The Senior-level matches have been finalized for the 2016 Beat the Streets international competition, which returns to New York City’s Times Square on Thursday, May 19.
Competing against tough opponents from Iran in men’s freestyle will be 2012 Olympic champion, three-time World champion and 2016 Olympian Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and 2016 Olympian and two-time NCAA champion J’Den Cox at 86 kg.
Two-time World bronze medalist and 2016 Olympian Andy Bisek will battle an Olympic and World champion from Korea at 75 kg.
Burroughs will face 2105 Asian champion Peyman Yarahmadi, who won bronze medals at the 2013 Junior World Championships and 2012 Cadet World Championships. Yarahmadi won the highly respected Takhti Cup held in Iran in 2015 and has also won a silver and a bronze at that tournament in other years.
Burroughs is considered one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet, and one of the most successful in U.S. history. He won World titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015, to go with his Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London, England. Burroughs was a 2014 World bronze medalist, overcoming a leg injury in his first match. His career record is a remarkable 124-2. He is a four-time World Cup champion (2012-15) and two-time Pan American Games champion (2011, 2015). He was a two-time NCAA champion for Nebraska and won the Dan Hodge Trophy as the nation’s best college wrestler in 2011. He hails from Sicklerville, N.J. and was a New Jersey high school champion.
Burroughs has wrestled in the Beat the Streets international events five previous times and won all of his matches. Four of those events were in Times Square, where he beat Aniuar Gedeuv of Russia in 2011 (1-0, 2-1), Kamal Malikov of Russia in 2012 (8-0, 5-0), Atsamaz Sanakoev of Russia in 2014 (pin, 5:58) and Luis Quintana of Cuba (pin, 4:50). In 2013, when the event was held in Grand Central Terminal, Burroughs beat Saba Khubezhty of Russia (1-1, 5-0, 7-3).
Cox will be tested by Meisam Mostafa Joukar, who won both the Asian Games and the Asian Championships in 2014. Mostafa Joukar was a 2012 World University champion, and has won the respected Takhti Cup three times (2013-15).
Cox burst onto the Senior freestyle scene in the last month, after winning his second career NCAA title as a junior for the University of Missouri. He came into the U.S. Olympic Team Trials as a No. 9 seed in the Challenge Tournament, winning three matches to reach the championship finals, where he defeated four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake in a memorable three match series. Two weeks later, in his first international event ever, Cox won five matches to claim the gold medal at the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Mongolia, qualifying the USA and himself for the Rio Olympic Games. This will be Cox’s first Beat the Streets appearance.
Bisek has drawn 2012 Olympic champion and 2013 World champion Kim Hyeon-Woo of Korea in the featured Greco-Roman match. Kim was also a 2011 World bronze medalist and 2006 Junior World silver medalist. Kim boasts a 2014 Asian Games title and three Asian Championships gold medals.
Bisek won World bronze medals in both 2014 and 2015, and qualified for his first Olympic Games in April. He has been on four U.S. World Teams. Bisek won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games and boasts two Pan American Championships title. He competed for the USOEC program at Northern Michigan University before moving on to the U.S. Olympic Training Center. This will be his first Beat the Streets event appearance.
There will be five 2016 U.S. Olympians competing in Times Square. Previously, the two women’s freestyle matches were announced, as 2016 Olympian and three-time World champion Adeline Gray will face Canada’s Justina Distasio at 75 kg, while 2016 Olympian and 2015 World champion Helen Maroulis will battle Canada’s Samantha Stewart at 53 kg.
There will also be four Junior-level matches between the United States and Iran in men’s freestyle, the first age-group international matches in Beat the Streets event history. These Junior matchups, as well as additional youth competition, will be announced at a later date.
J’DBilled as “United in the Square,” this will be the second time that Iran has been featured as part of the Beat the Streets Gala competition. In 2013, the event dubbed “The Rumble on the Rails,” was hosted in historic Grand Central Terminal and featured dual meets between Team USA, Russia and Iran.