Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Sen. John McCain to Be Honored at 3rd Annual USA Boxing  Alumni Association Hall of Fame Reception!

(December 11th) Senator John McCain will be posthumously presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport this Friday night at a special ceremony during the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the ongoing 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and 2019 National Championships at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event's emcee for the third year in a row.

 

The USA Boxing Alumni Association's third HOF class also includes three Olympic gold-medalists, "Big" George Foreman, Mark Breland and "Smokin'" Joe Frazier, as well as legendary coaches Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

 

The late Sen. McCain boxed at the U.S. Naval Academy, where the 5' 7" lightweight competed three years as a fearless boxer who reportedly always came forward, never reversing gears. In his final year, he managed the battalion boxing team to a brigade championship.

 

"Our family believes our father would accept this award graciously as a very high honor," daughter Megan McCain said on behalf of the McCain family. "The courage, character and action needed to step into the ring is something he felt very strongly about.

 

"He learned many life lessons through boxing, including the value of fitness, discipline, individual performance training and operating as part of a team.  Boxers run up against opposition they have no idea how to attack or defend against, yet they figure it out and learn about themselves, as well as develop endurance during the process."

 

"Senator McCain was a true ally to the sport, having personally understood the courage and risk-taking required from those who enter the ring," said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. Throughout his career in politics, USA Boxing communicated with his office numerous times as part of a collaborative effort to safeguard the future of Olympic style, amateur boxing, and Senator McCain never hesitated to offer to do more for our athletes. For this and many other reasons, the USA Boxing Alumni Association looks forward to honoring his legacy this weekend."

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John Scully, Obie Beard, Mark Lanton and the Stephens brothers - Donald, Anthony and Jerry.

 

Follow USA Boxing on social media, as well as the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and 2019 USA Boxing National Championships website for news, results, selection procedures and updates of the tournament just (click here).

 

About USA Boxing

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!

 

HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE 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.

 

CLASS OF 2017: The charter class was headed by Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield, in addition to veteran coaches Roosevelt Sanders and Tom Coulter.

 

CLASS OF 2018: U.S. Olympic Team medalists and world (professional) champions Roy Jones, Jr., Andre Ward and Claressa Shields, as well as former USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Emanuel Steward and veteran USA Boxing official Tom Cleary.

Simply the Best Mark Breland

USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame

Class of 2019 Ceremony December 13th

at Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, La!

(December 3rd) Arguably the greatest American amateur boxer of all-time, Mark Breland will be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame on Friday night, December 13, during a special Class of 2019 ceremony at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and 2019 National Championships, Dec. 7-15, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event's emcee for the third year in a row.

 

The USA Boxing Alumni Association's third HOF class also includes two other Olympic gold-medalists, "Big" George Foreman and "Smokin'" Joe Frazier, as well as legendary coaches Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

 

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport.

 

"I'm very happy to be inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame," Breland said. "It really means a lot, especially going in this year with Foreman and Frazier. I guess it proves I've done a lot in boxing. I'm happy to be going in. I had a lot of fun in USA Boxing. To be going into the same Hall of Fame with Evander (Holyfield) (Muhammad) Ali, Foreman, Frazier...champs like that, it's something for me to be with them."

 

Breland, ironically, first got into boxing at the age of eight, due to him being brought to his first boxing match, Frazier-Ali I, at Madison Square Garden. "We were up in the top seats," the Brooklyn-born and raised Breland remembered like it was yesterday. "The crowd, the atmosphere...all I could think of was, wow! I didn't realize until I got older that there were so many stars there watching Ali and Frazier, because they were all at ringside. 

 

"The next day I went to a gym. I was really skinny, small, but I came back the next day. I enjoyed working out and fell in love with boxing. I wanted to box in big tournaments. This is what I wanted to do, but I had hid boxing from my parents. They knew I had I played football, but that was okay with them, because unlike in boxing, we had a helmet. I won at the Junior Olympics and it was in the papers. I saw it and thought my mother was going to kill me. My mother asked me why I hadn't told her, so I invited her to watch me fight in the Golden Gloves. She was in one of the front rows, but afterwards when I asked her what she thought when I knocked out my opponent, she said she didn't see it because she had closed her eyes."

 

Breland went on to become a five-time New York Golden Gloves champion with a 21-0 record, including 19 knockouts, 14 coming in the opening round. In 1982, Breland captured a gold medal at the prestigious World Championships in Munich, Germany, after which he was named the No. 1 welterweight in the world by AIBA. He was also selected as Boxer of the Year (1982) by USAABF.

 

At the 1984 Olympic Games, held in Los Angeles, Breland fought his way to a gold medal, along with eight of his American teammates: Paul Gonzalez, Steve McCrory, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, Jerry Page, Frank Tate, Henry Tillman and Tyrell Biggs.

 

Breland, who completed his amateur career with an amazing 110-1 (73 KOs) record, appeared to be cooler than the other side of the pillow on a hot, steamy night. No real celebrations after he won gold, to the contrary, Mark was emotionless, the same as he still is today as a trainer of champions.

 

"I've always been really laid back," he explained. "I just remember raising my hands. At an Olympic press conference, I was asked if I was happy, and I just said I was glad it was over. I guess I didn't seem excited. I was happy but calm. It's the same way now (as a trainer); it's just me. I'm happy to win and happy to be doing what I do." 

 

"Mark's dominance over his competition throughout his USA Boxing career cements him as a legend," commented Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "His ring intelligence, commitment to his craft, and ability to fight at any pace against any style makes him a tremendous example for today's group of amateur champions. It has been a long time coming, but the Alumni Association looks forward to reflecting on his accomplishments and honoring Mark in Louisiana."

Men's Field for 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Set!

(November 26) -Sixty-four of the nation's top male amateur boxers will compete at the upcoming 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing in Lake Charles, Louisiana, December 9-16.

 

A total of 479 boxers competed in the four qualifying tournaments with hopes of advancing to Lake Charles. The top two boxers in each weight division will advance to the next stage of the selection procedures this January in Colorado Springs and compete for a chance to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

 

Here is a closer look at the boxers stepping into the ring in the eight men's weight divisions.

 

Flyweight/114 lbs./52 kg

The flyweight division will feature multiple exciting matchups, as all eight boxers will be looking to represent Team USA next year and follow in 2016 Olympic bronze medalists Nico Hernandez' footsteps. 2019 World Championships team member and 2018 Elite National Champion Michael Angeletti (Spring, Texas) has hopes of using his great deal of international experience he gained this year to lead the pack, while two-time flyweight national champion ('16 and '17) Fernando Martinez (Phoenix, Ariz.) will want to return to the top of the podium. 2018 Elite National Championships runner-up Abraham Perez (Albuquerque, N.M) has hopes of redemption to take the title. Youngster Ray Ray Robinson (Cincinnati, Ohio) punched his ticket to Lake Charles by winning the Eastern Elite Qualifier in his home state and his elite debut, and Jose Nieves (Avenel, N.J.) grabbed the title at the Last Chance Qualifier in Oxnard over an impressive field. Roscoe Hill is the second boxer from Spring, Texas to qualify in this division following his silver medal-effort at the Western Elite Qualifier in Reno. Los Angeles duo Anthony Herrera and Anthony Olascuaga round out the field. Herrera was victorious in Reno and Olascuaga finished second in Oxnard.

 

Bantamweight/125 lbs./57 kg

After falling short on his Olympic-qualification run in 2016, Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) has been one of Team USA's most successful boxers leading into the tournament, winning multiple international medals including a silver at the 2017 Elite World Championships and 2019 Pan American Games. However, a mix of youth and veterans will make this division one to watch. David Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) finished third at the 2018 Elite National Championships, but punched his ticket following Raymond Ford's move to the professional ranks. Japhethlee Llamido (Norwalk, Calif.) and Rashiem Jefferson (Philadelphia, Pa.) had impressive runs at the Western and Eastern Qualifiers to earn the championship at those events, while Jonathan Mansour (La Mesa, Calif.) defeated an impressive field in Oxnard, Calif. to head to Lake Charles with momentum on his side. Bruce Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a competitor in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing, and Kevin Montano (Concord, Calif.), have a great deal of experience on the national and international stage to make things interesting, while Xavian Ramirez (Reading, Pa.) qualified for the trials after just recently moving up to the elite division.

 

Lightweight/138 lbs./63 kg

Arguably the deepest male division at the trials, the competition for the top two spots will be one of the toughest and most exciting of the week. 2019 Pan American Games and World Championships silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) has dominated on the national stage the previous two years, and will hope to continue his run, but will have stiff competition from the other seven boxers in this bracket. 2018 USA Boxing Elite National Championships silver medalists Dalis Kaleiopu (Waianae, Hawaii) will be looking for redemption after his close bout in the finals last year against Davis. 2015 Junior World Championships silver medalists Harley Mederos (New York, N.Y) hopes to repeat his impressive performance from the 2019 Eastern Elite Qualifier, while 2019 Western Elite Qualifier Champion Charlie Sheehy (Brisbane, Calif.) looks to return to the USA Boxing High Performance squad after being a member in 2018. 2019 Last Chance Qualifier Champion Ernesto Mercado (Pomona, Calif.) made the transition to the elite division easily after dominating throughout this year on the youth stage, including an international gold medal in March. Israel Rodriguez (Humble, Texas) surprised many when he took the second spot at the 2019 Eastern Qualifier, which will be a huge confidence booster in Lake Charles, and Marcell Davidson (Shawnee, Kan.) has the goods to reach the finals. Another boxer making the transition to elite this year, Daniel Garcia (Westminster, Colo.), secured the final spot after a strong performance in Oxnard, including a close matchup against Mercado in the finals.

 

Welterweight/152 lbs./69 kg

2017 World Championship bronze medalist Freudis Rojas Jr. (Las Vegas, Nev.) and 2019 Pan American Games bronze medalist Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) headline a strong welterweight division. Marques Valle (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) surprised many at last year's Elite National Championships, defeating some of Team USA's top competitors, to secure his spot. Kelvin Davis (Norfolk, Va.), the older brother of Keyshawn Davis, will be looking to pick up where he left off in Ohio, while Victor Aranda (El Paso, Texas) enters as the Western Elite Qualifier Champion. Lavars Carter (Cincinnati, Ohio) earned the final spot, and could see a potential third matchup against Johnson, as they met in Salt Lake last year and the finals of the Last Chance Qualifier, with Carter winning in Salt Lake and Johnson in Oxnard. Wayne Bourdreaux (Marrero, La.) will be looking for a strong performance, as he is one of the few Louisiana natives in the field, and Morris Young (Chesaning, Mich.) will be hoping to improve on his silver medal performance in Reno.

 

Middleweight/165 lbs./75 kg

Expected to be another weight division with exciting matchups, the middleweight division has the potential to see a fourth finals matchup between 2019 Pan American Games bronze medalist Troy Isley (Alexandra, Va.) and 2018 Elite National Champion Javier Martinez (Milwaukee, Wisc.). Isley took the national title in 2016 and 2017 over Martinez, while Martinez was victorious in 2018. However, both boxers will have to get through six talented boxers that will be hungry to end their finals runs. Kahshad Elliot (Plainfield, N.J.), Joseph Hicks (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Antonio Garcia (Anaheim, Calif.) were crowned champions at the three qualifiers, and will look to continue their winning ways in Louisiana. Alexis Chaparro (New York, N.Y.), Francis Hogan (Weymouth, Mass.) and Alex Chisholm (Hialeah Gardens, Fla.) showed why they should not be underestimated with their qualifying performances and will be tough to get through in this bracket.

 

Light Heavyweight/178 lbs./81 kg

2018 Elite National Champion Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) has the heart and determination to succeed in Lake Charles after falling short at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing, while Atif Oberlton (Philadelphia, Pa.) has been on the rise following his silver medal performance at last year's National Championships. Following the shuffling around of boxers who qualified in multiple divisions, Francis Oran (Allentown, Pa.) is the lone regional qualifier champion, taking the title in Oxnard at the Last Chance Qualifier. Orville Crooks (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Amir Ghaffari Nikou (Charlotte, N.C.) and Nasheed Smith (Washington, D.C.) qualified to these trials after finishing second at the Eastern, Last Chance and Western Qualifiers, respectively. Chavon Davis (Mansfield, Ohio) and Robert Magee (Byrnes Mill, Mo.) were added to the field following Javier Martinez and Adrian Tillman, the Eastern and Western Qualifier Champions in this division selected to compete in the other weight class they are qualified in.

 

Heavyweight/201 lbs./91 kg   

After qualifying in two different weight classes, Adrian Tillman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) chose to compete in the heavyweight division with hopes of being one of the two boxers in this division, however, the 2018 Elite National Championships heavyweight silver medalists will have to fend off a tough bracket to advance. Najee Lopez (Ellenwood, Ga.), Brandon Moore (Lakeland, Fla.) and Devon Young (Aiken, S.C.) were crowned champions in the three regional qualifying tournaments and all three will be looking to continue their winning ways in a few weeks, while Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas), Darius Fulghum (Rosharon, Texas) and Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) finished second in the regional qualifiers but could make it an interesting week in Louisiana. 2016 Elite National Champion and 2018 bronze medalists Cymone Kearney (Beaumont, Texas) was a late addition to the field after Jared Anderson moved to the professional ranks and could surprise many.

 

Super Heavyweight/201+ lbs./ 91+ kg

With the medical exemption of two-time USA Boxing Elite National Champion and 2019 Pan American Games bronze medalist Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.)** being accepted by USA Boxing, the super heavyweight division is wide open for the eight boxers competing in Lake Charles. 2019 Eastern and Western Qualifier Champions Jeremiah Milton (Tulsa, Okla.) and Antonio Mireles (Des Moines, Iowa) will look to be victorious once more after they stood atop the podium at their respective events to qualify, while Dominic Okopie (Houston, Texas) grabbed the Last Chance Qualifier title to secure his spot in the tournament. Luis Alvarado (Keonsha, Wisc.) made an impressive international debut earlier this year and will look to use that valuable experience over the other boxers in this division. Dacarree Scott (Decatur, Ga.), Pryce Taylor (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Kenyon Walker (San Antonio, Texas) punched their tickets to Louisiana by placing second at their respective qualifying event, while Deandre Savage (Las Vegas, Nev.) will return to the national stage after qualifying to last year's Elite National Championships.

 

Boxing will begin on Monday, Dec. 9 at the Lake Charles Civic Center, with the finals taking place Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.

 

**Boxers who receive medical exemption from the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing will compete on Jan. 4, 2020 in a box-off against the runner-up of their weight division in Colorado Springs, Colo. for the opportunity to advance to the next stage of the athlete selection procedures**

2020 U.S. Olympic Team

Trials for Boxing Women's Field Finalized!

(November 22nd) Following four qualifying tournaments that began in December 2018, the field of 40 elite female boxers who will compete next month at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing in Lake Charles, La. is final. A total of 117 elite female boxers competed throughout the year for the 40 available spots. Only ten will advance from the trials competition to the next stage of the selection process and the opportunity to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Here is a closer look at the field in the five weight classes.

 

Flyweight/112 lbs./51 kg

2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing champion Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) fell short of advancing to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games during the international qualification but has dominated the flyweight division ever since. Having won eight international medals since those trials, Fuchs could face her biggest competition from the young talent of Heaven Garcia (El Monte, Calif.). Garcia, a two-time World Champion in the junior and youth divisions, has been the one to watch for many years, and these trials could be her coming out party in the elite division. However, Christina Cruz (Hell's Kitchen, N.Y.), two-time Elite World Championship bronze medalist, will bring experience to her third U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing that will be tough for any boxer that she faces. Mariana Gonzalez (Sunnyvale, Calif.) stood atop the podium at the Western Elite Qualifier, while runner-up Jazzelle Bobadilla (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) has international experience on her side that can help her to upset this division. Jasmine Hampton (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was victorious at the Last Chance Qualifier to punch her ticket to Lake Charles, with Lina Vezzani (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Stephanie Chavez (Orange, Calif.) rounding out the flyweight division.

 

Featherweight/125 lbs./57 kg

Expected to be the most competitive weight class in the women's field, the featherweight division has numerous boxers looking to advance to the next stage of the selection process. Five of the eight boxers have World Championship medals, with the last three boxers having impressive performances at their qualifiers. Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.) won a silver at the 2015 Junior World Championships, as well as a bronze at the 2019 Pan American Games in her first year in the elite division. Two-time Youth World Championships bronze medalists Isamary Aquino (Universal City, Texas) leads the way in the medal count and will look to continue making a name for herself. Lupe Gutierrez (Sacramento, Calif.) and Iyana Verduzco (Los Angeles, Calif.) won gold medals in their World Championship debuts, with Gutierrez winning at the 2015 Junior World Championships and Verduzco at the 2018 Youth World Championships. Mikiah Kreps (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) won the bronze medal at this October's Elite World Championships in her international debut, and will be using the confidence from that performance in Lake Charles. Andrea Medina (San Diego, Calif.) impressed many in Reno, defeating numerous World Championship medalists on her way to the title, while Destiny Jasso (Dallas, Texas) and Melanie Costa (Norton, Mass.) survived a tough bracket out of the Eastern Elite Qualifier to advance to these trials.

 

Lightweight/132 lbs./60 kg

Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) enters the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials with confidence on her side, after an impressive 2019 run that included bronze medals at the 2019 Pan American Games and World Championships. Amelia Moore (Alexandria, Va.) and Stacia Suttles (Bronx, N.Y.) both have World Championship experience, as well as winning international performances to be strong contenders to take the title and advance to the next stage of the qualification to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Ravven Brown (San Antonio, Texas) recently made her international debut at the 2019 Elite World Championships and had a quick rise to success in her short boxing career. Kimberly Carlson (Chicago, Ill.) and Whitney Gomez (Bend, Ore.) left the Western and Last Chance Qualifiers golden, while Jennifer Lopez (Jersey City, N.J.) and Rebecca Maine (Pittsburg, Pa.) round out the field following their silver medal performances in Ohio and California.

 

Welterweight/152 lbs./69 kg

Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio) made history this year with her gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games and looks to be one of the favorites for the welterweight division. The comeback of a few boxers and the rise of some up and comers will make this another exiting weight class to watch. Two boxers who recently came back to the sport and looking to shake things up are Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) and Mary Spencer (Boulder, Colo.). Wolf, a three-time USA Boxing National Champion and two-time Continental Champion made her return to the ring in impressive fashion in Reno this year, while Spencer, who is a dual-citizen, represented Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games and won three World Championships under the Canadian flag, won the Eastern Qualifier to punch her ticket to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing. Sharahya Moreu (Albuquerque, N.M.) may be the youngest in the division at 20-years-old but has a great deal of experience and will use that against her elder opponents. Briana Che (Madison, Wisc.), Arika Skoog (Boston, Mass.) and Jill Stafford (La Mesa, Calif.) all won silver medals in their respective qualifying competitions and could easily surprise many in Lake Charles, while Liz Flores (Woodland Hills, Calif.) grabbed the last spot to compete after Morelle McCain decided to compete in the middleweight division following her qualifying in both weight classes.

 

Middleweight/165 lbs./75 kg

Since the departure of two-time Olympic Champion Claressa Shields to the professional ranks, Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) has been the leader for Team USA in the middleweight division, winning multiple international medals including a silver at the 2019 Pan American Games and a bronze at the 2018 World Championships. 2017 Youth World Champion Citlalli Ortiz (Coachella, Calif.) put on a dominating performance at the recent Last Chance Qualifier, including two wins by RSC, and will be looking to continue her winning ways into Lake Charles, while Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) had an impressive 2019, taking a bronze in her international debut earlier this year. Alexis Gomez (South San Francisco, Calif.) and Kendra Reeves (Twin Falls, Idaho) picked up titles at the Western and Eastern Qualifiers to punch their tickets to Louisiana and will be looking to have another victorious tournament, while Fallon Farrar (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Melody Popravak (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Rachael Washington (New York, N.Y.) took the silver medals at the three qualifying tournaments and will hope to improve their performances in Lake Charles.

"Smokin" Joe Frazier Punched Way

Into USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame!

(November 21st) One of boxing's all-time greatest, the late, great "Smokin'" Joe Frazier, will be inducted posthumously into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame, Friday night, December 13, during a special Class of 2019 ceremony, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and 2019 National Championships, Dec. 7-15, at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event's emcee for the third year in a row.

 

The USA Boxing Alumni Association's third HOF class also includes two other Olympic gold-medalists, "Big" George Foreman and Mark Breland, in addition to a pair of decorated coaches, Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

 

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport.

 

"On behalf of our family," Joe's son Marvis Frazier said, "we'd like to thank the USA Boxing Alumni Association for remembering Joe Frazier. Honoring him like this will introduce him to a new generation of boxing fans.

 

"My father learned discipline he needed to go on and win Olympic gold and do what he needed to be world champion. He took that to the pros and beat Muhammad Ali in the best fight in the world. They were two great champions who worked together to show people what boxing is really all about."

 

Born in South Carolina, Frazier was well known as an elite Philadelphia boxing product, compiling a 38-2 amateur record. He was a three-time National Golden Gloves champion whose only two losses were both to Buster Mathis, who was the only opponent to defeat Frazier, including a loss by decision - questionable according to Frazier - in the Olympic Trials.

 

When U.S. Olympic Team heavyweight qualifier Buster Mathis was unable to compete at the 1964 Olympic Games due to injury, Frazier took full advantage of this opportunity as a replacement.

 

Frazier went on to become one of only four American boxers to medal in Tokyo. Joe was the lone gold medalist, despite breaking a thumb in the semifinals. In the opening round, Frazier knocked out George Olynello (Uganda), followed by a third-round stoppage of Athol McQueen (Australia) in the quarterfinals. Against Vadim Yemelyanov (Russia) in the semifinal round, Frazier won by way of a second round KO, even though he broke his left thumb.

 

Unwilling to tell anybody that he had broken his thumb, fearing that he wouldn't be allowed to fight, Frazier showed the tremendous grit he became famous for by winning a close decision, 3-2, versus Hans Huber (United Team of Germany) in the championship final to capture a gold medal.

 

"Winning an Olympic gold medal was the highlight of his amateur career," Marvis noted. "It meant that he was the best in the world, and it also made things easier for his next step into the pros. I think he felt it helped make him a real man, the best in the world, and not many people can say that. Winning Olympic gold with a broken thumb showed our father what he could do and proved that he was the man. He wasn't afraid to get the job done. No excuses, get the job done, was what my father said all the time. And you better had gotten the job done."

 

Frazier (32-4-1, 27 KOs) went on to become a three-time world heavyweight champion, defeating the likes of Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Ellis (twice), Bob Foster, Oscar Bonavena (twice), Jerry Quarry, Mathis, Doug Jones, Eddie Machen and George Chuvalo during his 16-year professional career.

 

Listed at only 5-11 ½, Frazier was best known for his bobbing, weaving, relentless pressure and liver-damaging left hook. He passed away November 7, 2011 due to complications from liver cancer at the age of 67.

 

"Joe's legacy will live on forever throughout USA Boxing," added Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "His toughness and heart were second to none, and today's USA Boxing champions can look to Joe for the definition of a champion in and out of the ring. We look forward to honoring his legacy as a Hall of Famer on December 13th."

(Frazier demolished Athol McQueen in quarterfinals of 1964 Olympics)

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John Scully, Obie Beard,Mark Lanton and the Stephens brothers - Donald, Anthony and Jerry.

Legendary Coach Al Mitchell Going from Corner Into HOF!

(November 14th) Legendary coach AL Mitchell will be honored for his more than 60 years of service in boxing on Friday night, December 13, when he's inducted into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame, during a special Class of 2019 ceremony, at Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 Olympic Trials and 2019 National Championships Dec. 7-15, at Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals of the Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event's emcee for the third year in a row.

 

In addition to Mitchell, the USA Boxing Alumni Association's third HOF class also includes Olympic gold-medalists "Big" George Foreman, Mark Breland and "Smokin'" Joe Frazier, as well as another decorated coach, Ray Rodgers.

 

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work to protect boxers and elevate the sport.

 

Although he was 43-1 as an amateur boxer, Mitchell is better known for operating the N. Michigan University boxing program for decades, in addition to being head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, and technical advisor for the 2004 and 2012 U.S. Olympic squads. He was selected as the 1994 USA Boxing Coach of the Year and among the mind boggling 800-plus national amateur champions he has worked with are Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Vernon Forrest. He currently trains 2016 U.S. Olympian and world title contender Mikaela Mayer, who will be at the HOF induction ceremony supporting her coach.

 

"I'm very honored and happy to have USA Boxing put me in its Hall of Fame," said Mitchell, who turned 76 this past Halloween. "I want to thank all the coaches who worked under me and all the young fighters I've worked with. I'm thankful that USA Boxing believed in me, putting 13 to 15 boxers in my program, and cream does rise to the top."

 

Mitchell is particularly grateful that he's going into the HOF as a member of this class, largely due to his friendship with another Philadelphia boxing icon, Joe Frazier.

 

"I'm really happy to be going in with Joe Frazier," Mitchell explained. "We were both at the same gym in North Philadelphia. I know his son, Marvis, and daughter, Jackie. We go way back. I'm proud of our old gym. We came up with some great fighters like Benny Briscoe. Marvin Hagler's first two losses were to Philly fighters (Willie Monroe and Bobby Watts). So many great coaches have come from Philadelphia, too.

 

"I didn't turn pro because I was too small. It was all about welterweights, middleweights and heavyweights in Philadelphia back then. There were only eight weight classes. The only offer I had a was deal for $200 to go to California. It wasn't worth it.

 

"I met Senator McCain once. He was a stout boxing man."

 

Fortunately, Mitchell concentrated on coaching amateurs, many of the world-class boxers. He's equally proud to have been chosen as head coach of the 1992 Team USA Olympic Team and the N. Michigan University program that allows elite boxers to train with him and receive a college education.

 

Mitchell proudly notes that Team USA was only supposed to win two medals in 1992 but ended up with a total of seven. "We had some sensational fighters on that team," he remembered. "David Reid won a gold medal, (Floyd) Mayweather got robbed and won a bronze, (Antonio) Tarver won a bronze. (The other US bronze medalists that year were Terrance Cauthen, Daniel Santos, Rhoshi Wells and Nate Jones.) Back then I felt like James Bond, because I traveled so much with the Olympic teams. It took me around the world, and I got to see so many different countries.

 

"I'm so lucky to have the kids I train here (N. Michigan U.)," Mitchell remarked. "They're good, love the sport, and keep getting better and better.   I've also trained the Chinese National Team."

 

Budding professional world title contender Mayer (12-0) was the first woman Mitchell trained and he's still working her corner, training her at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lives, and at N. Michigan U. She ranks among Mitchell's all-time favorites to work with, joining the late Forrest, and as pair of Philadelphians, Reid and Zahir Raheem.

(Mikaela Mayer (L) and Coach Al Mitchell) "Coach Al has given back to so many USA Boxing Alumni, both as athletes and human beings," added Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "His service to Olympic-style amateur boxing has been incredibly inspiring, and we look forward to honoring him at our Hall of Fame event in December."

 

USA Boxing Alumni Association Announces

Hall of Fame Class of 2019 & Lifetime Achievement Award!

(November 4th) Olympic gold-medalists "Big" George Foreman, Mark Breland and "Smokin'" Joe Frazier head the Class of 2019 into the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame, Friday night, December 13, at Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

 

The HOF reception is being held in conjunction with the 2020 Olympic Trials and 2019 National Championships. Dec. 7-15, at Lake Charles Civic Center. The finals Olympic Trials will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Hall of Fame broadcaster Al Bernstein from Showtime Sports will serve as the event's emcee for the third year in a row.

 

USA Boxing Alumni Association's third class also includes decorated coaches Al Mitchell and Ray Rodgers.

 

Sen. John McCain will be posthumously presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award. A fearless boxer for three years at the U.S. Naval Academy, Sen. McCain managed his battalion's boxing team to the brigade championship.

 

Sen. McCain was the architect of the ground-breaking Muhammad Ali Act, pushed for the pardoning of Jack Johnson, and worked with the Cleveland Clinic on the forefront of brain trauma studies leading to more safety measures for boxers.

 

"My father had a passion for boxing," his daughter Megan McCain said. "He loved it for the thrill of achievement, the nobility of struggle, and the dignity of men bloodied but unbowed. His love for boxing and his love for America had a lot in common. That's why he worked tirelessly to protect and elevate the sport - making it an arena of integrity for fans and fighters alike.

 

"That's also why I am honored to join the USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame to accept their Lifetime Achievement Award on his behalf."

 

Foreman (pro: 76-5, 68 KOs, amateur: 22-4) was also a three-time World Heavyweight Champion as a pro, in addition to famously winning a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, as well as at the National AAU Championships. A resident of Houston, Texas, his victims included Frazier (twice), Ken Norton, Dwight Muhammad Qawi and Michael Moorer.

 

Considered one of the greatest amateur boxers of all-time, Breland (pro: 35-3-1, 25 KOs), amateur: 110-1) was a gold medalist at the 1984 Olympic Games in Las Angeles and 1982 World Championships. The Brooklyn native was a two-time World Welterweight Champion as a pro. His most notable victories were versus Steve Little, Rafael Pineda and Lloyd Honeyghan.

 

The late Frazier (pro: 32-4-1, 27 KOs, amateur: 38-2), representing Philadelphia, captured a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics in Japan and he was a three-time World Heavyweight Champion as a professional. Frazier's hit list included Muhammad Ali, Jimmy Ellis (twice), Bob Foster and Oscar Bonavena (twice).

 

Mitchell has been in boxing for more than 60 years, first as a boxer, but he's much better known as a world-class boxing coach. He has been the boxing coach at N. Michigan University for decades, in addition to being head coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team, and technical advisor for the 2004 and 2012 U.S. Olympic squads. He was selected as the 1994 USA Boxing Coach of the Year and among the 800-plus national amateur champions he has worked with are Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Vernon Forrest. He currently trains 2016 U.S. Olympian and world title contender Mikaela Mayer, who will be in attendance supporting her coach.

 

A legend in Arkansas boxing, Rodgers has been an outstanding coach and extraordinary cut-man, who has been in the corner of world champions such as Wayne McCullough, Jermain Taylor, Iran Barkley and Tommy Morrison. Ray's decades of service through coaching and mentorship for the youth of Arkansas have established him as a role model and inspiration for amateur boxing coaches everywhere.

 

"This year's USA Boxing Alumni Hall of Fame class, as well as Senator McCain, represent the very best of Olympic style boxing, both in and out of the ring,"commented Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Executive Director. "Their decades worth of service representing themselves inspire us to give back and support current and future generations of champions. The USA Boxing Alumni Association looks forward to an exciting and memorable evening as we honor these champions of our sport."

 

Confirmed special guests include 1988 Olympic gold medalist Andrew Maynard, three-time National AAU Coach of the Year (1972-76-77) Joe Clough, 1984 Olympic gold medalist Frank Tate and his brother Thomas, 1972 Olympian Tim Dement, 2002 National Golden Gloves champion Jaidon Codringtion, 1980 Olympic Qualifier Jackie Beard, 1981 Junior Olympics Glen Modicue, four-time National champion Eric Kelly, 1988 Eastern Olympic Qualifier champion John Scully, Obie Beard, Mark Lanton and the Stephens brothers - Donald, Anthony and Jerry.

From Pro Basketball to Amateur Boxing,

America's No. 1 Heavyweight Danielle Perkins

Shooting for a Medal at the World Championships!

(September 17th) Former pro basketball player Danielle Perkins shifted to boxing five years ago, when her hoops career ended, and ever since she's been making up for lost time in the ring.

The Brooklyn-born Perkins, who is a personal training manager living in Houston, is a fan-friendly, boxer-puncher who adjusts to her opponent, usually starting rounds conservatively before aggressively applying pressure as the round goes on.

 

Ranked No. 1 in the United States, Perkins is the type athlete who rises to the occasion, fighting her best against the best, which will likely happen again next month at the World Championships, Oct. 3-13, in Ulan Ude, Russia.

 

"I'm excited to get back on the world stage," she said. "I love fighting for Team USA! I had a chance to watch a few fights and the Elite heavyweight division is athletic. The other top contenders, in order, are from China and Turkey." Perkins won bronze at last year's Elite World Championships in New Delhi, India.

 

Perkins plans to take advantage of the way women's professional boxing has become more popular and respected. "My short-term goal is to win gold at the Worlds and eventually the WBC (World Boxing Council) and WBO (World Boxing Organization) belts. Female pros like Claressa Shields, Mikaela Mayer, Heather "The Heat" Hardy and Amanda "The Real Deal" Serrano are inspirations for my next step in boxing."

 

Not many people know that Perkins plays the bass, but what she really enjoys, outside of boxing, is playing "Assassin's Creed."

 

Someday, Danielle Perkins will be a two-sport professional.

World Championships First International Tournament for America's No. 1 Ranked Light Welterweight Ravven Brown!

(September 13th) Next month when No. 1 ranked light welterweight Ravven Brown enters the ring at the Elite Women's World Championships, it'll mark her first participation in an international tournament.

The 28-year-old Brown got a relatively late start in boxing, less than three years ago and quite by accident. She was about to ship off to boot camp in the U.S. Navy, but her enlistment date was pushed back, and instead she found boxing.

 

"Now," she explained, "I look at it as a blessing in disguise. I then needed a job, so I started working at a Boys and Girls Club (in San Antonio, TX) and I overheard noise upstairs in the gym. I went there to check it out and that's when I met (coach) Jeffrey Mays. He told me to hold off on the Navy and to trust him."

 

She trusted him and today the Atlanta native has already captured two gold medals, 2018 Elite National Championships and 2018 Eastern Elite qualifier, and placed at four other tournaments. And already she's preparing to compete in the largest amateur boxing tournament in the world, excluding the Olympics, which will be held October 3-13 in Ulan Ude, Russia.

 

"I feel that I'm blessed," she said. "I have only been boxing for three years now, so to be at this level in such a short amount of time is an honor. Athletes work for years just to get where I am now. I want to take full advantage of this opportunity.

 

"I have never been out of the country (U.S.) and this will be my first time. I'm glad my first time going overseas will be to represent my country doing what I love."

 

   Ravven Brown (R) was excited to hear her name announced as The National Championships' winner

 

She has taken full advantage of training with her teammates at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, which has helped her accelerate her amateur boxing career to the point where she's fighting the best in the world on even terms.

 

"I've been able to prepare with the best training in Colorado Springs," she added. "The intensity level is very high compared to our gym back home, and we have access to a lot more here. It's the best of the best, so I have no choice but to improve."

 

Brown is making a name for herself. And what's behind her unique first name?

 

"No special meaning," Ravven answered. "My mother loved the actor that played on the Cosby Show. The two 'v's' came because my mom couldn't take the pain and she was given stronger medicine. Then she mistakenly put two 'v's' in my first name. I love it because it's different and I wouldn't have it any other way."

 

She eventually plans to join the U.S. Army and participate in the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) and then use her boxing platform to inspire and motivate youth.

 

The U.S. Navy's loss was USA Boxing's gain.

Breeanna Locquiao Changing the Way People

View Hawaiian Boxers

As She Heads to the World Championships!

(September 12th) Hawaii is certainly better known for its juicy pineapples, incredible surf, and breathtaking views than producing boxers. Elite Women's USA Boxing Team light flyweight Breeanna Locquiao may be changing the way people perceive Hawaiian boxers in the near future.

She is a three-time National Golden Gloves champion (2017-2019), as well as a gold medalist at the 2018 Elite National Championships and Eastern Elite Qualifier. Next month, she will be competing in the Elite Women's World Championships, Oct. 3-13, in Ulan Ude, Russia.

 

"Hawaii's boxers are slowly coming up on the rise," the 28-year-old Locquiao believes. "It's a lot more tough for us to get on the map but learning to box here is no different than Colorado. I have an experienced coach (Carlos Tangaro) who is a former pro and he can relate to being an amateur and pro boxer.   We make do with the teammates we have to get in great work to prepare for tournaments, because getting fights in Hawaii, especially for girls and women, are tough to find. I have needed to fly to the mainland in order for me to get matches and fights in advance to be where I'm at today.

 

"Training in Colorado has put me in a different environment where I can improve things that I can't back home. Sparring with the best in the nation brings out the best in me. The altitude (in Colorado Springs) has also helped me get into shape and I've learned different techniques to enhance my style of boxing. There are definitely no distractions there and I solely focus on nothing but training."

 

Despite the many obstacles she's overcome as a Hawaii-based boxer, she is also at a distinct disadvantage heading into these Championships, taking on far more experienced boxers such as record-holding six-time World Championships gold medalist and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, "Magnificent" Mary Kom, of India.

 

"I definitely feel excited to represent Hawaii and my country," Locquiao spoke about her upcoming experience in Russia. "I'm a little nervous since this will be part of many first for me to come. This will be my first international experience and first time traveling with USA Boxing. I want to show I can be one of the best in the world. I've heard of Mary Kom, and the other top contenders in my weight class are from Russia, Ukraine and Korea.

 

"I want to gain more experience since I started boxing late. I only have 16 fights and the women I fight will have had many more fights than me. I want to make Team USA again this upcoming year and gain more international experience so I can make my decision about my long-term goal of turning pro."

 

Not too shabby for a Hawaiian who first started boxing as a fitness exercise to lose excess weight she had gained after undergoing three ACL surgeries. 

USA Boxing Heavyweight Adrian Tillman In the U.S. Army!

(September 4th) No. 2 rated American heavyweight Adrian Tillman, who is also ranked No. 5 as a light heavyweight, is not only representing his country as a member of USA Boxing's 2019 Men's Elite team, he's also serving in the U.S. Army at the same time.

Tillman, 24, is able to do both, because he's an active soldier enrolled in the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), in which qualified athletes have an opportunity to train fulltime for the Olympics.

 

"As of right now," Tillman said, "my focus is on the Olympics. I love the military and I love boxing. So, I'll just see where life takes me. But, as of now, 2020 Tokyo, Japan, is the one thing on my mind.

 

"Training (in Colorado Springs) with the Elite team has definitely elevated my game all around. The coaches and trainers are always teaching me. It's a non-stop learning environment with the team."

 

Born in Riverside, California, Tillman started boxing in 2008, because he wanted to lose weight and learn how to defend himself and his siblings as he was about to enter high school.

 

The heavyweight with a stiff jab is a three-time National PAL champion (2018, 2017 and 2015), in addition to capturing a gold medal at the 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier. His greatest accomplishment, however, may be a little surprising, because it isn't about winning medals, trophies and belts.

 

"My greatest accomplishment was being able to qualifying two weight classes (lightweight and heavyweight) for the Olympic Trials."

 

 

Tillman has traveled throughout South America and Europe. He is with his Team USA teammates training in England before going straight to Yekaterinburg, Russia, to compete in the 2019 Elite Men's World Championships, September 7-21.

 

"Gaining a medal at the World Championships is important to me because," he noted, "not only am I representing my country, I'm also representing the Army and my family."

 

When he's in the ring, Tillman adjusts to his opponent, brawling or boxing equally, whatever it takes to win.

 

Adrian Tillman is a true patriot who also happens to wear boxing gloves. Whether he qualifies as a heavyweight or light heavyweight, all that matters to him is boxing for Team USA at the 2020 Olympics.

2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist

Nico Hernandez Goes Back to the Future!

(August 28th) 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez recently returned to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to train and spar with members of Team USA's 2019 Elite Men's team.

"To be honest," he said, "it was crazy. I hadn't been back since the Olympics. It was like starting all over again. I even went to the wrong place to train, because they moved the gym from where it was. I like the new one, it has three or four rings. I was just one of the guys, training and sparring, but they looked up to me, too. It was like I was back there. I had a good time and it was cool to see the coaches: Billy (Walsh), Kay (Koroma) and Coach Guz.

 

"They asked me to talk to the boxers. I just told them not to be nervous and everything else would be the same. No doubt that they're going to be in top shape and that the real focus was needing to have the right mind set."

 

Four years ago, Hernandez was in a similar situation as the elite boxers he trained with are currently in, preparing to compete in the World Championships and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing.   Ironically, Nico lost in the opening round of the Worlds in Qatar, but he did capture gold at the double-elimination Olympic Trials, defeating Leroy Davila in two of three matches. Up next for Nico was competing in Argentina at the 2016 AIBA Continental Olympic Qualifier to qualify to box in the 2016 Olympics, which he did by winning a silver medal.

 

Despite his parents being against him boxing, Nico started when he was nine years old, sparring in his front yard without gloves. His uncle Michael Hernandez had a brief pro career and Nico's father, Lewis Hernandez, took him to watch his uncle work out at the gym. The rest, as they say, was history, and Lewis not only became his son's head coach, he now owns and operates one of the top gyms (Northside 316 Boxing Club) in Kansas.

 

Hernandez was a decorated amateur boxer, albeit he wasn't close to a household name until he upset Russian light flyweight Vasily Egorav, 3-0, in the round of 16 at the Olympics. Egorav was a highly rated contender as the 2015 European champion and silver medalist at the 2015 World Championships.

 

During his amateur career, Hernandez was an eight-time Ringside World Champion and the only six-time Silver Gloves National Champion, as well as a gold medalist at the 2011 and 2012 USA Junior Olympics and 2014 National Golden Gloves championships.

 

In Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games, Hernandez defeated Manual Cappai (Italy) in the opening round, then the aforementioned Egorav, and Nico insured a bronze medal by beating Ecuador's Carlos Quipo, 3-0, in the quarterfinals. Nico lost in the semifinals to the eventual light flyweight division gold medalist, Hasanboy Dusmatov (Ukraine), 3-0, also the 2015 Asian champion.

(L-R 2016 Olympic silver medalist Yuberton Martinez (Colombia), gold medalist Hasanboy Dusmatov (Ukraine), bronze medalist Nico Hernandez (USA) and Joahnys Argilagos (Cuba)

Hernandez returned to the United States as a celebrity, particularly in Wichita, which hosted a parade in his honor, and Wichita State University gave him an open-ended, four-year scholarship.

 

His life was altered by his highly successful USA Boxing experiences. "I become a better boxer," he explained, "but I also changed a lot as a person, because of all the traveling to different countries where I learned about different cultures. I saw the way people from other countries live and understood how very blessed we are in America. My first trip was at 16 to Russia for the Junior World Championships. We lived there two guys to a room with cots. It was really hot and there was no air conditioning there. No television or even a toilet - we had to go in a hole - and saw people there struggling a lot. That motivated me. I remember being unable to pay bills and heating water to take a bath, but I'm still motivated, especially now that I have a son."

 

"We're proud that Nico is able to pass on the lessons he learned as a world-class amateur boxer. As part of our mission to 'Connect Generations of Champions,' the USA Boxing Alumni Association is thankful for Nico's ability to connect with the current group of boxers representing USA on a global scale," said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Director. "His recent success serves as a highly visible and motivating example for them to follow."

 

The highlight of his career, of course, was winning a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics. "I put in a lot of work and boxed in a lot of tournaments to get there," Hernandez noted.

Hurricane Katrina Couldn't Stop Michael Angeletti

From Fighting His Way Onto USA Boxing's Elite Team!

(August 28th) Born in New Orleans, even Hurricane Katrina couldn't stop U.S. No. 1 rated flyweight Michael Angeletti from becoming the No. 1 rated flyweight in the country, as well as a serious 2020 USA Boxing Olympic Team hopeful.

"I grew up in Louisiana," Angeletti explained, "and I was misplaced after Hurricane Katrina, moving from different shelters. I found my way to Texas and soon after boxing became part of my life. I started boxing because I was always fighting and getting in trouble at school. Boxing was a way I didn't get in trouble for fighting, because of the passion I already had for fighting.

 

"I love the fact that the Olympic Trials (Dec. 7-15 in Lake Charles, LA) are being held in my homeland. I get to clinch right in my backyard in front of all my family."

 

A boxer-puncher who doesn't mind brawling, if needed, Angeletti doesn't feel any added pressure in terms of following in the flyweight divisional footsteps of Nico Hernandez, who captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.

 

"There's no pressure," Angeletti said. "I was put in my position by God for a reason, so I know whatever happens is meant to happen."

 

Like so many of his teammates, Angeletti has traveled around the world as a member of Team USA. Right now, he and some of his teammates are in Sheffield, England, for a 12-day training camp with Belgium, Great Britain, Romania and New Zealand.

 

Angeletti has also traveled to Poland, where he won a bronze medal at the 2018 Feliks Stamm Tournament, Nicaragua, Ireland and Bulgaria. He will go straight from England to compete in the 2019 Elite Men's World Championships, September 7-21, in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

 

"I'm looking forward to fighting in the Worlds," he noted, "because I'll get to showcase my skills on the largest stage that I have ever been able to fight on. It's an honor to represent my family and my country.

 

"Training at the Olympic Training Center (in Colorado Springs, CO) has helped me improve simply because of the high altitude, along with great coaches, and the strength and conditioning that's provided." 

 

Louisiana's prodigal son, Michael Angeletti, returns home in December for the Olympic Trials. Katrina couldn't stop him, can anybody?

 

About the USOPC

Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. The USOPC is focused on protecting, supporting and empowering America's athletes, and is responsible for fielding U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, and serving as the steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the U.S. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.

 

About USA Boxing

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!

Lake Charles, Louisiana to Host

2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing!

(August 27th) USA Boxing and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee have awarded the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Scheduled for Dec. 7-15, 2019, the trials will be held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, with the finals taking place at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel. In conjunction with the Trials, the 2019 USA Boxing National Championships will be held to determine USA Boxing's junior and youth high performance teams for 2020.

 

The 13 boxers who win their Olympic weight-class will advance to next year's Olympic Qualifying Events taking place January- May 2020 to box for their spot to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

 

"The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing will be the culmination of what began last December," said Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director. "This event will feature the 104 best boxers in the nation, boxing for 13 spots, as well as over 700 boxers that will be our future 2024 and 2028 Olympians."

 

This December will mark the first time Lake Charles will hold the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing. The state of Louisiana has hosted numerous boxing events throughout the years, including the National Golden Gloves tournament in 2017.

 

"USA Boxing is tremendously excited to join with Lake Charles to bring the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing to the Gulf Coast," stated USA Boxing Events Manager Michael Campbell. "The city's warm hospitality and Southern charm, great people, climate and culture make for a perfect for our next generation of champions and give our boxers, coaches and officials a special experience."

 

"Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana are honored to host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials for Boxing and USA Boxing National Championships. Our destination is looking forward to showing these gifted athletes our unique brand of Southern Hospitality. The community is so excited to be part of history-in-the-making as this prestigious event will be the focus of sports fans this December," said Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.  

 

"This is my third Olympic Trials, and to have it in the state where I started boxing is very exciting," stated 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion and 2019 Pan American Games silver medalists Virginia Fuchs. "I feel like I am bringing back all my success to where I started, in front of everyone who was with me from the very beginning. It's truly something special."

 

Tickets for the finals will go on sale to the general public in the coming weeks, with more information posted on usaboxing.org.

 

The local partners for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing are the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB.

 

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports are a collaborative undertaking between the USOPC, National Governing Bodies and the local organizing committees.

 

Recent sites for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing include: 2016, Reno, Nevada, (men) and Memphis, Tennessee, (women); 2012, Mobile, Alabama, (men) and Spokane, Washington, (women); and 2008, Houston (men).

Atif Oberlton Representing City of Brotherly Love

All the Way to the World Championships!

(August 23rd) There's a new rising force on the international boxing scene and his name is Atif Oberlton, a light heavyweight from Philadelphia, who is on a mission to make a name for himself in boxing.

 

Oberlton will be competing at the Elite Men's World Championships, September 7-21, in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

 

Lacking confidence is not an issue for the 21-year-old boxer who claims, "It's very important for me to do well and win at the Worlds, because I know for a fact that, in my heart, I'm the best fighter in the world. Also, I'm new on the international scene, so it's time for me to give a piece of what they've been missing."

 

Oberlton started boxing at the age of nine, although he didn't start competing until he was 14, because he was the only boy in his family, and his father wanted him to learn how to defend himself. Like so many of his teammates, he fell in love with boxing.

 

In the last five years, Oberlton has captured gold medals at the 2018 and 2016 National Golden Gloves Tournament, 2018 Eastern Elite Qualifier and 2014 National Junior Olympics. He also was a victor in the USA vs. Netherlands Dual.

 

"My greatest accomplishment so far is making Team USA and being where I'm at, because for years and years I was denied, and here I am today in the top spot where I belong. I'm a top-spot fighter, so I deserve it, and I put down top-notch work, too"

 

Overlton has taken advantage of training in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, where he has shown improvement from day one, honing his skills to become a complete boxer.

 

"Conditioning plays a big part in my improvement; also seeing different styles, and getting top work has elevated me," he spoke about training as a Team USA member. "I always break new barriers on the road to greatness and this (The Worlds) is another one I'm looking to smash through."

In addition to representing his country, Oberlton is a proud Philly fighter continuing the long, rich boxing tradition in the City of Brotherly Love, which has produced the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Mathew Saad Muhammad, Bennie Briscoe, Joey Giardello, Mike Rossman, James Shuler, Eugene Hart and so many more great fighters over the years.

 

"My city is known for its great boxing history and I wear 'The City of Philadelphia' on my back," Oberlton added. "In a few more years down the line, I see myself leading the next wave of Philly boxers. In fact, I feel like I am the wave, right now, as we speak. Everyone's watching me. I will do them all proud, from both the old and young generations.

 

"I haven't been to Russia and I'm looking forward to going there. It's always good to see the world. I always like to go back where I'm from and try to convince others to see the world, because it's much bigger than our neighborhood."

 

Oberlton is like a chameleon in the ring, constantly changing and adjusting to his opponent. "I consider my style like water," he concluded. "It's wavy because I adjust to win, and I can beat any style. I can outsmart anybody, fighting mind over matter. Boxing is 80-percent mental, 20-percent physical, and I have it all.

 

"My short-term goal is to win gold at The Worlds and everything else leading to the Olympics. And winning no less than gold at the Olympics. My long-term goal is to be the greatest fighter to ever walk the universe."

 

Confidence is definitely not a problem for Atif Oberlton.

 

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.

Javier Martinez Making Milwaukee Proud

On the Way to World Championships in Russia!

(August 20th) Milwaukee isn't known as one of the leading producers of world-class boxers, however, Team USA middleweight Javier Martinez may be the rare exception.

"Milwaukee isn't really a great place for boxing," Martinez agreed, "but (coach) Izzy Acosta always had a great program that produced a lot of national champions. Hopefully, one day I can do what he's done for my city. We do have a few good fighters coming out of my gym who are still on the rise. Look out for my boy, Luis Feliciano, a former USA National champion (the 26-year-old junior welterweight is 12-0 as a pro with eight wins by knockout)."

 

The most famous fighter to come out of Milwaukee is world kickboxing champion Rick "The Jet" Rufus. There have been a few Milwaukee boxers of note over the years, including Myron "Pinky" Mitchell, who became the first junior welterweight champion of the world in 1922, Robert "Caveman" Moha (1910-15), former national champion Tyrone "The Butterfly" Trice, and Pan American Games bronze medalist and two-time national amateur champion, LeChaunce Shepard.

 

Martinez is currently training in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center for the World Championships, September 7-21, in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

 

"It's a good feeling and I plan on taking full advantage of this opportunity," Martinez spoke about competing at the World Championships. "I love coming to Colorado; it's like therapy for me, keeping me away from the distractions back home. I'm very excited to be going to Russia. I'm thankful to USA Boxing for all the opportunities I've had, and I hope to bring back a medal from Russia."

 

Martinez says he didn't have a normal childhood, explaining that he looked up to the wrong people. His life changed for the better when his father introduced him to boxing and meeting Coach Acosta, who was recently honored by the USA Boxing Alumni Association for his contributions to amateur boxing as a boxer and coach for the past half-century.

 

"I don't know what I'd be doing today (if not for boxing)," noted Martinez, who turns 24 on August 24. "I just know that boxing was my way out of the 'hood. Coach Izzy is a very loving person, and a great person to have around. He had a very good boxing career and it's great to have a person like that in my corner."

 

Martinez, who is the No. 2 ranked middleweight in the U.S., captured a gold medal at the 2018 Elite National Championships and silver at the 2016 & 2017 Elite National Championships. He's also brought home bronze from the 2013 National Junior Olympics and Feliks Stamm Tournament.

 

Self-described as an awkward southpaw who can give anybody problems, Martinez' short-term goal is to be an Olympic gold medalist, long-term to be world champion.

Legendary Air Force Academy Boxing Coach

Ed Weichers Coached Perfect Storm!

(Ed Weichers center)

(August 8th) Boxing coach Ed Weichers, a charter member of the USA Boxing Alumni Association, guided the United States Air Force Academy from 1976-2014 to a record of 19 national collegiate boxing team championships.

 

Coach Weichers' Fighting Falcons' squads produced a remarkable 258 All-America boxers and 97 individual champions. His teams never finished lower than second in the nation for 27 years and he also served as president and vice president of the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA).

 

Coaching sports at a military school is much different, largely because student-athletes in most cases, especially boxing, are not professional prospects. "Our Cadets were not trained to be elite level amateurs or pros," the now 68-year-old Weichers explained. "In 1976, the cost to put one Cadet through four years at the Academy was $80,000 but, in 2014, the year of my retirement, that figure was $417,000. Cadets are trained to go forward and serve. They fly, fight, win and defend freedoms that we all enjoy. Boxing at the next level is not part of the discussion. I got calls at the time about our boxers going to the next level, fighting in Tough Man Contests, etc. My answer is and has always been consistent: 'You are not trained to be a boxer in the Air Force. Do not jeopardize your pilot qualifications or commission ability with a boxing injury.' The Air Force has an investment in them, and I urged them to go forward and serve. I send them back to the real purpose of the boxing class/program at AFA. It teaches them how to handle press, stress, fear and anxiety. Boxing gives them the self confidence and self esteem to make good decisions in combat under pressure. The ability to handle these pressures and make good decisions are the difference in life and death in combat."

 

 Coach Weichers, of course, attributes a large share of his success to the Cadets, who are intelligent, disciplined and team oriented. All Cadets take a mandatory core curriculum boxing  course (10 lessons) their freshman year, followed by an intramural boxing program comprised of 40 squadron teams with a minimum of eight to a maximum of 16 boxers per team.

 

 Not only did Weichers work with this incredible feeder system, the next step was the AFA Wing Open Boxing Championships, in which Cadets voluntarily signed-up to compete in one of 12 divisions to box for the No. 1 spot, earning a roster spot on the AFA Intercollegiate boxing team that competes in regional and national tournaments. The advancing 12 Cadets represented the entire Air Force Academy.

 

"Bottom line,' Coach Weichers noted, "this formula was a perfect storm. I must give credit to and thank two Physical Education Department heads, Col. Don Peterson and Col. Larry Fariss, and two athletic directors who were instrumental to our support and success, Col. John Clune and Col. Randy Spetman.

 

"I was blessed with young men who I describe as overachievers. Cadets are tenacious. We built on an individual sport with a team concept. I had great assistant coaches, the best training facilities, and an environment of being surrounded by quality people in all phases."

 

After he retired as head boxing coach at the Air Force Academy, Weichers led Team USA in 2014 and 2015 to five medals, including two golds, at the Pan American Games in Toronto.

 

"The plan was to hire Billy Walsh, who was the head coach of Team Ireland," Weichers added. "I committed to sponsor Coach Walsh upon his arrival and make his transition smooth. I did that and Coach Walsh and I have become good friends. He is the correct man for the job, and he brings a great resume and reputation. He has helped turn the program around and created a winning culture. Team USA is back, ranked among the top 10 in the world, and that is a direct result of Coach Walsh."

 

Weichers joined the USA Boxing Alumni Association because he is a huge supporter of John Brown, former President and current Vice President of USA Boxing.

 

"John had the idea or concept (to form the alumni association) and I looked at the purpose and thought it would be a way to honor and recognize those who contributed over the years," Weichers remarked. "I hope that successful professionals from the past and present recognize those who contributed over the years. I also hope that they remember their roots were with USA Boxing and give back. We all had help and our start and success did not happen alone. Be humble and grateful and give back."

 

Weichers is high on Team USA, especially its overall potential in the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, saying, "We're solid going into 2020. The key to success, in my opinion, is head coach Billy Walsh. He is very experienced. His reputation and resume are top shelf. Coach Walsh is well known and respected on the international level. He has the ability to reach out to other countries and make positive things happen for our athletes. He has adjusted the culture in our boxing program, identifying our strengths, and making adjustment where weak. Coach Walsh brings leadership and credibility. Bottom line, we have the right coach for the job in place."

 

Weichers' association with the NCBA led to his relationship with USA Boxing at various levels and capacities. He has always felt gratified to give back to boxing, as well as an obligation to grow the sport at every level.

 

"I was lucky/blessed to work in a place I refer to as Camelot," Weichers concluded. "It's an athletic paradise; core values, honor code, and a mission that anyone can connect with and admire. I can say that I am a better person for my experience at the Air Force Academy.

 

"I love the sport of boxing, because of what it did for me, in terms of molding my life. The gratification that comes with seeing how young men and women grow and mature, as a result of their experience with boxing was very positive.

 

And countless Cadets are better people because they were coached by Ed Weichers.

Team USA Closes 2019

Pan American Games with Four Silver Medals!

(August 3rd) The American teams time in Lima, Peru at the 2019 Pan American Games came to a close tonight after six intense days of boxing action at the Miguel Grau Coliseum.

 

Bantamweight Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and light welterweight Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) began the night coming up short against Cuban duo, David Caballero Garcia and Andy Cruz, respectively, to leave these Pan American Games with silver medals.

 

Team USA captain Virginia Fuchs (Houston,Texas) met a familiar foe in tonight’s flyweight championship bout, Ingrid Valencia of Colombia. However, this time Valencia received the judges’ cards on a 4-1 decision to give Fuchs Team USA’s third silver medal of the night.

 

Middleweight Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) closed out the tournament by leaving everything in the ring against Jessica Caicedo Sinisterra of Colombia, but came up short in the judges’ eyes by a 4-1 decision to add a fourth silver to Team USA’s final medal count.

 

Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), National Assistant Coach Kay Koroma (Colorado Springs, Colo.), as well as assistant coaches Joe Guzman (Fountain, Colo.) and Jeff Mays (San Antonio, Texas) guided the American delegation throughout the tournament to USA Boxing's best performance since the 1983 Pan American Games, which won 12 medals. Team USA entered these Championships with 11 boxers, with 10 boxers medaling. The team will return to the United States on Aug. 4.

 

Results

51 kg: Ingrid Valencia/COL dec. over Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas/USA, 4-1

56 kg: David Caballero Garcia/CUB dec. over Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, 5-0

64 kg: Andy Cruz/CUB dec. over Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va./USA, 4-1

75 kg: Jessica Caicedo Sinisterra/COL dec. over Naomi Graham, Colorado Springs, Colo./USA, 4-1

Oshae Jones Makes History

At 2019 Pan American Games LIMA, Peru!

(August 2nd) Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio) made history on the first night of finals at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru by becoming the first ever women's welterweight Pan American Games gold medalists. This marked the first time in Pan American Games history the women would have five weight classes, compared to the two previous Games having three weight classes.

 

Jones defeated Myriam DaSilva of Canada by unanimous decision, winning all three rounds, 10-9, from two judges, and two of the three rounds, 10-9, from one judge. This marked the second time Jones and DaSilva went head-to-head, with Jones defeating her 5-0 at the Pan American Games Qualifier earlier this year.

 

Jones' previously defeated Atheyna Bylon of Panama in the quarterfinals and M. Moronta Herand of the Dominican Republic in the semifinals to make the finals of these championships.

 

Team USA will look to close out their most successful Pan American Games since 1983, tomorrow night with four boxers going for gold, Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.), Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas), Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio). Their four medals will be added to Jones' gold medal and the five bronze medals won earlier this week by Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.), Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.), Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio), Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.).

 

Results

69 kg: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio/USA, dec. over Myriam DaSilva/CAN, 5-0

Team USA Wins Five Bronze Medals;

Advance Five to Finals 

2019 Pan American GamesLIMA, Peru!

(July 31st) Team USA won five bronze medals yesterday and advanced five boxers to the championship bouts of the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru after two semifinal sessions took place at the Coliseo Miguel Grau.

 

The Americans had a rough and challenging start to the first session of the semifinal bouts, with three heartbreaking loses for Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio), Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.) and team captain Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.). All three boxers left all they had in the ring, however, fell short in taking the judges cards to earn Team USA three bronze medals to start the day.

 

Welterweight Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio) got the team back on track with a 4-1 decision over Dominican Republics M. Moronta Hernand to advance to the championship bout. This will be Jones second international final of 2019, and she is three-for-three medaling this year internationally.

 

2017 World Championships silver medalists Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) got Team USA off to a great start in the second session of the day by taking all five judges' cards over Uruguay to advance to the finals. Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) kept the ball rolling for the Americans with his own unanimous decision victory over Trinidad and Tobago's Michael Alexander to advance.

 

2019 Pan American Games Qualifier Champions Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.) and Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) could not repeat their successes from Nicaragua, with tough split decision losses in the second session to a duo from Brazil.

 

Team Captain and 2019 Pan American Games Qualifier Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) got one step closer to another international title, grabbing another unanimous decision victory over I. Rojas Cardozo of Venezuela to box for gold in Friday's second set of finals. Fuchs 2018 World Championships bronze medalist teammate, Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.), closed out the day for Team USA with a 3-2 decision over Flavia Tereza Figueiredo of Brazil to be the fifth American to advance to the finals.

 

Semifinals Results

51 kg: Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas/USA, dec. I. Rojas Cardozo/VEN, 5-0

56 kg: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, dec. Lucas Alexander Fernandez/URU, 5-0

57 kg: Jucielen Cerqueira Romeu/BRA dec. over Yarisel Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, 5-0

60 kg: B. Ferreira Soares/BRA dec. over Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass./USA, 3-2

64 kg: Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va./USA, dec. over Michael Alexander/TTO, 5-0

64 kg: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio/USA, dec. over M. Moronta Hernand/DOM, 4-1

69 kg: Iglesias Sotolongo/CUB, dec. over Delante Johnnson, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, 4-1

75 kg: Naomi Graham, Colorado Springs, Colo., dec. over Flavia Tereza Figueiredo/BRA, 3-2

75 kg: Herbert Carvalho Da Conceic/BRA dec. over Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va,/USA, 4-1

91+ kg: Justiz Pero/CUB, dec. over Richard Torrez Jr., Tulare, Calif./USA, 3-2

USA Boxing Clinches 10 Medals on Final Day

of Quarterfinals at 2019 Pan American Games LIMA, Peru!

(July 30th) Team USA continued its winning ways with four more victories yesterday in the third and final day of quarterfinal bouts in Lima, Peru at the 2019 Pan American Games, clinching 10 medals for USA Boxing.

 

Lightweight Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.) picked up the first win for Team USA by taking three of the five judges' cards over Krisandy Rios of Venezuela to advance to the medal rounds in the first session of today, while teammate Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) will have to wait another day to make his Pan American Games debut following a walkover win over Luis Arcon of Venezuela.

 

2017 World Championship silver medalists Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) kicked off the second session of the day, facing hometown boxer Jorvi Farronan of Peru. Ragan kept his composure with a loud crowd cheering for his opponent to take all five judges' cards to clinch his spot in tomorrow's semifinals.

 

Ragan's 2017 World Championship teammate and bronze medalists Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.) closed out the day with a 3-2 victory over Jorge Vivas of Colombia. Isley's win moved Team USA to 10 medals, their best performance since the 1983 Pan American Team that won 11 out of 12 medals.

 

Tomorrow's semifinal sessions will be a busy day for Team USA, as all 10 boxers will compete in the two sessions, looking to improve their bronze medals to a silver or gold with winning performances.

 

Results

56 kg: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, dec. over Jorvi Farronan/PER, 5-0

60 kg: Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass./USA, vs. Krisandy Rios/VEN, 3-2

64 kg: Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va./USA, walkover over Luis Arcon/VEN, WO

75 kg: Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va./USA, dec. over Jorge Vivas/COL, 3-2

 

Semifinals Schedule

51 kg: Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas/USA, vs. I. Rojas Cardozo/VEN

56 kg: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, vs. Lucas Alexander Fernandez/URU

57 kg: Yarisel Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, vs. Jucielen Cerqueira Romeu/BRA

60 kg: Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass./USA, vs. B. Ferreira Soares/BRA

64 kg: Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va./USA, vs. Michael Alexander/TTO

64 kg: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio/USA, vs. M. Moronta Hernand/DOM

69 kg: Delante Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, vs. Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo/CUB

75 kg: Naomi Graham, Colorado Springs, Colo. vs. Flavia Tereza Figueiredo/BRA

75 kg: Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va./USA, vs. Herbert Carvalho Da Conceic/BRA

91+ kg: Richard Torrez Jr., Tulare, Calif./USA, vs. Justiz Pero/CUB

Team USA Puts on Dominating Performance

On Second Day of 2019 Pan-American Games, LIMA, Peru!

(July 29th) All three members of Team USA put on dominating performances on the second day (yesterday) of boxing at the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru, to extend USA Boxing's record to 6-1.

 

2016 Youth World Champion and 2019 Pan American Games Qualifier Champion Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) picked up where Team USA ended last night with his first victory in these championships. Johnson took all five judges' cards over Colombian Alexander Rangel to advance to Tuesday's semifinal bouts.

 

Flyweight and team captain Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) put on a boxing show for the crowd, taking a victory over Costa Rica's Valeria Cardenas. Fuchs met Cardenas in the finals of the 2019 Pan American Games Qualifier and repeated her 5-0 win in today's quarterfinals to move on to the medal rounds.

 

2018 Elite World Championships bronze medalist Naomi Graham's (Colorado Springs, Colo.) power and jab were too much for Anna Salas, of Mexico, to handle, resulting in a referee stopped contest in the second round. Graham secures her third international medal of the year with this performance and advances to Tuesday's semifinal round.

 

The final four members of Team USA will make their Pan American Games debut tomorrow. The four boxers, Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.), Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.), Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.) and Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio), all medaled at the qualifier in April and will be looking for a strong debut in Lima.

 

Results

51kg: Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas/USA, dec. over Valeria Cardenas/CRC, 5-0

69kg: Delante Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, dec. Alexander Rangel/COL, 5-0

75kg: Naomi Graham, Colorado Springs, Colo./USA, vs. Ana Salas/MEX, RSC2

 

Day 3 Matchups

56kg: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, vs. Jorvi Farronan/PER

60kg: Rashida Ellis, Lynn, Mass./USA, vs. Krisandy Rios/VEN

64kg: Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va./USA, vs. Luis Arcon/VEN

75kg: Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va./USA, vs. Jorge Vivas/COL

Team USA Grabs 3 Wins

On First Day of 2019 Pan American Games!

(July 28, 2019) - Team USA had a successful first day of boxing at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, winning three out of the teams four bouts.

 

Team captain and super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.) grabbed the first win of the day against the host countries Luis Munoz. Torrez put on a dominating display to take all five judges cards and advance to the semifinal bouts next week, as well as clinch Team USA's first boxing medal.

 

Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.) followed Torrez's performance with her own impressive Pan American Games debut with an unanimous decision win over El Salvador's Yamileth Solorzano. Ramirez will look to clinch her spot in her first elite international final in Tuesday's semifinal matchup.

 

Toledo, Ohio's Oshae Jones closed out the first day of boxing with a 5-0 win over Atheyna Bylon of Panama. This marked the third time Jones has faced Bylon this year, taking the series following falling short in April's Pan American Games Qualifier by split decision.

 

The fourth American to enter the ring today, Bruce Carrington (Brooklyn, N.Y.), left it all in the ring against Dominican Republics Orlando Martinez, but fell short of taking the judges cards and advancing to the semifinals.

 

Boxing will continue tomorrow with Team USA's second team captain Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas), Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.).

 

Team USA enters the 2019 Pan American Games with 11 boxers under the guidance of National Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), National Assistant Coach Kay Koroma (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and assistant coaches Joe Guzman (Fountain, Colo.) and Jeff Mays (San Antonio, Texas).

 

Follow USA Boxing's progress in the tournament, including news, results and more just (click here).

 

Results

57kg: Yarisel Ramirez, Nev./USA, dec. over Yamileth Solorzano/ESA, 5-0

60kg: Orlando Martinez/DOM dec. over Bruce Carrington, Brooklyn, N.Y./USA, 5-0

69kg: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio/USA, dec. over Atheyna Bylon/PAN, 5-0

91+kg: Richard Torrez Jr., Tulare, Calif./USA, dec. over Luis Munoz/PER, 5-0

Cuban-Born Boxer Yarisel Ramirez

Team USA No. 1 Featherweight!

(July 24th) As Team USA prepares to compete later this week at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, top American female featherweight Yarisel Ramirez, was, ironically, born in Cuba, America's boxing arch-rival and measuring stick.

The 19-year-old Ramirez, who resides in Las Vegas, was born in Guantanamo, Cuba. During her relatively young boxing career - she started boxing in 2011 - she has captured gold medals at the 2018 Western Elite Qualifier, 2016 and 2017 Youth Open, and 2015 Junior Open and 2015 National Junior Golden Gloves Championships.

 

She also has placed in two international tournaments, second at the 2015 Junior World Championships in Taiwan, and bronze at this year's Strandja Tournament in Bulgaria.

 

"My best achievement in boxing to date is winning a silver medal at the Junior World Championships," she noted, "and qualifying for the Pan Am Games."

 

Unlike many of her Team USA stablemates who started boxing due to disciplinary or street-survival reasons, Ramirez started boxing when she 11 simply to lose weight.

 

"I started boxing only to lose weight, but I had other teammates and they were competing," she explained her reason for turning to boxing, "They were competing, and I just loved the adrenaline and energy, when they were about to fight. Of course, I was the only girl in the gym, and everybody would tell me I couldn't do it. I proved them wrong."

 

Ramirez was eliminated in the Pan American Qualifier by the eventual winner, Argentina's Leonela Sanchez, of Argentina. She is the likely favorite heading into the start of this week's 2019 Pan Am Games

 

"Fighting at the Pan Am Games is a huge opportunity for me to open a lot of doors and show the world my talents," Ramirez said. "I think my main competition there will be from Argentina and Puerto Rico."

 

Women's boxing is on the rise and Ramirez is a beneficiary of what pioneers in the industry have done and continue to do.

 

"I feel that female boxing is on the rise now and it'll only get bigger as time goes by," Ramirez concluded. "We are making a difference today. This is the first time that there are five weight classes for females in the Olympics and Pan American Games."

 

Yarisel Ramirez, despite being born in Cuba, represents the future of USA Boxing's females.

Cleveland Welterweight Delante "Tiger" Johnson

Uncaged Going Into Pan Am Games!

(June 19th) Boxing medal collector Delante "Tiger" Johnson has been so busy placing at tournaments that he'll soon need an extension on his home to accommodate his overflowing display case.

The Cleveland welterweight has 8 national and 9 international medals. He has captured gold at the 2014 Junior Olympics, 2015 Youth National Championships, 2016 & 2017 Elite National Championships and 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier, as well as top honors internationally at the 2016 Youth World Championships, 2017 USA vs. Netherlands, Ireland and Germany, and most recently at the 2019 Pan American Qualifier in Nicaragua. 

 

At the 2019 Pan Am Qualifier, Johnson defeated Dominican Republic opponent Rohan Polanco, by walkover, to qualify for the prestigious 2019 Pan American Games, which commences July 27 in Lima, Peru.

 

Despite all of his medals, Johnson remains hungry going into the Pan Am Games with, of course, one eye on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

 

His greatest accomplishment, so far, is winning the Youth World Championship because, as he says, "I was an underdog. Nobody expected me to win and I had a lot to prove."

 

That he did and his participation in the Pan Am Games is extra special for this gifted 20-year-old. "It's important because I'm the first boxer from my city to go the Pan Am Games, which is a big tournament," Johnson remarked. "I'll be disciplined and focused only on the Pan Am Games. I've trained hard for it, physically and mentally to be prepared.

 

"I really want to become the fourth boxer from Cleveland to participate in the Olympics. The others have been Raynell Williams (2008), Terrell Gausha (2012) and Charles Conwell, Jr. (2016)."

 

Born with the nickname "Tiger" because of a birthmark that his father thought looked like a tiger, Jones has had more than 100 amateur bouts to date and counting. He started boxing at the age of seven, largely due to an increasing number of fights he was in at school. His father got him into boxing, and he hasn't looked back.

 

"At first, he explained, "I didn't like boxing, because the coach was really mean. There were a lot of experienced kids in the gym and I was the new kid. I'm a fast learner but it took a while to get used to the coach and older kids. I did very well in my first sparring session and just kept going."

 

Being a Team USA member has allowed Johnson to travel across the country and around the world to places like Germany, Russia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, Ireland and Netherlands. "I like to travel," he noted, "but I just don't like the plane rides."

 

Now, as he prepares to compete in a critical tournament as the first Cleveland boxer in the Pan Am Games, he rates as one of the favorites, along with Cuban veteran Roniel Iglesias, who didn't compete in the recent Pan Am Qualifier finals due to a hand injury.

 

"Tiger" Johnson is uncaged and winning routinely!

Toledo's Queen of Boxing: Oshae Jones!

(July 15th) Toledo has produced and continues to produce elite boxers at a tremendous rate and gifted welterweight Oshae Jones, a much-celebrated amateur champion, clearly reigns as the undisputed Queen of Boxing in the Ohio city located on the western tip of Lake Erie.

 

The 21-year-old Jones has been a gold medal machine as a three-time Elite National Champion, 2017 Eastern Elite Qualifier, 2016 Youth Open and 2014 National PAL champion. She recently finished runner-up at the Pan American Qualifier in Nicaragua to qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games, starting July 27, in Lima, Peru.

 

"I supposedly lost by split decision to a fighter from Panama (Atheyna Bylon)," Oshae noted, "but I beat her, 5-0, in the tournament before that, and I'm going to do that at the Pan Ams. This time I want a KO because I didn't make it clear enough last fight. I'm honored to participate in the Pan Ams but, at the same time, I feel like I worked hard enough to get here, so I'm not that surprised.

 

"I don't keep count anymore because I've won so many, but my most memorable was winning at The Nationals in 2016, because I won with my brother, Otha (Jones III), and all my teammates from Toledo."

 

In addition to Oshae, Toledo has produced numerous professional fighters such as WBC Continental Americas super featherweight champion Albert Bell (15-0), former IBF welterweight world champion Robert Easter, Jr. (21-1-1), seven-time national champion and soon turning pro, Nashay Bradford, 16-0 Chris Jones, 15-0-1 Tyler McCleary. And one of Oshae's current Team USA members Jared Anderson, the two-time defending elite national heavyweight champion, also hails from Toledo.

 

"I think Toledo has produced all these champions," Jones remarked, "because we come from 'the mud' and know what hungry feels like."

 

Boxing has been a family affair from the very beginning for Jones, who started boxing in 2011 when she was 13, because she was always in competition with her "little brother," Otha. "We always wanted to be the fastest, strongest or number one at every little thing we did," she explained. "Both of my brothers are professional boxers, Otha and Roshwan, and my father, Otha Jones, and older brother Roshwan are my coaches."

 

Oshae's life has dramatically changed from training at Soul City Boxing Gym in Toledo to the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, largely due to the opportunities she's had and taken advantage of to fight overseas and add to her vast arsenal of skills.

 

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Famer, Claressa Shields, along with the likes of Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano and a few others have changed the face of female boxing today. "I feel females before me did good things for women's boxing," Jones concluded. "They paved the way, but I'll finish it off."

 

Oshae Jones, who has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Japan, is Toledo Strong!

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