USA Boxing

Apr 06 Paul Koon Named the USA Boxing Athlete of the Month for March

April 06, 2009, 11 a.m. (ET)

Heavyweight Paul Koon (Philadelphia, Pa.) has been named USA Boxing's athlete of the month of March following his performance at the USA vs. Ireland Dual, March 1 in Kildare, Ireland. Rob Colosante (Munhall, Pa.) received the March Grassroots Athlete of the Month following a vote on USA Boxing's website.

The USA vs. Ireland Dual was the first major international event for Koon, a bronze medalist at the 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championship. The 22-year-old heavyweight was the final U.S. boxer to compete in the event, and ensured that his United States team left Ireland on a winning note. Koon battled Ireland's John Sweeney in the three-round contest, with the two boxers competing to a 19-19 tie at the sound of the final bell. Yet Koon held a commanding lead in the tiebreaking punch count, claiming the victory on his 47-35 total punch count edge.

Prior to the USA vs. Ireland Dual, Koon participated in a preparatory training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.  Koon has been boxing since the age of 13 and trains with Zahir Justice and Blaine White in Philadelphia.

USA Boxing created a grassroots athlete of the month in February to recognize the athletes enjoying success at the local level while serving as a role model to others in their community. All 57 local boxing committee presidents have the opportunity to nominate an athlete from their area. Once nominated, the athletes and the submissions from their LBC President are posted to USA Boxing's website for the membership and fans to vote on. This is the first USA Boxing award that has been decided via the website.

Colosante is known throughout his area as a role model both in and out of the boxing ring. A college graduate, he is spends a great deal of time with younger and less experienced athletes, assisting them with their training. A three-time Western Pennsylvania Golden Gloves champion and two-time Allegheny Mountain champion, Colosante will compete for another state title on April 14.

Four boxers were nominated for the March Grassroots Athlete of the Month award for their outstanding performance and overall attitude. The three nominees joining Colosante were: Julius Butler (St. Louis, Mo.), Juan Jones (Akron, Ohio) and Christopher Lopez (Deltona, Fla.). USA Boxing's National Athlete of the Month award continues to recognize outstanding performance at the national and international levels.