Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

The Model Champion.... Andre Ward

USA Boxing Alumni Association, Class of 2018 Inductee!

(December 7th) The last male American boxer to capture an Olympic gold medal, Andre Ward, will be honored tomorrow night, when he is inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

 

The 34-year-old Ward will be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame in Salt Lake City, along with Class of 2018 members Roy Jones, Jr. and Claressa Shields, as well as the late Emanuel Stewart and Tom Cleary.

 

The second annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception, held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, December 2-8, will be held at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Not only is he the last American male boxer to garner Olympic gold, which he did in 2004 in Athens, Greece, Ward is the last to do so for Team USA.

 

"It (last American male boxer to win Olympic gold) has never crossed my mind and it's bittersweet," Ward remarked. "On one hand, it's kind of cool to be the last to do something for so long but, on the other hand, I'm eager for that streak to be broken. It's time that the United States of America take its rightful place at the top of amateur boxing, like it once was, and in 2020 I predict Gold...lots of it!"

"It's an honor and a privilege to be inducted in to the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall Fame," Ward said. "It's even sweeter to be inducted with this year's other inductees and the icing on the cake is going in to the hall of fame with Roy Jones, Jr., my all-time favorite fighter.

 

"Being ranked No. 1 in the country since I was 17-years-old afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, train alongside the other top United States boxers, and the chance to face international competition leading up to the Olympics played a big part in my Olympic success."

 

Ward, who lives in Oakland (CA), started boxing in 1994 at the age of nine. He finished his brilliant amateur career with an amazing 115-5 record, highlighted by his gold medal performance at the 2004 Olympics. He also was a two-time U.S. National Championships (2001 & 2003) winner, in addition to a 2002 Under-19 National champion.

 

"As the youngest USA Boxing alum to win a men's Olympic gold medal, Andre has inspired present and future generations of champions," said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "He is a champion in every sense of the term -- for his intelligence, skill, and work ethic demonstrated throughout his career as well as his professionalism and character outside of the ring.  The USA Boxing Alumni Association is thankful for Andre's contributions to amateur boxing and look forward to honoring him as part of this year's Hall of Fame class."

 

USA Boxing Alumni Association

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, --boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans -- The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing's future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

 

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

 

To join the Alumni Association, simply register at alumni@usaboxing.org for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.

 

Ward's star kept rising in the pro ranks, in which he retired undefeated with a 32-0 (16 KOs) record, including unified world titles as a super middleweight (WBA, WBC, The Ring and lineal) and light heavyweight (WBA, IBF & WBO).

 

In 2011, after winning the hyped Super Six World Boxing, Ward was rightfully selected as the consensus Fighter of the Year. In seven fights against past world champions, he was 7-0 with two knockouts, defeating contemporary bests such as Mikhail Kessler, Sakio Bika, Chad Dawson, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch and Sergey Kovalev twice.

 

At the top of sport, Ward decided to retire from the ring last year, after his second victory over Kovalev. Today, he provides expert commentating, hosted the recent boxing reality show The Contender (Season 8), and he also played a role in the movies, Creed and Creed II.

Despite a near perfect career that places him along boxing's all-time greats and his last loss in the ring occurring in 1998, Ward was often been an underappreciated and under-acknowledged athlete by fans and media alike.

 

"My last loss was in the finals of the 1998 Silver Gloves against John Revish, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana," Ward noted. "I remember it like it was yesterday. I still feel the sting of defeat. That feeling was something I've never forgotten and something I never wanted to feel again. There was really no pressure to keep the streak going because I wasn't aware of it until someone brought it up. For me, it was my drive to win, mixed with a small fear of losing, and those seemed to be the perfect ingredients for me."

 

Like all USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Famers, Andre Ward gives back to youths on a regular basis, in and out of the ring. "I'm still involved with amateur boxing," Ward concluded. "I held my first amateur show over the summer and plan to hold many more and eventually a national tournament in the future. I'm always available to any fighter who wants my advice, especially the younger generation that's on the way up."

 

ABOUT USA BOXING: USA Boxing, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the National Governing Boxy (NGB) for the sport of amateur boxing in the United States. Established in 1984, USA Boxing is a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The mission of USA Boxing is to promote and grow Olympic-style amateur boxing in the United States and to inspire the tireless pursuit of Olympic gold and enable athletes and coaches to achieve sustained competitive excellence. Additionally, USA Boxing endeavors to teach all participants the character, confidence and focus they need to become resilient and diverse champions, both in and out of the ring. USA Boxing is one team, one nation, going for gold!

Paving the Way for Female Boxers.....

USA Boxing Alumni Association, Class of 2018 Inductee

Claressa Shields "USA Boxing is Family!"

(December 3rd) Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields not only is spearheading a new wave in women's boxing, she has developed into a true role model for countless youths.

 

Shields will be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame this Friday night in Salt Lake City, along with Class of 2018 members Roy Jones Jr. and Andre Ward, as well as the late Emanuel Stewart and Tom Cleary.

 

The second annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception, held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, December 2-8, will be held December 7, at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

"I feel honored," Shields spoke about being inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame," I am only 23 years old and to be inducted into the USA Boxing Hall of Fame is a great honor, but also a shock to me. I believe I am worthy of any honor, but I know things take time, and I always thought I would put in the Hall of Fame at the age 40 or 50. This is a big deal to me and I feel so honored. Just to have my name mentioned alongside names of greats like Andre Ward and Roy Jones just really motivates me. I feel privileged!"

 

The pride of Flint, Michigan, Shields has already successfully parlayed her amateur success to the professional ranks, in which she is 7-0 (2), and the reigning unified (IBF, WBA & WBC) world middleweight champion.

 

Shields finished her amateur career with an incredible 77-1 (18 KOs) record, highlighted by her Olympic gold-medal-performances in 2012 and 2016. She hasn't lost in the ring since 2012, when Savannah Marshall (England) won on points, 14-8, at the World Championships in China.

 

"USA Boxing came into my life as a two-time Junior Olympic champion," Claressa explained her USA Boxing relationship. "The help from USA Boxing was so important: just noticing me as a young athlete and knowing I would be a strong young woman to represent the USA in the future; meeting Julie Goldsticker, who was a blessing for me as she helped me with a lot as a teenager, and just having Coach Abdullah, coach Al Mitchell, and coach Gloria Peek teach me different styles and how to use all my attributes. USA Boxing blessed me with a lot of knowledge and life-long friendships with all my Olympic teammates and Olympic coaches. My favorite coach, Kay Koroma, literally was with me the whole way through 2015-2016, helping me outside the ring with advice and inside the ring."      

 

Shields is one of the driving forces in women's boxing today, carrying the torch handed off by American female boxing pioneers such as Christy Martin, Laila Ali and a few others.

 

"There is great change going on right now -- me, Mikaela Mayer, Franchon Crews, Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano and a few other women are carrying the torch for women's boxing right now," Shields explained. "Progress has been fast, every network has had a women's fight on television this year, especially Showtime, on which I have boxed the main event four times. Women's boxing can go far. I believe the day will come when we can be paid millions just like men."

 

By opening doors and breaking down obstacles, Claressa has become a true role model for youngsters all over, in and out of boxing.

 

"It feels good to be a role model for them (females), and also for so many male boxers," Shields noted. "Boxing is in a different era and I just want to make it easier for girls coming up, so when they turn pro, boxing will be closer to equality."

 

"Claressa has one of the greatest stories in the history of amateur boxing," said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "Her drive, commitment, talent, and character made her a USA Boxing and Olympic champion, leaving a legacy that will last for a very long time.  She is a trailblazer for women's boxing and has established her place as one of the most influential USA Boxing Alumni members of all time.  The USA Boxing Alumni Association wants to thank her for inspiring the amateur boxing community and serving as a great role model for the next generation of champions."

  

Despite all the honors and accolades, she has so richly received, Shields hasn't forgotten where it all started, and she's still actively involved in USA Boxing.

 

"I keep in contact with a lot of the female athletes and give them advice if they ask me," Claressa added. "I also went to Colorado for five days to be a motivator and keynote speaker for the Next Olympic Hopeful. After my career is over in about 15 years, I want to be a boxing trainer and lead the women's team to more Olympic gold medals, if given the opportunity. I also want to be a school teacher and a counselor for youth."

 

Shields, unfortunately, is unable to attend this Friday night's Hall of Fame reception because she's in deep training for her titles defense this Saturday evening on HBO, live from the StubHub Center in Carson, California, against Fenmke Hermans (9-1).

 

"Sadly," Shields concluded, "I can't be there but, if I was there, I would say: Thank you to USA Boxing for believing in me at the age of 16. It was an honor to represent America, not only once but two times in the Olympics! I thank Coach Billy (Walsh) for making me dig deep, by having to deal with his Irish ways and jokes, also for changing the culture of USA Boxing. A special thank you to coach Kay, also, I can't count on my hands how many days we trained at 1 a.m., how many times I knocked on his room door and ran, how many times he has had to take my phone from me because I was crying or having a family problem. He is the coach I could tell everything to, and he also blessed me with his boxing knowledge and made me always feel secure in myself when he was in the corner. USA Boxing isn't just staff - USA Boxing is family! Even though I've had a few words with Matthew Johnson and other staff, I thank them for being hard on me and making sure I handled my responsibilities. Love to all USA Boxing staff, I'm truly thankful."

 

Claressa Shields is much more than world and Olympian champion, she's a class act as well, exactly what's so desperately needed today.

National Championships Return to Salt Lake City

Next Week More Than 700 of the Top Amateur Boxers

in the United States Will Box for National Titles!

(November, 28th) USA Boxing's Elite and Youth National Championships & Junior and Prep Open returns to the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah for the second consecutive year, Dec. 1-8.

 

More than 700 of the nation's best boxers, aged 8 to 40, will step into the ring beginning Dec. 4 looking for their chance to win a national title. This year's tournament will also serve as the first qualifier to the 2020 Olympic Trials for Boxing for those boxers in the elite division (19-40).

 

Winners in the junior (15-16), youth (17-18) and elite division will earn spots on USA Boxing's High Performance Squad, which will give them the opportunity to attend training camps at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., as well as represent Team USA in international competition in 2019. Boxers in the prep divisions (8-14) will earn valuable ranking points for the next year.

 

"We are looking forward to returning to Salt Lake City for another year of amazing boxing," stated USA Boxing Executive Director Mike McAtee. "These championships are an important step towards qualifying to Team USA and their chance to try and qualify to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as well as earn a place on our high-performance squad for our younger boxers."

 

USA Boxing will kick off the week-long tournament with a press conference on Monday, Dec. 3 in Room 155 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. Local Utah boxers, World Championship medalists, as well as alumni of USA Boxing are expected to speak. A list of speakers will be announced closer to the day of the press conference.

 

Boxing will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 4 with two sessions, noon and 6:00 p.m., and will be free to the public until finals. Two sessions will continue through Thursday, Dec. 6, with Friday, Dec. 7 having just one noon session. The championships will conclude with the junior and youth finals beginning at 3:00 p.m., followed by the elite championship bouts starting at 6:00 p.m.

 

Tickets will be available for purchase throughout the week at the venue or at the door prior to the start of the finals.

 

USA Boxing and the USA Boxing Alumni Association will also host its second annual Alumni Association Hall of Fame Reception at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) on Friday, December 7th.

The GOAT Boxing Trainer..... Emanuel Steward

USA Boxing Alumni Association, Class of 2018 Inductee!

(L-R) - The great Tommy Hearns & the late Manny Steward)

(November 19, 2018) - The late Emanuel Stewart, arguably the greatest boxing trainer of all-time, is a member of the Class of 2018 getting inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

 

The second annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception, held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, December 2-8, will be held December 7, at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Steward was a boxer, trainer extraordinaire, and HBO commentator until his untimely death in 2012 at the age of 68. His boxing career culminated with his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996. 

 

At the age of 12, Manny moved with his mother from West Virginia to Detroit, where his life soon turned to boxing. As an amateur boxer, he compiled a 94-3 record, highlighted by a gold-medal performance at the 1963 National Golden Gloves Tournament as a bantamweight, but he decided against trying out for the US Olympic Boxing Team.

 

In 1971, Steward became a part-time trainer at Kronk Gym, where he eventually guided many of the country's top amateur boxers. Kronk Gym later became a property of Steward's and he developed it into one of the most successful and famous boxing gyms in the world.

Steward also served as National Director of Coaching for USA Boxing in the early 2000's.

 

 Throughout his incredible career, Steward reportedly trained 41 world champions, perhaps, the most noteworthy were Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. He also trained Julio Cesar Chavez, Miguel Cotto, Oscar de la Hoya, Naseem Hamed, Evander Holyfield, and Mike McCallum. Manny also trained a young Detroit rapper, Eminem, how to box at Kronk Gym.

 

The last world champion Manny trained was Adonis "Superman" Stevenson, who remains the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) World light heavyweight champion since 2013.

 

"Emanuel would always say, knockouts sell!" Stevenson fondly remembered. "He was also the first to tell me, 'You will be a superstar and a world champion. Just make sure you don't listen to people with bad intentions because you've got natural talent.' He believed in me even if some people did not think I would ever become a world champion."

"Emanuel Steward impacted the lives of so many who walked through the doors of Kronk Gym," said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "While he's most recognized for his achievement at the professional level, his impact was significant in the amateurs. Manny serves as a model coach for USA Boxing today, and his impact will be felt for a long time. The USA Boxing Alumni Association overwhelmingly supports his induction and looks forward to honoring him as part of this year's Hall of Fame class."

 

USA Boxing Alumni Association

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, --boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans -- The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing's future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

 

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

 

"For years he would come to my National Silver Gloves Tournament that I sponsored and put on in Kansa City just to show his support of the youth program," added USA Boxing president John Brown added. "Every year I would tell him to let me know if he was coming, so I could VIP him, and every year he would ignore me and just quietly show up. I would notice him in the crowd.  I would ball him out and then we did the same thing the following year.

 

"I also used to see him at big fights and he would always make me feel special by saying my company saved boxing in the seventies and eighties by providing safe, well-made, fair priced boxing equipment for the sport.  No one else ever gave me that recognition. He was humble and not a blowhard, my kind of guy."

 

Emanuel Steward left his mark on earth, not only as a multi-faceted personality in boxing, but he's also remembered for his magnanimous charity work in Detroit, in which he helped youths in their pursuit of education.

 

In short, though, he taught boxing, and nobody has ever done it any better.

World Class Referee..... Tom Cleary

USA Boxing Alumni Association, Class of 2018 Inductee!

(November 12th) The late Tom Cleary was one of the most respected referees in the world during his illustrious career. He joins a select group in the Class of 2018 getting inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

 

The second annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception, held in conjunction with the 2018 USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open, December 2-8, will be held December 7, at the Radisson Hotel (215 S. Temple St.) in Salk Lake City, Utah.

 

In addition to Cleary, the Class of 2018 also includes U.S. Olympic Team medalists and world (professional) champions Roy Jones, Jr., Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, as well as a past USA Boxing National Director of Coaching, the late Emanuel Steward.

 

The charter class inducted last year included Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, as well as veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter.

 

A longtime resident of Westchester, Ohio, Cleary was a USA Boxing member since 1982, and he served as Chief of Officials for the National Collegiate Boxing Association from 2002 until his passing May 21, 2017.

 

He refereed in 12 different countries, on four continents, as an International Official assigned by AIBA. Tom earned a three-star rating and he was selected to work the World Series of Boxing.

 

"Tom's dedication to amateur boxing and respect he garnered from boxers, coaches and fellow officials are second to none," said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "The Alumni Association emphatically endorsed his case for the Hall of Fame, and his induction was received both by those close to him, as well as the entire amateur boxing community. Tom's commitment to serving USA Boxing provides a great example for all of us and we couldn't be prouder to call him a member of this year's Hall of Fame class."

 

Tom never forgot where he came from, dedicating countless hours to the youth of Cincinnati, in addition to helping boxing clubs run efficiently throughout his community for more than a quarter-century.

 

The 2017 NCBA Official of the Year, Tom worked local, regional, national, International, world and Olympic levels of boxing. Highlights included working numerous U.S. National Championships, four U.S. Olympic Trials (2000, 2004, 2008 & 2012) and the 2007 World Championships in Chicago.

 

"When I was a young coach at the Air Force Academy," USA Boxing coach Ed Weichers commented, "we needed to replace an AIBA top notch referee who was retiring. We were looking for a highly qualified person and Tom Cleary was recommended. He came out the next 25 years straight. Tom was one of the best referees. He cared so much about the safety of the boxers and Tom was also a valuable mentor.

 

"Tom was a wonderful man who everybody loved. He administered referee clinics in the United States and always helped those in need, youngsters and adults. Tom's work in the Cincinnati area influenced so many boxers and coaches for more than 25 years. We dearly miss him."

 

Tom is survived by his wife, Diane, their two children and eight grandchildren.

 

Tom Cleary's leadership and mentor-ship inspired all those who were fortunate enough to meet him. He cared passionately about the boxers he shared the ring with, offering words of advice before, during and after bouts.

Large Turnout for Recent 1st USA Boxing

Alumni Association Gathering on West Coast!

(October 10th) A large group of past and present amateur boxers, as well as others involved in the sport, recently turned out in force for the first USA Boxing Alumni Association gathering on the West Coast.

 

The inaugural West Coast gathering of the USA Boxing Alumni Association, held at Fortune Gym in Hollywood (Los Angeles), resulted in memorable storytelling, welcome reunions, even between past foes, in addition to a substantial increase in membership ranks.

 

In addition to longtime amateur boxing supporter, actor/singer Frank Stallone, along with the Godmother of amateur boxing, Melanie Ley, attending past and present boxers and trainers included Mickey Bey, Alex Ramos, Maureen Shea, Ronnie Essett, Paul Banke, Jorge Hawley, Les Fabri, Frank Vassar, Don Deverges, Michael and Anna Keopuhiwa, Zachary Padilla, Lenny Gargaliano, Tony Lesbeur, Felix Nance, Derrick and Vince Hudson, Rudy Garza, Justine Fortune, Alan Santana, Willie Tubbs, Randy Crippen, Alan Santana, Jacquie Richardson, Steven Stokes, Manny Salcido, Jason and Jeremy Williams, Mike Simms, Jeff Bumpus, current Team USA heavyweight Richard Torres (Tulare, CA), and 2018 Youth World Champion and Los Angeles local Iyana Verduzco. 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tilman was also in attendance and registered as a new Alumni Association member.

 

USA Boxing board advisor and fighter liaison, "Iceman" John Scully, was responsible for recruiting most of the attendees.

 

"The USA Boxing Alumni Association gathering in Hollywood fully demonstrated our mission: Connecting Generations of Champions," said attendee Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "While former opponents reunited after exiting the ring decades ago, two of today's champions and Team USA members, Richard Torres and Roxy Verduzco, were proudly recognized for their recent success. The Alumni Association wants to thank Fortune Gym for hosting this gathering, and we look forward to connecting with our West Coast members at future events."

 

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, --boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans -- the Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing's future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

 

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events host by the Alumni Association, including Friday evening's USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

 

To join the USA Boxing Alumni Association, simply register at alumni@usaboxing.org for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.

Houston Featherweight Roma Martinez Represents

Next Wave of USA Female Boxers

Out to Make Statement at Summer Youth Olympic Games

October 6-18th, in Buenos Aires 2018!

(October 9th) Houston featherweight Roma Martinez, who represents the next wave of USA female boxers, is currently In Argentina to make a statement at the ongoing Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

 

The Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 continues through Oct. 18 at Parque Polidesportivo Roca in Argentina.

 

The 18-year-old Martinez started boxing six years ago, when her step-father came into her life, taking her to a local boxing gym to help keep her out of potential trouble, as well to defend herself.

 

She is an online student at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, planning to major in business, and Roma has been able to balance her busy schedule for a simple reason. "I don't have much of a social life," she admitted, "so it's easy for me to train and study."

Argentina is the second foreign country she's traveled to having competed last November in India. Although she has a relatively limited amateur career, Martinez has managed to capture top honors at six national events: 2016 USA Boxing Nationals, 2014 & 2015 Batte lf the Universe, 20-15 Women's Golden Glove, 2-15 Junior Olympics Nationals, and 2014 Brown Gloves.

 

Like many of her Team USA teammates, in addition to opponents from all over the world, Roma hopes she can parlay an impressive performance in Buenos Aires to improve her chances to eventually qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

 

"The Youth Olympics is the biggest thing in my career because I hope to compete in the 2020 Olympics," Martinez said. "The Youth Olympics is almost as big as the Olympics, only younger athletes compete. I take things one day at a time, but I do have goals to make the Olympics, win a gold medal, and then turn pro and win a world title.

 

"This is my last youth competition. This December I will move up to Elite Division. There will be a difference in age (of her opponents) and more international competition, but I need that experience to reach my goals."

 

Roma, she says, is a technical boxer who occasionally brings pressure.     Her favorite boxer is the great "Sugar" Ray Leonard and she looks up to Nicola Adams (2012 & 2016 Olympic gold medalist from Great Britain) and Mikaela Mayer (2016 USA Olympian). Roma has taken advantage of sparring sessions with Adams and Mayer, respectively, in Houston and Colorado Springs.

 

Martinez believes female boxing is on the upswing and she looks forward to its future. "The more top female boxers will mean bigger things for us," Martinez added, "We'll get more TV time and make more money."

 

Roma credits USA Boxing for her learning how to be disciplined and she's grateful for the outstanding coaching she's received. Martinez plans to travel a lot in the future and when she earns her business degree, Roma is determined to use it to her advantage, owning a restaurant and, possibly, a gym so that she can remain in boxing after she hangs up her gloves way down the road.

2018 Eastern Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championships has Largest Turnout in USA Boxing History!

(October 8th) The 2018 Eastern Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn. will begin tonight with the largest turnout in USA Boxing national tournament history.

 

After check-in and general weigh-in, a total of 834 boxers and 550 boxers will take part in the weeklong national tournament at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

 

"We have seen our national tournaments continually grow each event," stated USA Boxing Executive Director Mike McAtee. "Since 2017, USA Boxing has been providing extra opportunities with our regional qualifying tournaments for all boxers, aged 8-40, to step onto the national stage and box the best in the nation."

 

This marks the second year the Eastern Elite Qualifier & Regional Open has been held in Chattanooga, which saw a total of 645 boxers and 307 coaches participate last year. The first regional qualifying tournament, the 2017 Western Elite Qualifier & Regional Open in Albuquerque, N.M., had 302 boxers and 102 coaches and the 2018 edition had 719 boxers and 482 coaches attend.

 

With the large turnout in Chattanooga, the opening days of the event will include the addition of a fifth ring to hold the increased number of bouts.

 

FREE LIVE STREAM

Ring 1 (click here)

 

Ring 2 (click here)

 

Ring 3 (click here)

 

Ring 4 (click here)

 

Ring 5 (click here)

 

ABOUT USA BOXING: The mission of USA Boxing shall be to enable United States' athletes and coaches to achieve sustained competitive excellence, develop character, support the sport of boxing, and promote and grow Olympic style boxing in the United States. The responsibility of USA Boxing is not only to produce Olympic gold, but also oversee and govern every aspect of amateur boxing in the United States.

Straight Outta Toledo.... Otha Jones III

Competing at Summer Youth Olympic Games

Buenos Aires 2018, October 6-18th in Argentina!!

(October 4th) Two-time USA National Champion Otha Jones III is heading to Argentina tomorrow to make a statement at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires, October 6-18 in Parque Polidesportivo Roca.

 

Jones is from the new home of amateur boxing champions, Toledo, Ohio, where the 18-year-old Jones is also making a difference in his community, especially after his brother was shot and killed a few weeks ago while he was riding a bike.

 

Otha first got interested in boxing after watching a YouTube boxing sensation. "I thought that was cool," light welterweight Jones explained, "so I asked my father to take me to a gym. I soon learned that I was good at it, worked hard, and now I'm heading to the Youth Olympics.

 

"Fighters at all the gyms in Toledo help each other out. (2017 USA Nationals heavyweight champion) Jared Anderson is my best friend. The first year we trained at the same gym, but I never sparred with him (laughing), because he's too big for me. We're at different gyms now. Six Toledo boxers, five of my teammates, are in the USA Boxing program, including my sister, (welterweight) Oshae Jones, who is on the women's Elite team competing right now in Spain. We all push each other to the limit."

 

In addition to capturing gold at the last two USA National Championships, he also won top honors at the 2018 Youth Continental Championships, plus a silver medal at the 2018 Emil Jechev Memorial Tournament.

 

Self-described as an unorthodox boxer-puncher, Jones says he, "Throws punches from all angles. I can box well or sit and fight if I have to."

 

Jones, who has a 267-11 amateur record, has already traveled and competed in Bulgaria, Hungary and Russia. He's looking forward to experiencing Argentina, where he will live and train for two weeks in an Olympic village atmosphere.

 

"Making it this far to the Youth Olympic, so far, is the highlight of my career," he said. "I love traveling to different countries to experience and learn about new cultures. My goal is to fight at the 2020 Olympics in Japan and win a gold medal. I need to improve my skills; punch harder and place my punches better.

 

"After the Olympics, I plan to turn pro. I want to move my family out of the ghetto and get better clothes and meals for everyone.

 

"I own the Soul City Gym with my brother and dad. A lot of kids in Toledo have nothing to do. We go on social media to tell these kids to come by the gym to get in shape. We are part of a program that feeds these kids. We feel that, the less time on the street, we can help stop the violence, like my brother being killed. We're trying to get kids off the streets and in the gym."

 (Otha Jones III in blue)

Jones also noted that he really enjoys training in Colorado Springs, not only because of the outstanding facilities and coaching, but for his peace of mind.

 

"I thought I was in top shape training in Toledo," Jones added, "but you come here, and the air is different. After training at sea level, you get tired training here. I love it here. There are so many nice buildings and facilities, it's like a small city, only without crime. I can be myself here."

 

Otha Jones, III is making an impact in and out of the ring, whether he's at home in Toledo, training in Colorado Springs, or competing around the world.

USA Boxing Alumni Association Profile:

1972 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jesse Valdez!

   (L-R - Austin Trout, Jesse Valdez, Raphael Marquez and B.J. Flores)

(October 2nd) 1972 Olympic bronze medalist Jesse Valdez, who was an outstanding amateur boxer, never turned pro because he chose security for his family rather than take a risk and parlay his amateur pedigree into a prize fighting career.

Valdez first went to the local Boys' Club when he was 11. The youngest of seven children in a low-income family, headed by his single mother, in which the kids all slept in one bedroom, girls in a bed, boys on the floor, sharing space with cockroaches.

 

"I started going to the club and I guess I did well because I started beating older and bigger guys," Valdez remembered. One day a coach asked me if I was interested in learning how to box. At 11, USA Boxing people were interested in me, not me the boxer, and they always gave me guidance. Because of my background, I knew I wouldn't be going to college, and these people helped me and gave me guidance.

 

In 1964, 16-year-old Valdez upset Olympic bronze medalist Quincey Daniels at the National AAU Championship in the welterweight division, and later that year he qualitied for the U.S. Olympic Team as an alternate. Valdez captured a gold medal at the1967 National Golden Gloves in the light middleweight weight class and he added a bronze medal from the prestigious Pan-American Games.

 

"I wanted to be a better boxer and that (defeating Daniels) also helped me become a better person. I had never traveled outside of Texas before then. I went to the Regionals and Nationals and then I was asked if I wanted to go to East Africa. All I knew about Africa was Tarzan, Jane and Cheetah. In high school, I was offered college scholarships, but my grades were bad because I spent more time out than in school. I didn't have a father figure."

 

While he served in the U.S. Air Force, Valdez won a gold medal at the 1970 National AAU Championship as a light middleweight and two years later, he became the 1972 National Golden Gloves welterweight champion. A USA Olympic Team alternate for the second time in 1968, the third time was the charm for Valdez, who qualified for the 1972 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team by defeating future world champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.

 

"My dream came true in 1964," Valdez noted. "I was a USA Olympic Team alternate in 1964 and again in 1968. But in 1972, I wanted to win a gold medal, even though I ended up with bronze."

 

Valdez became a household name in America because his Olympic fights in Munich, Germany, aired live on ABC Wide World of Sports, the award-winning Saturday afternoon show during the seventies, when legendary announcer Howard Cosell took a shine to Valdez. Unfortunately, Jessie was eliminated in the semifinals by the eventual gold medalist, Emilio Correa, by way of a controversial decision, and Jesse settled for a bronze medal.

 

The 1972 Olympics, however, is sadly remembered for the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches taken hostage and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group, Black September.

 

"The Olympic village was built in a circle," Valdez explained. "There were athletes everywhere from all around the world. My roommate and I had a routine after eating. We walked to digest our food and that night we started to walk, when guards with guns and rifles wouldn't let anybody go past them. We didn't know why and didn't speak German. We then asked our coaches what had happened, and they said people were shot that afternoon. Later, we saw what happened on television.

 

"I was team captain and all the captains from every sport were asked what the athletes wanted to do, continue (competing) or go home. We decided to go on because, if we had stopped, that's what they (terrorists) wanted. The Olympics were halted one day for a memorial recognizing those who had died."

 

TEAM USA vs. TEAM GERMANY, OCT. 6 & 12 in CHATTANOOGA

Team USA and Team Germany, two of the world's top amateur boxing programs, will meet in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for two separate duels taking place Saturday, October 6 and Friday, Oct. 12, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

 

The duels will feature some of the top male and female elite boxers as they prepare for the lead up to the Olympics in 2020. The two events will take place alongside this year's Eastern Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championships, which is expected to have more than 650 boxers, aged 8-40, compete from Oct. 8-13.

 

After the 1972 Olympics, promoters lined-up to offer Valdez a pro contract, but he quickly turned down all offers having other options as well. He could have remained in the Air Force and been a coach. Instead, he accepted an offer from a Houston television station that wanted to benefit from hiring the Olympic bronze medalist returning home. Valdez became a reporter and the station's ratings immediately went up, but other reporters became jealous and that became a problem for Jesse. At first, he contemplated a return to the Air Force, but Valdez liked working in television and he became a photo journalist until he retired in 2005.

 

Why not take advantage of his fame as an Olympic bronze medalist and turn pro?

"When I was 14 or 15 there were pros training at the gym I went to after school," Valdez explained, "There was one professional boxer there I really liked and looked up to. He was a world champion, who will remain nameless, and I watched him work out. I'll never forget, he asked me if he could borrow $1.00. I didn't even have a nickel and that really opened my eyes. Here was a world champion asking me for money. It stuck in my mind. I took a job as a reporter because I really needed (medical) benefits.

 

"I try to go to clubs and help amateurs, but I don't watch pro fights."

 

USA Boxing Alumni Association

Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, --boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans -- The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing's future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.

 

The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events hosted by the Alumni Association, including its annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.

 

To join the Alumni Association, simply register at alumni@usaboxing.org for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.

 

Now 70, the Mexican-American from Houston has never regretted the decision he made nearly a half-century ago, or, of course, his experience at the 1972 Olympics. Jesse Valdez has become a valued speaker for the USA Boxing Alumni Association.

USA vs Germany Duels to Take Place In Chattanooga Alongside Eastern Qualifier World Medalist and Olympic Hopefuls to Step Into the Ring on American Soil!

(September 17th) Two of the world's top amateur boxing powerhouses will meet in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for two separate duels taking place Saturday, October 6 and Friday, Oct. 12, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

 

The duels will feature some of the top male and female elite boxers from both the United States and Germany, as they prepare for the lead up to the Olympics in 2020. The two events will take place alongside this year's Eastern Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championships, which is expected to have more than 650 boxers, aged 8-40, compete from Oct. 8-13.

 

"We are excited to host the German Federation, as they have hosted us numerous times for training camps over the past two years," said USA Boxing High Performance Director Matt Johnson. "This will be a great competition and a great opportunity for USA Boxing to showcase our next generation of Olympic hopefuls on home soil."

 

Team USA is expected to bring a talented team that will include multiple World Championship medalists, including 2017 Elite World Championship medalists Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.), Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Freudis Rojas Jr. (Las Vegas, Nev.), as well as two-time World Championship medalist Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), 2016 Youth World Champion Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) and 2016 Youth World Championships bronze medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.)

 

Other boxers anticipated to compete for Team USA include international medalists Khalil Coe (Jersey City, New Jersey), Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.), Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas), Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio), Quinton Randall (Katy, Texas) and Stacia Suttles (Brooklyn, N.Y.). These boxers are subject to change, and a full roster for both teams will be released closer to the start of the duels.

 

Boxers who are competing at the Eastern Elite Qualifier & Regional Open Championships are eligible for an early check-in on Saturday, Oct. 6 for the qualifier and will receive free entrance to that night's duel. Coaches who pre-register for the Qualifier and complete early check-in will also receive free entrance to that night's event.

Print Print | Sitemap
© Strictly Business Boxing