March 9-1, Colorado Springs, ColoradoU.S. Future Stars National ChampionshipAt this championship Shemuel Pagan (whom I train with his father, Robert Pagan) represented the PAL 132 lbs weight division.
It was obvious that Shemuel won his first bout against Connor Johnson, who represented the US Army (20:4) and next he beat Texan, Eric Fowler (24:13).
In the semi- finals Shem faced the representative of New Mexico, Fidel Maldonado. In this contest Shem fought not against Maldonado but against the judges. The computer happened to be positioned right in front of me and Shem’s dad, Robert. We soon realized that the judges did not count Shem’s punches fairly. His father Robert and I knew then that Shem would have to destroy his opponent to win. We started screaming to Shem in hopes he’d do even better.
The final score was 16:15, in favor of Maldonado. The score belied the truth. This was never a close match. Right from the start, Shem controlled the fight. Many coaches came to us afterwards and told us that there was a discrepancy of a minimum of six points that should’ve gone to Shem.
Bronze Medal from the US National Boxing Championship wasn’t enough to make us happy…