Jahmal Harvey left Ronald Reagan National Airport earlier this month and returned a champion. Over the weekend, Team USA announced that Harvey had won the first 57 kg division at the World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. Not only did it mark the first time that Harvey had won a world title, but it also marked the first time that an amateur men's boxer from the U.S. had won a world title since 2007.
Harvey's path to the world title was not easy. In the second round, he pulled off a major upset of defending world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov. From there, he had to defeat two former Olympians, Serik Temirzhanov and Samuel Kisohurry, in the final two rounds.
“Feeling good, 2021 world champion, all my hard work paid off,” Harvey said in a video published by Team USA.
Harvey was not the only member of Team USA to win a title in Belgrade. Rahim Gonzales won his first light heavyweight title by coming from behind to beat hometown favorite Vladimir Mironchikov. He is the first American to take home the light heavyweight title at the World Championships since 1999.
“We did it,” Gonzales said, according to Team USA.
Overall, Team USA's men's boxing team put together its best performance at a world competition in nearly 20 years. Nine boxers competed, six advanced to the quarterfinals and four went home with medals. Coming off of a performance at the Tokyo Olympics that resulted in three silver medals and one bronze medals, Team USA has set itself up to be a strong contender at the next Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France.