Syracuse native Amir Anderson, right, reacts to being declared USA Boxing's champion at 156 pounds at the national championships in Shreveport, Louisiana. Dec. 11, 2021. Photo by Chris Burns
Syracuse, N.Y. – Syracuse native Amir “Cash” Anderson is the 2021 USA Boxing youth champion at 156 pounds.
Anderson, 17, won a 3-2 decision Saturday in Shreveport, Louisiana, over Joseph Almajdi to win a USA Boxing National Championship and qualify for national team training camps that begin next year. Anderson, a senior at PSLA at Fowler High School, has set his sights on a spot on the United States’ 2024 Olympic team.
“The goal in 2022 is to make it to the Worlds (in the 17-18 division),” said Anderson’s coach, Chris Burns, “and then that puts him in the highest standing for selection for the 2024 Olympics.”
Anderson won the Junior Olympic title last summer at 165 pounds. About a month later, he learned that divisions in his weight range at the 2024 Olympics would be restricted to 156 pounds or 176 pounds, Burns said.
Anderson trains at Ray Rinaldi’s West Area Athletic and Education Center on South Geddes Street. His friend at the gym, Antwan “Tank” Hunter, moved from 200 pounds to box at 176, so Anderson told his coach he could make weight at 156.
Between playing for Fowler’s football team in the fall and training at the boxing gym, he was able to trim his weight to 154 by the time of this month’s USA championships.
“He’s been busting his butt,” Burns said.
Anderson was the No. 3 seed at 156, having carried over points from previous performances at 165. He won three bouts in Louisiana, defeating Sasha Tudor (6 seed) and Ethan Smith (2 seed) before out-pointing the 4 seed, Almajdi, in the title bout.
Anderson will spend about 10 weeks training in Colorado Springs next year, though the sessions will be split up over the spring and summer. The immediate goal, for Anderson, is to make the USA team that will compete in the 2022 World Youth Championships next fall. His victory Saturday was a big step in that direction.
If he is selected as the U.S. representative at 156, he must then fight in a qualifying tournament that includes boxers from North, South and Central America. The top boxers from that tournament advance to the Worlds.
Burns said Anderson is currently studying tape of boxers from across the globe and taking instructions from the USA Boxing staff.
Anderson will graduate from Fowler in 2022, Burns said, and is hoping to attend Syracuse University to study sports science and ultimately get a sports physical therapy degree.
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