

Virginia Fuchs speaks with
ring announcer Jeremiah Gallegos
after her victory.
Photo by
Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (December 15, 2019) After four years of waiting, Texan Virginia Fuchs is one step closer to her Olympic dream in winning the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing. Facing off against Christina Cruz (New York, New York) in the finals, the native of Kemah, Texas took the unanimous decision in the 112-pound weight class. 

Earlier in the week, Fuchs downed Stephanie Chavez (Orange, California) on Monday, December 9 and Heaven Garcia (El Monte, California) on Friday, December 13 in unanimos decisions. Between these two bouts, she squared off against Cruz on Wednesday, December 11, and also took a unanimous decision.

Both Fuchs and Cruz will advance to the final stage of the selection process, which will take place January 2-26, 2020 at the U.S Olympic and Paralymic Training Center (USOPC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado and at the Strandja Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria. USA Boxing will annoucement the final 13 boxers that will represent Team USA at the International Qualification Tournaments following the conclusion of these events. The first opportunity for the 13 American boxers to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in April, with the second and final opportunity taking place in Paris, France in May.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Final Boxers Set for Finale of 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved
From USA Boxing Press Release

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (December 14, 2019) Stakes were high Saturday as the boxers faced elimination in the last round of the challenger’s bracket. The winners advanced to the finals while the losers will have to try again in the next Olympic trials. Here’s who confirmed their place in the finals.

In the women’s 165 lbs. division, Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) used a patient approach to get a 4-1 decision win over Alexis Gomez (South San Francisco, Calif.) and advance to the finals. She waited for Gomez to make a mistake and struck when the opportunity was best. With the win, she earns another shot at Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.). The two were scheduled to fight yesterday but McCane missed the bout because of a scheduling mix-up.

“I fought my fight,” McCane said. “I took control of the ring. I’m fired up and ready to go. Boxing is adding to yourself every day. I’m just building. No let up.”  

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Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved
Lupe Gutierrez (Sacramento, Calif.) proved to be too much for Isamary Aquino (Universal City, Texas) as she handed her both of her losses in the women’s 125 lbs. division of these trials. Gutierrez won the rematch by 4-1 decision. She advances to the finals for another rematch, this time against Andrea Medina (San Diego, Calif.). Medina beat Gutierrez last night in a close 3-2 decision. Gutierrez will need to beat Medina twice to secure a spot in the Olympics.

“I’m feeling great,” Gutierrez said. “I know I took that loss but I’m ready to get the win back. I’m ready for it."

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Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved
It’s unusual to have unanimous decisions in high-stakes bouts like these, but that’s exactly how Joseph Hicks (Grand Rapids, Mic.) beat Troy Isley (Alexandra, Va.) to advance to the finals. This sets up a rematch with Javier Martinez (Milwaukee, Wisc.), who beat Hicks by unanimous decision in the second round.

“Today was the best I’ve felt in a long, long time,” Hicks said. “Troy is a really good kid and a really great fighter. As for Javier, I figured some things out about him. He’s another great fighter, but I have some things figured out.”

Jeremiah Milton (Tulsa, Okla.) of the men’s 201+ lbs. division followed the trend Hicks set by defeating Luis Alvarado (Kenosha, Wisc.) by unanimous decision. It was a rematch of the second round, a 4-1 decision win by Milton. Milton will have to take this strong performance into tomorrow’s bout with Antonio Mireles (Des Moines, Iowa), who’s dominated this tournament and won every bout by unanimous decision.

“What I noticed about this tournament is that you have to hit more gears,” Milton said. “Every day you have to bring another gear. It’s Olympic trials. Everyone is trying to get to that spot. You have to make those adjustments on the fly. I knew I’d get here because I dedicated myself.”  

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Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved
In the women’s 132 lbs. division, Amelia Moore (Alexandria, Va.) avenged a 3-2 second-round loss to Kimberly Carlson (Chicago, Ill.) with a 4-1 decision victory to advance to the finals. There, she’ll have to get past top-seed Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.).

“I had a clear mind,” Moore said. “That’s been pretty much the mantra over the last few days since Wednesday. I listened to my corner with a clear mind and was calm. We made the adjustments we needed to make and came back and got the ‘W’ back. That was really important to me.”

It’s been a light tournament so far for Anthony Herrera (Los Angeles, Calif.). He won two of his fights by walkover and had his first fight only yesterday. That extra rest might have been the difference in a tight 3-2 decision win over Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) to advance to the final. There, he’ll meet Abraham Perez (Albuquerque, N.M.) for a rematch. On Friday, Perez won in a 3-2 decision. Tomorrow should be another close one.

“As compared to yesterday, I think I shook off a little bit of ring rust,” Herrera said. “I had two walkovers, which was a shocker because that doesn’t usually happen in tournaments like these. I’m feeling better today, I’m feeling strong. I stuck to the game plan and tomorrow, I’ll be ready.”

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved
Christina Cruz (Hell’s Kitchen, N.Y.) earned herself another shot at the top seed in the women’s 112 lbs. division, Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas), with a 4-1 decision victory over Heaven Garcia (Los Angeles, Calif.). Cruz and Fuchs met back in the second round, a unanimous decision in favor of Fuchs. Cruz is looking forward to another shot at a familiar foe.

“Very excited,” Cruz said. “I get to button up what I didn’t do in the last fight so I’m very excited to fix those little things and hopefully get the win.”

Regardless of who won in the men’s 178 lbs. division, there was sure to be a tough road to the championship. Awaiting in the finals is Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.), who had defeated both competitors in Saturday’s bout by unanimous decision. In the end, it was Atif Oberlton (Philadelphia, Pa.) who defeated Orville Crooks (Brooklyn, N.Y.) by a 3-2 decision to confirm the rematch.

“I’m working hard and listening to my corner,” Oberlton said. “I don’t second guess them. When they tell me to do something, I do it. It’s all about staying smart and being myself.”

In the men’s 125 lbs. division, David Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) completed his comeback from a surprising first-round loss by defeating Rashiem Jefferson (Philadelphia, Pa.) by a 4-1 decision to advance to the final. Waiting for Navarro is Bruce Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the eight-seed that has stormed through the trials.

“My first loss really opened my eyes,” Navarro said. “I just wasn’t ready for it. Now, I’m getting ready and I’m ready for the next round. I’ve been dreaming of this ever since I was a kid and it’s happening.”  

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Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved

Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) got himself back into the winner’s bracket with a 3-1 decision win over Brandon Moore (Lakeland, Fla.) in the men’s 201 lbs. division. This sets up a rematch with Darius Fulghum (Rosharon, Texas). Yesterday, Fulghum got the best of Talley in a close 3-2 decision. Talley thinks he know what it will take to get the win tomorrow.

“To get it done, I gotta do what I did yesterday, but a hundred times more because yesterday wasn’t as good as it was supposed to be where I would have won,” Talley said.

The men’s 152 lbs. division top seed Freudis Rojas (Las Vegas, Nev.) took another step in his journey back to the top after a first-round loss with close a 3-2 decision win over Kelvin Davis (Norfolk, Va.). The win sets up a powerhouse matchup with Delante “Tiger” Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) in the finals. Johnson has dominated the weight class thus far in the tournament but has yet to face the top-seeded Rojas.

“My battle isn’t over,” Rojas said. “I’m here to show that, even though I lost on the first day, I’m still in this tournament. I’m going to make the biggest comeback. I have a game plan, I’ll come out with the win that day.

Briana Che (Madison, Wisc.), the eight seed in the women’s 152 lbs. division, kept her winning streak alive with a 4-1 decision victory over Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.). The win sets up a rematch with Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio). Back in the first round, Jones beat Che by unanimous decision.

“I always say that sometimes you have to get knocked down and fall forward,” Che said. “That’s my motto. I picked myself up and reevaluated. I can only beat myself. My toughest opponent is myself. I just have to make the right decisions.”

In the men’s 138 lbs. division, Ernesto Mercado (Pomona, Calif.) earned a trip to the finals with a 4-1 victory over Charlie Sheehy (Brisbane, Calif.). Mercado is on a four-bout winning streak after losing in the first round. He’ll hope to carry that momentum into a matchup with top seeded Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.).

“The first day, I fell short,” Mercado said. “I learned from it. We’ve been picking it up day by day. I feel like tomorrow’s going to be a way better day for me.

Tomorrow’s finals will take place at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino at 3 p.m. CST. Sunday isn’t the absolute end of the trials, however. If a boxer experiences their first loss in the finals, there would be a rematch the following day at noon.