The Nation’s Top Boxers to Face Off at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing, August 20-26
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing now stand only one week away with 86 of the nation’s top boxers vying for an Olympic berth, August 20-26, in Houston, Texas. The athletes will arrive on Saturday, August 18 before opening competition in the double elimination tournament on August 20.
Article posted on 13.08.2007
2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (Oakland, Calif.) and 2000 Olympic silver medalist Ricardo “Rocky” Juarez (Houston, Texas) will be on hand to support the competitors at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing.
Many outstanding plots will play out in the seven days of competition before the United States Olympic Team is officially crowned at the end of the event. The top ten storylines include:
RAU’SHEE WARREN – Warren, a 2004 light flyweight Olympian, can become the first U.S. boxer in 30 years to compete in two Olympic Games with a victory at the Olympic Team Trials for Boxing. The youngest male U.S. Olympian in any sport in Athens, Warren is back for a second run, competing for a flyweight spot in 2008. He has enjoyed great success since his 2004 Olympic experience, winning three national titles and a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships. Davey Lee Armstrong was the last boxer to make two Olympic appearances, competing in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
CHRISTOPHER DOWNS – Downs, a 32-year-old two-time light heavyweight national champion, has only been boxing for four years. Should he make the team, Downs would be the oldest known U.S. boxer to compete in the Olympic Games. Despite his limited 40 bouts of experience, Downs has reached the top of the sport. A member of the United States’ Army’s World Class Athlete Program, Downs began boxing in the Army and then went to serve a tour in Iraq. At 32, he will just fall under the age limit of 34 when the 2008 Olympic Games are contested. Although he is much older than his fellow amateur boxers, they possess much more boxing experience than Downs. Yet he has managed to overcome his inexperience to win two national championships as well as a bronze medal at the recent Pan American Games.
FERNANDO GUERRERO – Guerrero, a 2007 middleweight national champion, has been patiently waiting for his time at the top since starting to box in 2001. Born in the Dominican Republic, Guerrero didn’t obtain his United States citizenship until October and therefore couldn’t compete in national championship events. Although he knew that he had the talent and determination to reach the top, Guerrero had to wait his 18th birthday and is now making up for lost time. He won his first national championship at the 2007 U.S. Championships in June, and hopes to win his second title in Houston.
GARY RUSSELL, JR. – Russell, a two-time bantamweight national champion, has remained undefeated in contested action in the United States since entering the senior division at only 16-years-old in 2005. He has won every major national championship and his success extends to the international scene where he won a bronze medal at the 2005 World Championships at 17. His success isn’t surprising considering that Russell has been around the sport since he was in diapers. He has memories of going to the gym in early childhood to watch his older brothers work out. Trained by his father, Gary Russell, Sr., he comes from a true boxing family with his father having competed as a heavyweight and four brothers also competing as boxers. Russell and his five younger brothers are all named Gary Russell after their father, but Gary Jr., is the only child to go by his given name with the younger five all being called by their middle names.
SHAWN PORTER – Porter, the 2007 Golden Gloves national champion, made a large sacrifice to chase his Olympic dream. A two-sport athlete, Porter boasted an outstanding high school football career, which earned the 18-year-old scholarship offers from numerous colleges. Faced with a tough decision, Porter turned down the scholarship offers, and has focused all of his energy on earning the middleweight berth on the 2008 Olympic Team.
LUIS YANEZ – Yanez, a two-time light flyweight national champion, recently made his mark on the international scene, winning a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games. The 18-year-old phenom owns titles at every level and defeated Cuba’s Yampier Hernandez en route to gold at the Pan Ams. A waiter at a Dallas area restaurant, Yanez is missing only one thing on his impressive resume and he hopes to add the title of Olympian in his home state.
BOYD MELSON – Melson, the 2004 World Military champion, is competing in his second straight Olympic Team Trials for Boxing. A West Point Graduate, the USA Boxing Board of Directors member is looking to make his second straight trip to Beijing. He joined his girlfriend Christian Zaccagnino in Beijing earlier this year for a ground-breaking medical treatment. Zaccagnino broke her neck in a diving accident when she was 10-years-old and was told that she would never be able to move again from the neck down. Now, nearly 12 years later, she walks five times a week with leg braces and a walker, in addition to working out with weights and doing cardio exercises every other day. She and Melson recently traveled to China for a stem cell surgery and she is now getting stronger everyday, and is able to ride a stationary bike for 25 minutes. Melson hopes to reach his dreams in China as Zaccagnino was able to with her surgery.
DANIEL JACOBS – Jacobs, a 2006 National Champion, took to the sweet science immediately upon stepping into a boxing gym. The Brooklyn native is well known in the Big Apple, and had the alarm clock gone off, he might have competed in the 2004 Olympic Trials. After advancing to the finals of the 2004 Eastern Trials, an automatic qualifier to the 2004 Olympic Team Trials for Boxing, Jacobs was late to the 7 a.m. weigh-ins, disqualifying him from the tournament. Yet he came back strong, winning all three major national championships over the past three years despite numerous obstacles. Jacobs suffered a deep cut at the 2006 National PAL Championships, and was stitched up on a pool table in the venue before going on to win the tournament.
2004 OLYMPIC RUNNERS-UP - Three of the 2004 Olympic runners-up will be competing in the 2008 edition. Light flyweight Diego Hurtado (Reno, Nev.); flyweight Aaron Alafa (Visalia, Calif.) and Mike Wilson (Central Point, Ore.) are all returning in 2008 for a second chance at an Olympic berth. All three will be competing in the same weight division, but will face different foes in their second Olympic Trials. Hurtado returned to the amateur scene after a three-year lay-off and earned an Olympic Trials berth while Alafa and Wilson have been active since 2004. Alafa has earned two straight National Golden Gloves titles while Wilson won two U.S. Championships crowns.
MILITARY ATHLETES – Twelve military athletes will compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing. Flyweight John Franklin (Fort Carson, Colo.); bantamweight Alexis Ramos (Fort Carson, Colo.); lightweight James Villa (Fort Carson, Colo.); welterweights Boyd Melson (Fort Carson, Colo.) and Mahlon Kerwick (Fort Carson, Colo.) middleweight Zacheus Hardwick (Fort Carson, Colo.); light heavyweight Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.) and Jeffrey Spencer (Fort Carson, Colo.); heavyweight Joe Guzman (Fort Carson, Colo.) and super heavyweights William Moore (Fort Carson, Colo.) and Andrew Shepherd (Fort Carson, Colo.) are all members of the U.S. Army. Light welterweight Samuel Martinez (Jacksonville, N.C.) will represent the United States Marine Corps in Houston.
Previews by weight class will be sent out daily starting on Tuesday, August 14, beginning with the light flyweight, flyweight and bantamweight divisions. For more information or to request a media credential, contact Julie Goldsticker at (719) 866-2304 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing Schedule
August 20 – 44 Preliminary Round Bouts (Noon and 6 p.m.)
August 21 – 22 Winners’ bracket second round bout and 22 Challengers’ bracket first round bouts (Noon and 6 p.m.)
August 22 – 11 Winners’ bracket third round bouts* and 22 Challengers’ bracket second round bouts (Noon and 6 p.m.)
August 23 - 11 Challengers’ bracket third round bouts (6 p.m.)
August 24 – 11 Challengers’ bracket fourth round bouts* (7 p.m.)
August 25- 11 Final round bouts between the winners’ bracket victors and the challengers’ bracket winners (7 p.m.)
August 26 – Final Round bouts between the winners’ bracket victors and the challengers’ bracket winners (if necessary)
*Winners advance to final round action on August 25
Light flyweight/106 lbs
1. Luis Yanez, Duncanville, Texas
2. Daniel Lozano, Bowling Green, Fla.
3. Diego Hurtado, Reno, Nev.
4. Keola McKee, Wailuku, Hawaii/NMU
5. Roberto Ceron, Doraville, Ga.
6. Malcom Franklin, Bakersfield, Calif.
7. Jerail Singleton, St. Louis, Mo.
1. Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio
2. Aaron Alafa, Visalia, Calif.
3. Timothy Ibarra, Brighton, Colo.
4. John Franklin, Fort Carson, Colo.
5. Bruno Escalante, Waimanalo, Hawaii/NMU
6. Qa’id Muhammad, Atlantic City, N.J.
7. Juan Leija, Alvin, Texas
8. David Gaspar, Wilmington, Calif.
1. Ronny Rios, Santa Ana, Calif.
2. David Clark, San Diego, Calif./NMU
3. Gary Russell, Jr., Capitol Heights, Md.
4. Sammy DiPace, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. Roberto Marroquin, Dallas, Texas
6. Sergio Perales, Los Fresnos, Texas
7. Jessy Cruz, Miami, Fla.
8. Alexis Ramos, Ft. Carson, Colo.
1. Raynell Williams, Cleveland, Ohio
2. Rico Ramos, Los Angeles, Calif.
3. Hylon Williams, Houston, Texas
4. Shemuel Pagan, Brooklyn, N.Y.
|5. Duran Caferro, Helena, Mont.
6. Troy Wohosky, Medford, Ore.
7. Robert Rodriguez, Evans, Colo.
1. Diego Magdaleno, Las Vegas, Nev.
2. Jerry Belmontes, Corpus Christi, Texas
3. Mason Menard, Rayne, La.
4. Terence Crawford, Omaha, Neb.
5. Miguel Gonzalez, Cleveland, Ohio
6. Sadam Ali, Brooklyn, N.Y.
7. James Villa, Fort Carson, Colo.
8. Antton Slaughter, Columbus, Ohio
Light welterweight/141 lbs
1. Javier Molina, Commerce, Calif.
2. Brad Solomon, Douglasville, Ga.
3. Dan O’Connor, Framingham, Mass.
4. Danny Garcia, Philadelphia, Pa.
5. Andre Sherard, Milwaukee, Wis.
6. Michael Dallas, Bakersfield, Calif.\
7. Samuel Martinez, Jacksonville, N.C.
8. Jeremy Bryan, Clifton, N.J.
1. Charles Hatley, Dallas, Texas
2. Mahlon Kerwick, Fort Carson, Colo.
3. Keith Thurman, St. Petersburg, Fla.
4. Demetrius Andrade, Providence, R.I.
5. Boyd Melson, Fort Carson, Colo.
6. Domonique Dolton, Detroit, Mich.
7. Anthony Campbell, Covington, Tenn.
8. David Lopez, Parma, Idaho
1. Fernando Guerrero, Salisbury, Md.
2. Shawn Porter, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
3. Jonathan Nelson, Little Rock, Ark.
4. Shawn Estrada, Downey, Calif.
5. Angel Santos, Newark, N.J.
6. Dominic Wade, Largo, Md.
7. Zacheus Hardwick, Fort Carson, Colo.
8. Daniel Jacobs, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Light heavyweight/178 lbs
1. Christopher Downs, Fort Carson, Colo.
2. Yathomas Riley, San Diego, Calif.
3. Siju Shabazz, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. Cymone Kearney, Oakland, Calif.
5. Jeffrey Spencer, Fort Carson, Colo.
6. DeRae Crane, Davenport, Iowa/NMU
7. Nicholas Swan, Great Falls, Mont.
8. Angel Concepcion, E. Orange, N.J.
1. Deontay Wilder, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
2. James Zimmerman, San Jose, Calif.
3. Adam Willett, Bell Port, N.Y.
4. Joe Guzman, Fort Carson, Colo.
5. Anthony Tettis, Ridgway, Pa.
6. Aleco Lawton, Orlando, Fla.
7. David Carey, Anchorage, Alaska
8. Quantis Graves, Cut Off, La.
1. Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev.
2. Mike Wilson, Central Point, Ore.
3. Lenroy Thompson, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
4. William Moore, Fort Carson, Colo.
5. Josh Parsons, Barboursville, W. Va.
6. Nate James, Malden, Mass./NMU
7. Kimdo Bethel, Albany, N.Y.
8. Andrew Shepherd, Fort Carson, Colo.
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
Director of Media and Public Relations
previous article: King's Triumphant Return: Demetrice King returns August 24 in Jackson, MI
next article: Boxing World Cup III: The Philippines versus Puerto Rico