Boxing


U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Boxing Weight Class Previews for the Featherweight, Lightweight and Light Welterweight and Welterweight Divisions

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight, and welterweight divisions promise to offer a great deal of excitement with all four weight divisions showcasing numerous elite challengers for the top crown. 1992 Light Welterweight Olympian and former welterweight world champion Vernon Forrest (Atlanta, Ga.) will be on hand to take in all the action at the event.

Featherweight/125 lbs/57 kg

The featherweight division is a competitive weight class with several boxers looking to snag the Olympic berth. 2007 U.S. Championships gold medallist Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) won the most recent battle, but hometown boxer Hylon Williams, Jr. (Houston, Texas) hopes to put on a show for his throng of fans. Although R. Williams won the U.S. Championships match-up, it was H. Williams taking the first victory between the two at the 2007 Golden Gloves. 2006 National PAL Champion Rico Ramos (Los Angeles, Calif.) dropped the 2007 U.S. Championships final round bout to R. Williams, but hopes to avenge the loss in Houston. 2005 Under 19 National Champion Shemuel Pagan (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also has his eye on the ultimate prize at the Olympic Team Trials. Bantamweight veteran Troy Wohosky (Medford, Ore.) has moved up to the featherweight division, and hopes to make some noise at his new weight division. Duran Caferro (Helena, Mont.) and Robert Rodriguez (Evans, Colo.) round out the competitive featherweight division. After receiving a 90-day suspension due to an injury at the U.S. Championships, Rosey Summerville (San Antonio, Texas) is unable to compete in the Olympic Team Trials.

Lightweight/132 lbs/60 kg

2007 National Champion Diego Magdaleno (Las Vegas, Nev.) is hitting his stride at the correct time, but the competitive lightweight division remains wide open for any of the eight athletes to take. 2006 National Champion Terence Crawford (Omaha, Neb.) will look to avenge his U.S. Championships loss to 2006 Under 19 National Champion Jerry Belmontes (Corpus Christi, Texas) at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. 2004 Olympic Team Trials participant Miguel Gonzalez (Cleveland, Ohio) is back for a second run at Olympic glory, and prepared for the Olympic Trials with 2004 Olympian Rau’shee Warren. 2006 National Golden Gloves featherweight champion Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has made the leap to the lightweight division and the former junior star hopes to find the same success he enjoyed at the lower weight division. Mason Menard (Rayne, La.); the U.S. Army’s James Villa (Fort Carson, Colo.); and Antton Slaughter (Columbus, Ohio) will complete the roster of eight athletes competing for the lightweight spot.

Light welterweight/141 lbs/64 kg

As usual, the light welterweight division is jam-packed with no strong favorite. 2007 National Champion Javier Molina (Commerce, Calif.) pulled the upset of the tournament at the 2007 U.S. Championships, defeating two-time national champion and veteran Karl Dargan (Philadelphia, Pa.) en route to his first senior title. Three-time National Golden Gloves champion Brad Solomon (Douglasville, Ga.) hopes to translate his Golden Gloves success into an Olympic berth in Houston. Fellow Golden Gloves star Jeremy Bryan (Clifton, N.J.) will look to do the same when he boxes in his first Olympic Team Trials. 2006 National PAL Champion Michael Dallas (Bakersfield, Calif.) plans to make a mark of his own when he takes the ring in Texas while 2006 lightweight national champion Danny Garcia (Philadelphia, Pa.) is looking to repeat his lightweight success at his new weight division. 2006 Under 19 National Champion Andre Sherard (Milwaukee, Wis.), Daniel O’Connor (Framingham, Mass.); and Samuel Martinez (Jacksonville, N.C.) will complete the eight light welterweight athletes vying for a berth on the U.S. Olympic team.

Welterweight/152 lbs/69 kg

Fresh off a silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games, two-time national champion Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) will look to fill the hole in his impressive resume. Yet his fellow seven welterweight competitors all have other plans. 2007 National Champion Charles Hatley (Dallas, Texas) recently took home his first U.S. Championships gold, and he hopes to repeat the feat in his home state. 2006 National PAL Champion Keith Thurman (Oldsmar, Fla.) plans to use his heavy hitting style to earn an Olympic berth in his first Olympic Team Trials. 2004 World Military Champion and 2006 U.S. Championships silver medallist Boyd Melson (Fort Carson, Colo.) is competing in his second straight Olympic Team Trials in Houston. Melson, a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, hopes to use his 2004 experience to his advantage when he takes the ring in Texas. A second Army athlete is competing in his second Olympic Trials as well after boxing in the 2000 event. Veteran Mahlon Kerwick (Fort Carson, Colo.) recently won a silver medal at the 2007 U.S. Championships, and he hopes to continue his strong return to the amateur boxing scene in Houston. Domonique Dolton (Detroit, Mich.); Anthony Campbell (Covington, Tenn.) and David Lopez (Parma, Idaho) will round out the eight boxers vying for the welterweight crown.

The middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions will conclude the weight class previews on Thursday, August 16. The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing will showcase 88 of the nation’s top athletes as they vie for spots on the U.S. Olympic Team. The 88 boxers competing in the event all earned Olympic Trials berths by advancing to the quarterfinal round of the 2007 U.S. Championships in June.

The Olympic Trials is a double elimination tournament featuring eight boxers in each of the 11 Olympic-style weight divisions. If a boxer loses, they will drop into the challengers’ bracket and have the opportunity to box their way out to meet the winners’ bracket champion. The final round will feature a match-up between the champion of the winners’ bracket and the challengers’ bracket titlist. The winners’ bracket victor will have to win only once to earn the Olympic berth while the challengers’ bracket champion will have to win both match-ups between the two competitors. First round action will kick off Monday, August 20 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas and run through Sunday, August 26.

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).

Article posted on 15.08.2007



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