The Final Day Of The 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Live From Cajundome, Lafayette, La. On Peacock
This Saturday, December 9th, 1pm ET!
Winners At Trials Will Advance To U.S. Olympic
High Performance Selection Camp In January!
(December 4th) Peacock will stream live coverage of the final day of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing this Saturday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. ET from the Cajundome in Lafayette, La. The 13 boxers who win their weight class this weekend will advance to the High Performance Selection Camp in January, where they will be among the few selected to compete for spots on the U.S. Olympic team competing in Paris next summer.
Due to their strong finishes at the vaunted 2023 Pan-American Games, Team USA has already pre-selected five boxers for Paris 2024: Jajaira Gonzalez (women’s 60 kg), Jahmal Harvey (men’s 57 kg), Jennifer Lozano (women’s 50 kg), Morelle McCane (women’s 66 kg), and Joshua Edwards (men’s 92+ kg).
The best boxers in America will be competing this weekend for the chance to represent their country on the biggest stage in international athletics. On the men’s side, 2022 elite national champions Dedrick Crocklem and Jordan Roach, as well as two-time youth national champion Benjamin Johnson, are all expected to step into the ring this weekend.
On the women’s side, defending U.S. Olympic Trials champion and four-time national champion Lupe Gutierrez headlines the field. Additionally, 2022 youth world champion Yoseline Perez, two-time youth national champion Sa’Rai Brown-El and 2021 Junior Pan-American Games champion Kayla Gomez are also all expected to compete this weekend.
Live coverage on Peacock will begin on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. ET. David Austin will announce the action alongside 2016 Rio Olympian and 2012 world championship bronze medalist Mikaela Mayer.
Preliminary rounds will be available live and on demand on the USA Boxing website Monday-Thursday at 6 p.m. ET and Friday-Saturday at Noon ET.
A full schedule of NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be announced at a later date.
NBC Sports has brought boxing to millions of viewers across the country beginning with the first-ever live televised fight in 1939, when Lou Nova defeated Max Baer at Yankee Stadium. Over the decades to follow, NBC Sports’ coverage of the sport showcased stars including Joe Louis, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, and Larry Holmes.
Peacock’s expansive programming features live coverage including Big Ten Football and Basketball, Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame Football, Olympic and Paralympic Games, Premier League, NASCAR, NTT IndyCar Series, and much more. Peacock also offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel.
Announcers: David Austin / Mikaela Mayer
How To Watch: Saturday, December 9 (all times ET)
Streaming: Peacock (LIVE), NBC Sports app
DateTime (ET)Platform: Sat., Dec. 91-5 p.m.Peacock, NBC Sports app
Meet Tyson Lee: An Army Veteran
Running For Vice President Of World Boxing!
(November 14th) USA Boxing Board of Directors President Tyson Lee has been around the sport of boxing since his childhood. He grew up boxing with his friends in his neighborhood; however, it was not until he attended the United States Military Academy West Point that he began competing in the sport. During his time at West Point, he only suffered one loss in four years. His boxing career would continue during his Army deployments, competing in open boxing tournaments where he was stationed and eventually winning three state titles in Hawaii in the 25th Infantry Division.
Following the Army, Lee went on to start his successful professional career in pharmaceutical and insurance sales, before building his own industrial contracting business in Alabama.
Lee returned to the sport of boxing when he was elected President of the USA Boxing Board of Directors in 2019 and was re-elected in 2020. In this role, Lee has been a critical supporter of good governance, transparency and problem solving for USA Boxing’s national office.
“It’s important to have support from a large, experienced organization, like USA Boxing, to
guide this new international federation forward because it will have so many requirements and needs out the gate,” Lee stated on what he learned from his time as USA Boxing Board President. “As USA Boxing President, I know that it will take strong leadership to accomplish the goals that we have set for World Boxing during these challenging times. However, with strong leadership and support, we can accomplish all our goals and keep boxing in the Olympic family.”
Lee, who is running for one of the three available Vice President positions on World Boxing’s Board of Directors, brings international experience to World Boxing, as he has also served as Vice President of the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC). Lee feels his impressive resume and experience sets him up for success if elected Vice President of World Boxing. He plans to maintain an environment of fairness on the field of play, good governance, financial transparency and third-party oversight. He has international connections and tremendous support from the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Boxing Staff.
Lee believes his experience in leadership, business and team building skills are vital to the solution to save Olympic-style boxing and give the sport the spark it needs. Part of his vision is to improve relationships with national federations (NFs) and their National Olympic Committees (NOCs), as well as gain confidence in World Boxing’s direction from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and global boxing community. He wants to ensure that World Boxing will accomplish what is necessary to gain the IOC’s confidence to keep boxing in the Olympic family.
“I can use my years of institutional knowledge and commitment to maintain what we initially desired for our sport,” stated Lee on why running for Vice President is important to him. “I can support a new president in the World Boxing organization by bringing many of the United States’ resources to the table such as sponsorships, other financial support, and also the domestic and international experience of our staff and officials in maintaining and growing boxing programs.”
This commitment includes introducing a clear vision to guarantee transparency, fairness of play and good governance, and he believes his leadership from the past lines him up for complete success if voted into the position of Vice President.
World Boxing will host its inaugural Congress at the Mainacarden Venue in Frankfurt am Main, Germany Nov. 24-25. This election will be the first election where members will vote for positions such as, President, Vice President (VP) of World Boxing’s Executive Board.
ABOUT USA BOXING: The mission of USA Boxing shall be 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!
ABOUT WORLD BOXING
World Boxing is a not-for-profit, international sports federation which aims to put the interests of boxers first and ensure that boxing remains at the heart of the Olympic movement.
It has been established by a group of like-minded individuals from a number of National Federations across the world in response to the persistent issues surrounding Olympic-style boxing’s international governing body, whose failure to address the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) longstanding concerns over sporting integrity, governance, transparency and financial management has placed boxing’s future as an Olympic sport in doubt.
World Boxing offers an alternative to this and has been founded on the principles of integrity, honesty and excellence.
The organization is underpinned by rigorous governance practices and aims to create a sustainable and inclusive global sporting structure where boxers from around the world can compete and excel knowing that the integrity of the sport is guaranteed and competition is fair.
It will ensure the views of athletes are represented at the highest level and includes a male and female boxer with voting rights on its Executive Board.
World Boxing will provide principled leadership to its members and is committed to delivering five key pledges that will safeguard the future of both the sport and its athletes worldwide.
World Boxing will:
Keep boxing at the heart of the Olympic movement
Ensure the interests of boxers are put first
Deliver sporting integrity and fair competitions
Create a competition structure designed in the best interests of the boxers
Operate according to strong governance standards and transparent financial management
USA Boxing: Edwards & Harvey Golden
On Final Day Of 2023 Santiago Pan American Games; Lozano and McCane Take Silver!
(October 29th) Team USA went 2-2 yesterday on the final day of boxing at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games to take two gold and two silver medals to go along with their two bronze medals earned during yesterday’s semifinals.
Featherweight Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) began the day with what shaped up to be another classic United States versus Cuba final.
The 2021 World Champion saw the Cuban, Ivan Horta Rodriguez Del Rey, take a close 3-2 lead after the first round, but came back in the second round to take his own 3-2 decision, resulting in the duo to be tied across all five judges’ cards before the final round.
The American rallied during the final three minutes, landing clean jabs to the body and head, as well as combinations to take the round, 5-0, and the overall unanimous decision victory and gold medal.
Harvey’s gold medal performance adds him to a list of other Team USA greats that won gold in the featherweight division at the Pan American Games, including Kelcie Banks and Bernard Taylor.
Super heavyweight Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas) added 2023 Pan American Games gold medalist to his resume with his walkover victory over Brazil’s Abner Teixeira Da Silva. Edwards gold medal is just the second in USA Boxing history, joining Jason Estrada (2003) as the only two American super heavyweights to take gold at a Pan American Games.
Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) became the third straight female American to win a silver medal at the Pan American Games in the flyweight division, following in Marlen Esparza and Virginia Fuchs footsteps, both from Texas as well. Lozano, who punched her ticket to next summer’s Olympic Games yesterday, fell short in capturing the gold medal by way of unanimous decision against Brazil’s Caroline Barbosa De Almeida.
Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) was the final member of Team USA to box today, however, fell short in a 5-0 decision against Brazil’s Barbara Maria Dos Santos. McCane became the fifth straight boxer from Cleveland and first female boxer from the city to qualify to the Olympics during these Games.
Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) rounded out Team USA’s medal count, as each are leaving Santiago with bronze medals.
To relive all the action from this year’s Pan American Games, including photos, athlete stories and more, click here.
50 kg: Caroline Barbosa De Almeida/BRA dec. over Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas/USA, 5-0 – silver medal
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. over Ivan Horta Rodriguez Del Rey/CUB, 5-0 – gold medal
66 kg: Barbara Maria Dos Santos/BRA dec. over Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, 5-0 – silver medal
92+ kg: Joshua Edwards, Houston, Texas/USA wins by walkover over Abner Teixeira Da Silva/BRA, WO – gold medal
Four Team USA Boxers
Qualify To Paris 2024 Olympics!
(Jahmal Harvey photo by USA Boxing)
(October 27th) USA Boxing qualified four more boxers to next summer’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games during yesterday’s semifinals of the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games, as well as earned two bronze medals.
2021 World Champion Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) was the first of the day to punch his ticket to Paris following an impressive performance over Gabriel Oliveira of Brazil.
This marked the fifth time the two boxers have met, with both being victorious twice, Harvey stepped up his game in the most important matchup between the two yet to take the unanimous decision victory after taking all five judges’ cards in the opening two rounds, which included a standing eight count in the last 30 seconds of the second round. However, the third round did see the Brazilian land some clean shots to take the round 3-2, but was too late to catchup to the American, solidifying Jahmal’s place in Paris next summer.
“This means a lot to me, I have been working hard for this,” stated Harvey following his victory. “This is extra motivation to win gold tomorrow at the Pan American Games, then get a gold at the Olympics. I already got the gold at the World Championships, so time to complete that trifecta.”
Flyweight Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) became the first athlete from any sport, male or female, from Laredo to become an Olympian with her 5-0 decision victory over McKenzie Wright of Canada.
Lozano got out to a 4-1 lead after the opening round which saw her land clean jabs and combinations before extending her lead after another 4-1 round in the second. The American did not slow down in the final round, which saw multiple combinations to the body and powerful overhands in the last 40 seconds of the bout to seal the victory and clinch a place in Paris.
"We are going to Paris, baby. La Traviesa es de Laredo, Texas. We are ready for all of the world, we are going to the Olympics," an emotional Lozano said in a mix of English and Spanish at the conclusion of her bout. Being the first Olympian from Laredo means a lot to me."
Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) continued Team USA’s winning ways with her own unanimous decision victory over Charlie Cavanagh, 2022 Elite World Championships silver medalist, of Canada.
McCane, who became the fifth straight boxer from Cleveland and first female boxer from the city to qualify to the Olympics, took control of the bout from the beginning, taking an early 4-1 first round lead, before proving her dominance over her opponent in the second round that saw the referee give Cavanagh a standing eight count in the final seconds of the round.
The Canadian took the final round, 3-2, however, was too late to overtake McCane, as the American advanced to the finals and to next summer’s Olympics.
“I will be in Paris, and I feel great,” a smiling McCane said following her victory. “I am honored to continue the Cleveland legacy and to be the first female from Cleveland to join the list of greats before me!”
Super heavyweight Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas) closed out the day in an exciting bout against Cuba’s Fernando Arzola Lopez to clinch his place in the Olympics.
The young Cuban took an early 3-2 lead, which saw both boxers land clean shots to result in the close round. Edwards stepped up and began to figure out his opponent in the second round, which resulted in him winning it, 4-1.
With the bout on the line and a spot in Paris, the American showed his true heart and determination, landing clean combinations and shots to solidify the round, winning all five judges’ cards for the round, as well as the overall unanimous decision victory.
“I am overwhelmed, I have no words,” an emotional Edwards stated on his qualification to Paris. “I have been working so hard for this, so hard. I am ready to do this again at the Olympics.”
All four boxers will compete in Friday’s gold medal bouts. Full schedule and livestream information can be found here.
Team USA also saw two boxers, Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas), claim bronze medals at the Games. Gonzalez will also join her four teammates in Paris next summer following her top four placement in Santiago.
Day 8 Results
50 kg: Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over McKenzie Wright/CAN, 5-0
51 kg: Yunior Reyes/DOM dec. over Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, 4-1 – bronze medal
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA, dec. over Gabriel Oliveira/BRA, 5-0
60 kg: Beatriz Ferreira/BRA dec. over Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA, 4-1 – bronze medal
66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, dec. over Charlie Cavanagh/CAN, 5-0
92+kg: Joshua Edwards, Houston, Texas/USA, dec. over Fernando Arzola Lopez/CUB, 5-0
Three USA Boxing Members Running
For World Boxing Positions At Inaugural Congress!
(October 27th) USA Boxing announced today the three members running for World Boxing office at next month’s inaugural Congress.
The candidates running include Tyson Lee, Dr. Armando Sanchez and Elise Seignolle.
“USA Boxing is proud to have three candidates running for leadership positions within World Boxing,” stated Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director.
“USA Boxing was the first National Federation (NF) to be approved by World Boxing and has worked side-by-side with our member NF as we focus on developing Olympic-style boxing from the grassroots, national, international and Olympic level. Elise, Tyson and Dr. Armando possess the perfect combination of skills to work collaboratively with other federations to develop Olympic-style boxing around the world as boxing continues to be part of the Olympic Games in LA 2028, Brisbane in 2032 and beyond.”
Lee, who is running for Vice President of the World Boxing Board of Directors, has served as the President of the USA Boxing Board of Directors since 2019 and was elected in 2021 as the Vice President of the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC). The U.S. Military Academy at West Point graduate is also the Managing Member and Owner of Veteran Industries in Mobile, Ala.
Dr. Sanchez is running for the position of Chair of the Medical and Anti-Doping Committee. Sanchez has been a member with USA Boxing for the past 29 years and has represented as Chairperson for the Medical Committee for the past 10 years. Dr. Sanchez has been the Team or lead Physician for USA Boxing for many boxing events including Junior World Championships, World Cup of Boxing, Olympic Qualifier, Pan American Qualifier, Pan American Games, Tokyo Olympic Games, Continental Championships, as well as the African Games.
Seignolle, who is the Senior Finance Director at Campari America in New York City, brings over 20 years of finance leadership, as well as 10 years of boxing experience. She looks to become the first female president of an International Boxing Federation. Seignolle, who served as an Independent Director on the International Boxing Association Board from May 2022 to April 2023, has a background in financial modeling and analysis, global management reporting, and global budget variance analysis. She has also served as the Athlete Director on the New York Metro Local Boxing Committee, a Trustee and Treasurer on the USA Boxing Foundation Board of Directors, and an Independent Director and Treasurer on the USA Boxing Board of Directors.
World Boxing will be hosting its inaugural Congress at the Mainacarden Venue in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on Nov. 24-25. This year will be the first ever election when members will vote for positions such as, President, Vice President (VP) of World Boxing’s Executive Board.
Jajaira Gonzalez Becomes First American Boxer
To Punch Ticket To Paris 2024 Olympic Games!
(October 26th) Yesterday was exciting for Team USA as the first American boxer officially punched their ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics. Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) booked her ticket to Paris in the 60 kg weight division following her semifinal victory on day seven of the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games.
Gonzalez got the day started in dominating fashion on Wednesday morning, as she controlled the pace and aggression during her bout, including landing multiple combinations on Camila Piñeiro Muiño of Uruguay, giving the judges no option but to award her the unanimous decision win.
Gonzalez won every round, 5-0, securing her ticket to 2024 Paris Olympic Games, as well as advancing to semifinals in Santiago, which guarantees herself a medal, Team USA’s sixth of these Games. The American middleweight will face 2020 Olympic silver medalist Beatriz Ferreira for the chance to advance to the championship bout. Gonzalez will be the fourth bout during the day’s first session, which begins at 10:00 a.m. ET.
“We are going to Paris. I am so happy and blessed. All the sacrifices, tears and sweats all paid off. I have no words,” Gonzalez said after qualifying. “Thank you to everyone who supported me and those who doubted me. You pushed me. Thank you to my father and siblings and my team.”
Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas) and Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) also fought today for Team USA. Jones went against Mexico’s Marco Alonso Verde Alvarez. After winning the first round 4-1, Jones fell 5-0 on the next two rounds to see his tournament come to an end.
Garcia was in a very scrappy fight against Alexy Miguel De La Crus Baez from the Dominican Republic. Garcia went down 5-0 in the first two rounds and had a tall task at hand. However, due to a point being deducted to Baez, Garcia was given hope. However, the fight ended early due to open cuts and bleeding following a head clash between the two opponents. Garcia won the third round 3-2 but it wasn’t enough as he lost 2-0.
Team USA has another full slate Thursday as the semifinals officially start for all weight divisions.
Joining Gonzalez in the day’s first session will be Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.), where he will face Brazil’s Luiz Oliveira, a familiar opponent he has fought four times in his career, with both boxers taking two victories against one another.
The evening session, which starts at 4:00 p.m. ET, will feature two USA versus Canada bouts, with Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) taking on McKenzie Wright and Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) going to head-to-head against 2022 Elite World Championships silver medalist Charlie Cavanagh for the second time this year. McCane defeated Cavanagh by split decision in the semifinals of the GeeBee International Tournament.
The session will also feature 2021 World Championships silver medalist Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) boxing Yunior Alcantara Reyes of the Dominican Republic, as well as 2022 AMBC Elite Continental Championships bronze medalist Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas) closing out the day with Fernando Lopez of Cuba.
All five boxers, outside of Gonzalez, will look to take victories to lock up their place at next summer’s Olympic Games.
Day 7 Results
60 kg: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA, dec. over Camilo Pineiro Muino/URU, 5-0
63.5 kg: Alexy Baez/DOM dec. over Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, 2-0
71 kg: Marco Alvarez/MEX dec. over Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, 5-0
Team USA Clinches Four More Boxing Medals
On Day Six Of 2023 Santiago Pan American Games!
(October 25th) The sixth day of boxing at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games saw Team USA go 4-1 yesterday, guaranteeing the team four more medals, to bring their total to five so far in Santiago, with the potential to add three more tomorrow.
Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) began the day in dominating fashion in her opening bout of these Games. McCane, who is looking to become the fifth straight boxer from Cleveland and first female to qualify to an Olympic Games, landed multiple power shots to Nicole Vega Moya of Costa Rica in the first 90 seconds of her bout to see the referee give her opponent back-to-back standing eight counts before calling off the bout.
McCane will return to action on Thursday, where she will face Charlie Cavanagh of Canada, where a victory will advance the American to the finals, as well as punch her ticket to next summer’s Olympic Games.
Flyweight Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) grabbed Team USA’s second win of the day, securing the teams third medal of the tournament. Hill ended the first round behind, 3-2, Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez, however came back strong in the second round with numerous shots to the body and combinations to take the round, 4-1. Hill outperformed the 2016 Olympian in the final round, taking all five judges’ cards, including one 10-8 score, to solidify the win to move to the medal rounds.
Hill’s semifinal bout on Thursday will be against Dominican Republic’s Yunior Reyes, where an Olympic qualifying spot will be on the line.
Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas) closed out the first session of the day in impressive fashion over Ecuador’s Gerlon Chala. The superheavy, who was making his Pan American Games debut, won all five judges’ cards to take a clean sweep of the bout to confirm his place in the medal rounds and be one step closer to qualifying to Paris.
Edwards will meet Fernando Arzola of Cuba, the 2023 Elite World Championships silver medalist, for a shot in the finals and a place in next summer’s Olympic Games.
The final victory of the day came during the second session with Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) taking the 3-2 decision over Tayonis Rojas of Venezuela.
The American flyweight saw Rojas take an early 4-1 lead after the first round, however, came back to take the final two rounds, 3-2, to take the overall 3-2 decision and secure herself a medal, as well as be one win away from punching her ticket to Paris.
Lozano will look to be victorious over Canada’s McKenzie Wright during Thursday’s semifinal bout.
Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) was the other member of Team USA to step into the ring during the day, however, saw her tournament run come to an end following a 5-0 defeat against Citlalli Ortiz of Mexico.
Three boxers will take to the ring during day seven in Santiago, including Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.), who could become USA Boxing’s first Olympian for next summer with a victory over Uruguay’s Camilo Pineiro Muino.
Joining Gonzalez today are Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) and Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas). Both boxers will look to be victorious to guarantee themselves a medal, as well as be one win away from Olympic qualification. Click here to follow all the action from Santiago.
Day 6 Result
50 kg: Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over Tayonis Rojas/VEN, 3-2
51 kg: Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, dec. over Rivas Yuberjen Herney Martinez/ COL, 4-1
66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, wins by RSC over Nicole De Los Angeles Vega Moya/ CRC, RSC-1
75 kg: Citlalli Vanessa Ortiz/ MEX dec. over Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, NC/USA, 5-0
92+ kg: Joshua Edwards, Houston, Texas/ USA, dec. over Gerlon Gilmar Congo Chala/ ECU, 5-0
Harvey Secures USA Boxing’s First Medal
Of 2023 Santiago Pan American Games!
(October 24th) USA Boxing, with just two bouts yesterday, were represented by their featherweight duo in Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) and Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho) during the fifth day of boxing at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
Mendoza got the morning started for Team USA as she fought against the Canadian Marie-Bathoul Al-Ahmadieh. Mendoza, going down 3-2 in rounds one and two, had an uphill battle to come out on top against Al-Ahmadieh. Mendoza giving it her all, landed multiple right-hand jabs to Al-Ahmadieh’s body but judges scored it another 3-2 round in favor of Al-Ahmadieh to give the Canadian the overall 3-2 decision.
The second and final bout for the Americans was Harvey, who faced Keevin Allicock out of Guyana. Harvey, 2021 Elite World Championships gold medalist, came out aggressive and showed his speed and relentless fighting. The compact fighter boxed with confidence and was unloading multiple left hooks throughout the whole bout and dominated every round. Harvey took all three rounds and won by a unanimous decision in the end.
Harvey victory advances him to the semifinals, guaranteeing himself at least a bronze medal, solidifying the first American medal of these Pan American Games. He will face a familiar opponent on Thursday, Brazil’s Luiz Gabrial Oliveira, where a win will punch his ticket to next summer’s Olympic Games in Paris. The two boxers have gone head-to-head four times in their careers, each boxer with two wins. Jahmal defeated Oliveira at the 2019 Emil Jechev Youth Tournament and 2021 World Championships; however, Oliveira has come out on top in their last two matches, the 2022 AMBC Championships finals and the opening round of this year’s Strandja Tournament.
Team USA has a full slate tomorrow as five boxers will be competing, including three boxers who will be making their 2023 Santiago Pan American Games debut. Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, NC) officially begins her historic quest tomorrow where she tries to be the first American boxer to win gold in consecutive Pan American Games, while Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas) and Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) will also make their debuts tomorrow in the morning session.
This year’s Pan American Games is serving as the first Paris Olympic Games 2024 qualifier for boxers from the Americas. Boxers must finish top two to punch their ticket to Paris, while boxers in the female 57 kg and 60 kg must finish top four to earn their spot. These Games are the 19th edition of the Pan American Games, bringing boxers from 27 different countries to Chile.
Day 5 Results
57kg: Marie-Bathoul Al-Ahmadieh/CAN dec. over Alyssa Mendoza, Caldwell, Idaho/USA 3-2
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md./USA dec. over Keevin Allicock/ GUY, 5-0
USA Boxing: Team USA Picks Up Three Wins
On Day Four Of 2023 Santiago Pan American Games!
(October 23rd) USA Boxing came away with three victories last night during the fourth day of boxing at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, to go 3-1 for the day.
Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) came out aggressive against the Puerto Rican, Angel Gabriel Llanos Perez. Jones connected on multiple combinations and pushed the pace to win the first two rounds by 4-1, before sealing the bout by taking all five judges’ cards in the final round, which included a 10-8 score from one judge. Jones went on to win the bout 4-0 due to a tie from one of the judges.
Jones will face a familiar opponent, Marco Alonso Verde Alvarez out of Mexico, for his quarterfinal bout. These two boxers went head-to-head in the 2022 AMBC Continental Championships semifinals, where Verde edged out the victory over Jones in a split decision. The highly anticipated rematch will take place Oct. 25, where the winner of the bout will be guaranteed a medal.
Middleweight Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) was the next boxer to represent the stars and stripes, going against the Canadian, Garinder Takhar. Gonzalez came out firing and connecting multiple blows in the first minute, which resulted in the referee giving Takhar an eight count. Gonzalez, not letting up at all and staying aggressive, got her second eight count shortly after, resulting in the referee to wave the bout, resulting in an RSC victory in the first round.
Gonzalez looks to punch her ticket to the Paris Olympics 2024 as she faces Camila Paola Pineiro Muino during Wednesday’s quarterfinals, where the winner will advance to the semifinals to secure a medal, as well as officially qualify for the Paris Olympic Games 2024.
Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas) was the last American boxer to step into the ring. Garcia, trying to end the day on a high note for Team USA, came out of the red corner strong and aggressive. Going against Jesus Nazaret Cova Romero of Venzuela, took round one, 4-1, and then dominated round two and took the bout into his own hands, giving Romero an eight count with 48 seconds left in the round, to take the round unanimously, including two 10-8 scores. Garcia went on to win on a unanimous decision and move onto the next round.
Garcia will face Alexy Miguel De La Cruz Baez from the Dominican Republic on Oct. 25, with the winner advancing to the semifinals and be guaranteed a medal.
Team USA featherweight, Yoseline Perez, got the day started for the Americans. Perez going against Airas Cataneda Yeni Marcela out of Columbia, got off to a strong start and took round one, 4-1. However, the experience from Marcela outweighed the Youth Champion and Marcela won round two and three, 4-1, and the overall bout, 4-1.
Featherweight duo Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho) and Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) will take to the ring on day five for Team USA. Mendoza takes on Marie-Bathoul Al-Ahmadieh of Canada in the day’s morning session, while Harvey will face 2020 Olympian Keevin Allicock of Guyana during the second session.
This year’s Pan American Games is serving as the first Paris Olympic Games 2024 qualifier for boxers from the Americas. Boxers must finish top two to punch their ticket to Paris, while boxers in the female 57 kg and 60 kg must finish top four to earn their spot. These Games are the 19th edition of the Pan American Games, bringing boxers from 27 different countries to Chile.
Day 4 Results
54 kg: Yeni Marcela Arias Castaneda/COL dec. over Yoseline Perez, Houston, Texas/USA, 4-1
60 kg: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA, wins by RSC over Garinder Takhar/CAN, RSC-1
63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over Jesus Nazaret Cova Romero/VEN, 5-0
71 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, dec. over Angel Llanos Perez/PUR, 4-0
Team USA Boxing Goes 2-1 On Third Day
Of 2023 Santiago Pan American Games!
(Jennifer Lozano - red) -celebrated her victory)
(October 22nd) Flyweight elite duo, Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) and Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas), secured Team USA’s first victories yesterday at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games, ending the day 2-1 for USA Boxing.
2021 World Championships silver medalist Hill had to bounce back after the opening round against Cuba’s Alejandro Claro Fiz to pick up Team USA’s first win in Santiago.
Hill, who noted the first round was tough and he needed to do more moving, did land a clean shot in the last 20 seconds that resulted in the referee to give Fiz a standing eight count, however, all five judges scored the round 10-9 in favor of Cuba. The American picked up the pace in the second round, but saw the judges’ score the round 3-2 in favor of Fiz.
With the bout on the line, Hill needed to impress the five judges, as well as receive at least one 10-8 from the judges to secure the victory. He used his unique style to make his opponent miss him multiple times, as well as landed clean blows to take all five judges’ cards in the final round, including one 10-8 which secured his 3-2 victory and a spot in the next round.
“I am feeling good, but the first round was tough. I was sitting there standing,” stated Hill after his bout. “I had to dig into my bag of tricks and do what I needed to do. What can I say, God is good.”
Hill will return to the ring on Tuesday for a quarterfinal matchup against 2016 Olympic silver medalist Yurberjen Martinez of Colombia.
Lozano grabbed Team USA’s second win of the day by way of a 3-2 decision over Susan Aguas of Ecuador.
Lozano jumped to an early 3-2 lead following the first round that saw both opponents start at a slower pace, trying to figure each other out. The American stepped it up in the second round, landing cleaner combinations and jabs to the body and head to take the round, 4-1.
The final round saw Aguas try to make a last-minute push, winning the round 4-1, however, he was too late. Lozano was victorious and is advancing to the quarterfinals against Tayonis Cedeno of Venezuela on Tuesday.
Robby Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) met a familiar opponent, Christian Javier Pinales of Dominican Republic, to close out the day for the Americans. Gonzales had to overcome a tough obstacle after falling behind, 5-0 after the first round. However, Gonzales came out in the second round aggressively and landed multiple combinations on Pinales to take the second round, 4-1. The third and final round was another close round, with the judges scoring it 3-2 in favor of Pinales, resulting in the Dominican to take an overall 3-2 decision.
The fourth day of action in Santiago will feature four members of Team USA, including 2022 Youth World Champion Yoseline Perez (Houston, Texas), who will kick start the day in the opening bout of the morning session against Yeni Arias of Colombia. Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) is the next boxer to represent the United State and will take on Puerto Rico’s Angel Perez during the 10th bout.
The second session, starting at 4:00 p.m. ET, will see Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) go head-to-head with Canada’s Garinder Takhar in bout three, and Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas) facing Venezuela’s Jesus Nazaret Cova Romero in the sixth bout.
USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is leading Team USA in Santiago, along with National Resident Coach Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), National Development Coach Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and assistant coach Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas).
This year’s Pan American Games marks the 19th edition, which includes 174 boxers from 27 different countries taking to the ring in the first qualifier for the Americas to next summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.
Day 3 Results
50 kg: Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over Susan Meylin Aguas Chala/ECU, 3-2
51 kg: Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, dec. over Alejandro Claro Fiz/CUB, 3-2
80 kg: Christian Javier Pinales/DOM dec. over Robby Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, 3-2
Talley Falls Short In Opening Bout
Of 2023 Santiago Pan American Games!
(October 21st) American heavyweight Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) fell short in his opening bout of the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games against the two-time Olympic Champion, Julio Cesar La Cruz of Cuba at the Centro de Entrenamiento Olimpico in Santiago, Chile.
Talley began the first round strong, going to La Cruz’s body to take the 3-2 lead over the six-time World Champion, however, the Cubans experience and impressive defense took over in the second and third rounds to take all five judges’ cards in those rounds to take the unanimous decision victory.
The third day of boxing will see three members of Team USA take to the ring. 2021 Elite World Championship silver medalist and 2022 AMBC Elite Championship champion Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) will box in the first session of the day, set to start at 10:00 a.m. ET. He will take on Cuba’s Alejandro Claro Fiz in bout seven.
Flyweight Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) will begin her Pan American Games in the second session of the day, which begins at 4:00 p.m. ET. Lozano, who won gold at last year’s AMBC Elite Championships, will box Susan Meylin Aguas Chala of Ecuador.
2021 World Champion Robby Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) will close out the day for the Americans. The light heavyweight will have a rematch from last year’s AMBC Elite Championships semifinal bout with Christian Javier Pinales of Dominican Republic. Gonzales took the 4-1 decision last year in Ecuador and will look to take the win tomorrow to advance to the next round of competition in Santiago.
Team USA is being guided at these Games by USA Boxing Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), National Resident Coach Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), as well as National Development Coach Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.) along with assistant coach Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas).
This year’s Pan American Games marks the 19th edition, which includes 174 boxers from 27 different countries taking to the ring in the first qualifier for the Americas to next summers Olympic Games in Paris.
Day 2 Results
92 kg: Julio Cesar La Cruz/CUB dec. over Jamar Talley, Camden, N.J./USA, 5-0
Brackets Set For Team USA
At 2023 Santiago Pan American Games!
(October 19th) The 13 boxers representing Team USA at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games over the next nine days at the Centro de Entrenamiento Olimpico have learned their opening bout opponent, as well as their potential pathway to the top of the podium in Santiago, Chile. Full first day opponents can be seen below.
Heavyweight Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) will start things off for USA Boxing on Friday, Oct. 20, when he will step into the ring against two-time Olympic Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz of Cuba. The lone session of the day will begin at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Saturday, Oct. 21 will see three Americans begin their tournament. 2021 Elite World Championship silver medalist Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) will face Cuba’s Alejandro Claro Fiz in the first session of the day, which starts at 10:00 a.m. ET. The evening session, which begins at 5:00 p.m. ET, will have Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) and Robby “Rahim” Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nev.) representing the red, white and blue.
Lozano will go head-to-head against Ecuador’s Susan Aguas, while Gonzales will meet a familiar opponent in Christian Javier Pinales of the Dominican Republic. Gonzales and Pinales faced each other during last year’s semifinal bout of the AMBC Elite Championships, with Gonzales taking the 4-1 decision.
Team USA will have a busy Sunday, as four boxers will begin their Pan American Games tournament.
2022 Youth World Champion Yoseline Perez (Houston, Texas) will start the team for the day against Yeni Arias, the 2020 Olympian from Colombia, while Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) faces Angel Llanos Perez of Puerto Rico. They will both be in the first session of the day.
The second session on Sunday will feature three-time amateur World Champion Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) and 2023 GeeBee International Tournament champion Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas). Gonzalez’ first opponent will be Garinder Takhar of Canada, while Garcia takes on Jesus Nazaret Cova Romero, who won gold earlier this year at the AMBC Elite Boxing Championships.
Featherweight duo Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho) and Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) will begin their tournament on Monday, Oct. 23. Mendoza, who is scheduled to be in the first session of the day, will meet Canada’s Marie-Bathoul Al-Ahmadieh, while Harvey, the 2021 Elite World Championship gold medalist, will take on the winner of the opening round matchup of Panama and Guyana.
Tuesday, Oct. 24 will feature Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio), Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) and Johsua Edwards (Houston, Texas) tournament debuts.
McCane, who secured a bye in the opening round of the 66 kg division, faces Nicole Vega Moya of Costa Rica, while reigning Pan American Games Champion Graham earned a bye and will wait to see if she will face either Cuba or Mexico in her opening bout.
Super heavyweight Edwards earned his own bye and will begin his tournament against either Chile or Ecuador.
This year marks the 19th edition of the Pan American Games, which has brought 174 boxers from 27 different countries to Santiago hopes of earning their place at next summer’s Paris Olympic Games 2024.
2023 Santiago Pan American Games Top Storylines!
(October 18th) Thirteen boxers will be representing Team USA at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games, including seven males and six females. Twelve of the 13 boxers will be making their Pan American Games debut, with Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.), 34, striving to win consecutive Pan American gold medals, a quest that no American boxer has achieved before. Competing in the 75 kg weight division, Graham aims to carve her name in history, and repeat her performance from 2019 these next two weeks in Santiago that would punch her ticket to her second Olympics.
Meanwhile in the small border town of Laredo, Texas, there’s a remarkable story unfolding as Laredo looks to celebrate not just one, but two inaugural Olympic contenders in Emilio Garcia and Jennifer Lozano. These two boxers are on track to represent the United States in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Both boxers have triumphed in 2023, with Garcia securing two international medals, a gold and bronze, with Lozano securing two bronze medals from international tournaments this year. The two started in the sport for different reasons but hope to have similar outcomes. Garcia has boxing in his blood, with his father in his corner and brothers also boxing out of their family gym, while Lozano got into the sport to learn a defense mechanism from bullying.
Team USA made their mark at their last Continental Championships and took home 13 medals including gold medalist Robby “Rahim” Gonzales, 27, who looks to make his Olympic dreams come true by finishing top two in Santiago. The Las Vegas native is hoping to qualify for his first Olympic Games in his third Olympic cycle with USA Boxing. After falling short at the 2016 Olympic Trials, Gonzales won the 2020 Olympic Trials and seemed destined to represent Team USA in Tokyo, however, like many, COVID deterred his plans. With qualification guidelines changing due to cancelled Olympic qualifying events, Gonzales did not have the opportunity to compete in Olympic Qualifiers, ending his Tokyo dreams. Deciding to stay for one more event, he won gold at the 2021 Elite World Championships, encouraging him to take one more shot at accomplishing his Olympic dreams.
Other notable boxers include Omari Jones, 20-year-old-native from Orlando, Fla., who won consecutive golds at the 2023 GeeBee International Tournament and the Czech Republic Grand Prix in the 71 kg weight class. He is also the 2021 Elite World Championship silver medalist; Jahmal Harvey, 20, is a gold medalist at the 2021 Elite World Championships and was the first American male to win an elite world title since 2007. Harvey from Oxon Hill, Md., is a multi-time gold medalist at USA Boxing National Championships at the junior, youth and elite levels.
Team USA also has some young guns looking to secure berths for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. Among these young rising stars for Team USA include Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho), 20, and the youngest of the 13 boxers, Yoseline Perez (Houston, Texas), who is just 19. Both boxers have had international success with Mendoza making her presence known by earning medals in all three of her international tournaments this year. As for Perez, she looks to continue her dominance from the youth division that led to gold at the 2022 Youth World Championships and make the transition to the elite stage in Santiago.
Rounding out the team this week include Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio), who looks to become the fifth consecutive boxer, and first female, from Cleveland to punch their ticket to an Olympic Games; Jajaira Gonzales (Glendora, Calif.), the three-time amateur World Champion and Youth Olympic Champion who made her return to boxing in 2021 after stepping away from the sport for a few years; Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas), the 2021 World Championship silver medalist and 2022 AMBC Elite Continental Champion; Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas), Team USA super heavyweight who is looking to join the legacy of Houston boxing; and Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.), the 2022 AMBC Elite Championships gold medalist who looks to become the first boxer from Camden to box in an Olympic Games since 1928.
Boxing in Santiago begins October 19 and runs through October 27. This year’s Pan American Games will include a sixth female weight class, up one from 2019 and double the number of female weight classes from 2011, the first Pan American Games to include female boxing. Boxers must finish top two, except for the female 57 kg and 60 kg weight classes, as they must finish top four to qualify by name to Paris.
The first Pan American boxing event took place in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since then, Team USA has established itself as a boxing powerhouse, securing an impressive 117 medals, which leads the global medal race. Among the 119 medals, a notable 35 of them have been awarded gold, 35 silver and 49 bronze.
2023 Pan American Games Team Roster
50 kg: Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas
51 kg: Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas
54 kg: Yoseline Perez, Houston, Texas
57 kg: Alyssa Mendoza, Caldwell, Idaho
57 kg: Jahmal Harvey, Oxon Hill, Md.
60 kg: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif.
63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas
66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio
71 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla.
75 kg: Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, N.C.
80 kg: Robby Gonzales, Las Vegas, Nev.
92 kg: Jamar Talley, Camden, N.J.
92+ kg: Joshua Edwards, Houston, Texas
USA Boxing Alumni Association
Created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, --boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans -- The Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
The USA Boxing Alumni Association is open to anyone who has a love for boxing and would like to stay connected with amateur boxing. Members are granted access to a wide variety of special events hosted by the Alumni Association, including its annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception.
To join the Alumni Association, simply register at email@example.com for a $40.00 per year membership fee. New members will receive a T-shirt, keychain and e-wallet.
“Eric continues to be a great ambassador for USA Boxing,” said Chris Cugliari, USA Boxing Alumni Association Director. “Whether it’s through teaching and mentoring youth through the sport of boxing, or pursuing his countless ventures outside of the ring, he relentlessly pursues his passions and gives back to the next generation. It wouldn’t surprise me if he ran for President someday. We’re excited to witness the next chapters of his journey and appreciate everything he has given to our sport.”
Eric Kelly is now on the Silver Screen and a trip to Los Angeles for next year’s 96th Academy Awards may be in the stars.
Joshua Edwards: Houston Super Heavyweight
Chasing Olympic Dreams!
(October 17th) Joshua Edwards, Team USA super heavyweight boxer out of Houston, Texas, started boxing at just six years old. The highly spirited boxer is known for his heavy heart, dedication, and determination. Edwards, with the guidance of a dedicated coach and the loving support from his family, embarked on a journey that has changed his life.
Edwards’ strong passion for the sport at such a young age was due to his father’s inspiration. From the beginning of his time in the sport, he would lace up his gloves and was eager to learn the knowledge and skills of boxing. Josh is trying to follow in his dad's footsteps, who once trained at the same boxing gym as Muhammad Ali. Josh emphasized that his dad is someone who motivates him to this day, and the sport of boxing has been in his DNA since he was born.
“There were times where I wanted to quit. I thought about quitting and focusing on basketball in high school, but I could see that if I quit it would tear my dad apart,” stated Edwards. “My dad has pushed me every step of the way, through both hard and good times. So, I fell in love with boxing again and have been going stronger ever since.”
Joshua grew up in a big family and has had loving support from his parents and siblings throughout his entire career. Edwards stated times got hard at some points when he wasn’t making money, but his parents were always there for motivation and supported him the entire way.
Josh took his boxing journey to the next level at the age of 11 when he began training under Melvin Malone. The Houston native has stayed with ‘Coach Mel’ ever since and spoke very highly of his longtime coach, as he saw him more than a coach. Malone mentored him, and not only shaped himself into the strong, heavy-hearted boxer he is today, but also taught him the true values of the skills of boxing that he uses in and outside the ring.
Malone’s guidance not only improved Josh's boxing skills but also taught him the values of strength and adversity. This is where Edwards commitment was briefly tested in 2021, when he had to undergo a hernia surgery. The recovery was painful, but it taught him a valuable lesson about adversity.
“My injury taught me something about adversity,” Edwards said about his injury. “I learned that sometimes it isn't a bad thing. I used to always look at setbacks like, man, just why now, this is the worst thing that could have happened, but sometimes adversity is that motivating factor. So having that adversity helped me and now I'm used to this pain, and it is a cakewalk when I have it.”
Edwards fell short of qualifying for the Olympics in 2020. However, he gained experience from that tough time and learned more about the sport and himself. Since the 2020 Olympic Trials, Josh has become more mature and learned the skills of being a multidimensional boxer. Using those adjustments in the ring, Edwards has added impressive career accolades since the Olympic Trials including a third-place finish at the 2023 Czech Republic Grand Prix and the 2022 AMBC Elite Championships, as well as taking gold at the 2021 USA Boxing Elite National Championships.
Edwards may be considered undersized when you put him up against the rest of the super heavyweights around the world, standing at six feet three inches tall and weighing around 220 pounds. However, Josh doesn’t care about the statistics and views his height and weight as an advantage.
"My defense is way better than all my supers (heavy weights),” Edwards stated on his advantages. “I have never been in a ring with someone faster than me."
Josh's boxing techniques go beyond the ring. When walking into a practice or match, Edwards’ positivity and upbeat character fills the gym making everyone laugh and have fun. Josh got this motivation from one of his idols, Roy Jones Jr. Edwards stated that Roy Jones Jr. was best having fun in the ring. Jones Jr. was known for taunting and smiling and toying with his opponents.
The super heavyweight out of Houston, Texas has hopes to live up to the historic city. Edwards has the goal to represent Houston and be the first Houston super heavyweight since George Foreman to qualify in the Olympics. Battling through adversity and being motivated by his father and loved ones, Joshua Edwards is a name that boxers around the world will remember.
Former Amateur Boxing Star Eric Kelly
Acting In New Movie, “Day Of The Fight”!
(October 11th) Four-time National amateur boxing champion Eric Kelly is excited about his first acting role in a movie, “Day of the Fight”, which was scheduled to open nationwide last Friday.
The 43-year-old Kelly plays an assistant coach and uses his real name. “Day of the Fight”, starring Oscar-winner Joe Pesci, Michael Pitt and Ron Perlman, follows a once renowned boxer (Pitt) as he takes a redemptive journey through his past and present, on the day of his first fight since he left prison.
“I’m so excited,” said the USA Boxing Alumni member Kelly. “I’ve been on TV but never in a movie. It’s amazing. I have a good role, a speaking part, not a cameo. Joe Pesci is a legend, but I didn’t directly work with him. I’ve been a longtime friend of Michael Pitt. I’m his boxing trainer in real life. He’s a great actor who people got to know on Boardwalk Empire. He asked me if I’d be interested in being in a boxing movie. I love entertaining and I’m blessed to be part of it.”
Perlman, of Sons of Anarchy fame, plays Pitt’s head coach, Kelly works with Ron as the assistant coach.
“He’s a great actor, too,” Kelly added. “I had to teach him to hold mitts. He’s like a sponge, he soaked everything up.
“Another acting legend is Forrest Whitaker, who played an assistant trainer in the movie, Big George (about Hall of Fame boxer George Foreman. I look at him and I’m playing the same role. Plus, we both have bad left eyes.”
One of the best United States amateur boxers of all-time, Kelly finished with a remarkable 104-14 record, including numerous medals and awards, culminating with him being named alternate for the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.
Born in Titusville, Florida, Kelly moved as a child with his father to the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, and his father encouraged him to box. Eric trained at the New Bed-Stuy Boxing Center and later at the famed Gleason’s Gym, winning his first national title at the age of 16.
In 2001, Kelly was the No. 1 ranked middleweight in the U.S., but he lost in the championship final of the USA Boxing Championships to an unranked Andre Ward, who went on to capture a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Kelly was an Olympic team alternate.
Kelly’s life dramatically changed while training at the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC), where Kelly was trained by Al Mitchell, on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. During a brawl in a barroom, he suffered nerve damage to his left eyelid, after being struck in the face with a pool cue, ending his boxing career prior to him turning pro.
Kelly credits his USA Boxing experiences for preparing him for his latest role in “Day of the Fight.”
“It helped me bigtime,” he explained, especially as a member of the USA Boing National Boxing Team. “I learned how to follow schedules, taking advantage of opportunities, communications, sharing and helping people, how to take orders, celebrity maturity and it was a great confidence builder over the years.”
From The Army To The Ring:
Naomi Graham's Inspiring Story!
(October 10th) In the world of boxing, history is often forged by those who dare to defy the odds and break new ground. Naomi Graham, a star in the realm of boxing, stands on the precipice of such an achievement. Notably, Graham became the first active female military member to proudly represent USA Boxing in an Olympic Games in 2020. As she prepares to represent the United States at the upcoming 2023 Santiago Pan American Games this October, her sights are set on another milestone that has never been reached in the history of USA Boxing, becoming the first ever boxer, male or female, to win back-to-back gold medals at a Pan American Games.
Growing up, Naomi's inspiration came from her older sister, who was a boxer herself. At just the age of nine, Naomi felt an undeniable pull towards the sport. However, her mother didn’t allow her to box or compete until she was much older. It wasn't until Graham reached the age of 24 that she finally stepped into the ring for her first bout. But for Naomi, her family's influence extended beyond her sister. She looked up to her mother as a source of strength and composure, both inside and outside the boxing ring. It was from her mother that Naomi inherited the discipline and resilience that would come to define her athletic career.
Naomi decided to follow in her mother's footsteps by joining the Army in February 2013. Her mother served for six years in the military and had left a lasting impression on her. Joining the Army was a dream Graham had harbored since her childhood, a dream she often shared with her mother. Stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, her military service became the foundation upon which her boxing career would be built.
Once in the Army, Naomi Graham found her way to a boxing gym, where her potential was quickly recognized. She crossed paths with a sergeant from the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), who guided her through the application process to join the Army boxing team. This marked the official beginning of her boxing career, a journey that would take her to unexpected heights.
Fast forward to the present, Naomi Graham finds herself on the cusp of etching her name into USA Boxing history again. Her ambitious quest to secure consecutive Pan American gold medals, a quest that has never been accomplished before by an American boxer, stands as a testament to her unwavering determination. As she prepares to compete in the 75kg weight division this month in Santiago, she seeks to replicate her outstanding performance from 2019, a triumph that would earn her a ticket to her second Olympic Games.
"Anytime I get to represent my country, it's a great feeling,” Graham stated. “If I'm able to bring gold back to my country. It will feel great."
Naomi Graham responds with humility and patriotism that define her character. Graham is currently preparing for the upcoming Pan American Games as she acknowledges the significance of her preparation.
"So, this is actually the best camp I've felt in a long time, to be honest with you,” Graham said. “I have been challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone. It is one thing to know what to do, but to actually do it takes a lot of discipline. So, when it comes to my habits outside of the ring like sleep, diets, and belief in myself, I'm stricter on all those things and it's given me more energy.”
As she prepares for her second Olympic appearance, Naomi Graham reflects on her journey with a sense of determination and purpose. She acknowledges the challenges ahead, recognizing that making it to the Olympics is an achievement, let alone making it a second time. Yet, she is more motivated than ever, armed with the knowledge and experience of her first Olympic journey. She knows what to expect, and this time, she's aiming not just for participation but for redemption and a place in history.
"It's really hard for people to make it one time,” Graham stated on possibility of making Olympics again. “So, it's even smaller chances of making it the second time, and for me, this is a second chance to redeem myself because now I know what to expect versus the first time."
As Graham prepares herself for Santiago and sets her sights on the history books of USA Boxing, we are reminded that greatness often emerges from those who dare to challenge the status quo. Naomi's quest for consecutive gold medals symbolizes her unwavering commitment to her sport and her country, underlining the values of humility and patriotism that define her character. Her relentless pursuit of excellence, even in the face of daunting odds, serves as an inspiration to all who dream big. With her second Olympic appearance on the horizon, Naomi Graham is poised not just for participation but for a legacy that will forever be etched into the annals of boxing history.
Morelle McCane: Bringing Women’s Boxing
To The Forefront Of Cleveland’s History!
(October 4th) In the world of boxing, where every punch thrown and every knockout scored can define a boxer’s legacy, Morelle McCane is creating her own path to history. Her journey, marked by both triumph and tragedy, embodies the resilience and determination that characterize the spirit of a true Olympian.
Long before she officially entered the world of Olympic-style boxing, Morelle and her brother shared a special bond. In the story of Morelle McCane's love for boxing began in her family's kitchen in Cleveland. Here, she and her brother would often find themselves shadow boxing in the kitchen. At the age of 17, during her senior year of high school, McCane started her boxing journey. It was a late start compared to many of her peers, but she quickly made up for lost time with her dedication and unwavering commitment.
However, Morelle’s boxing journey began with an unimaginable loss. After her first fight in the ring, her brother tragically passed away. The grief and pain were overwhelming, leading her to step away from the sport she had just started to embrace. But Morelle McCane is not one to be kept down for long. With time to heal and reflect, she made her comeback, returning to boxing with a renewed sense of purpose and a determination to honor her brother's memory.
Her growth in self-control has been a defining aspect of her career. Learning to harness her emotions and channel them into her fights has transformed her into a formidable force in the ring.
To Morelle, family is the core of her journey, with her mother known to be her biggest fan. In the arena, her mother's unwavering support is unmistakable. Her cheers for Morelle are both loud and filled with emotion and can be heard from anywhere in the arena.
Morelle’s greatest motivation now comes from her nieces and nephews, who have begun to follow in her footsteps and take up boxing themselves. Morelle has embraced the role of their biggest fan, offering guidance, unwavering support, and a shining example of what dedication and determination can achieve. Her influence extends beyond the ring as she nurtures the next generation of boxers in her family.
Morelle is not just breaking barriers; she's setting new standards for women in boxing. As she looks to become the first female boxer and fifth straight boxer to qualify to an Olympic Games from Cleveland, she carries the weight of history on her shoulders.
"I would be so honored to be the first female boxer to qualify from Cleveland. I would be going under the category of greatness." Stated Morelle McCane.
McCane has been tremendous in the ring as she was crowned champion at the 2023 Gee Bee International Tournament, 2022 USA Boxing International Invitational, 2021 USA Boxing Elite National Championships, 2021 National Golden Gloves, and 2020 USA Boxing Elite National Championships. She also secured silver at the 2023 Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Her success is paving the way for other young female athletes who aspire to achieve greatness in the sport of boxing.
"When people see me fight, I don’t want them to say I fight like a dude. I want them to say 'oh my God, that girl can fight,'" stated Morelle when asked about the growth of female boxing and her vision for the sport.
Her passion for the sport is matched only by her determination to see female boxers flourish, with more opportunities and recognition. As she continues to break barriers and pave the way for the future of female boxing, she leaves a legacy of strength, determination, and unwavering commitment to her dreams.
But it's not just her dedication that sets her apart; during her fights, Morelle's vibrant personality shines through. Morelle combines this blend of intensity and charisma that makes her fights a must-watch event.
"When I get in the ring, it is my time to shine,” McCane on describing her boxing personality. “When I get in there, I give it my all, and all of me includes my personality. And it is more fun that way. When I’m having fun, I am at my best because the intensity is there, the focus is there, but the relaxation that you need is there as well."
Morelle McCane's journey is far from over, and she continues to inspire her family, and the growth of women's boxing. As she pushes forward, she carries the hopes and dreams of a city, a family, and a generation of female boxers on her shoulders, proving that greatness knows no boundaries. Morelle McCane isn't just a fighter; she's a beacon of triumph and a testament to the incredible spark that lights up the world inside and outside the ring.
From Camden to Paris Dreams:
The Inspiring Journey Of Jamar Talley's Olympic Odyssey!
(Jamar Talley (USA) vs. Alexander Okafor (GER) GeeBee Tournament 2023 Final)
(October 2nd) In the gritty streets of Camden, N.J., where adversity often outweighs opportunity, a young boxer has emerged with a dream that burns brighter than the city lights. Meet Jamar "No Mercy" Talley, a 23-year-old native of Camden, whose journey through the world of boxing has been a tale of resilience, unwavering dedication, and an indomitable spirit. Although, he came up just short in Tokyo 2020, Jamar has had professional offers since 2018, but he has set his sights on an even greater prize: competing in the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Jamar's love affair with boxing began at the age of seven, guided by the unwavering belief and support of his father, Omar Talley. Jamar and his brother, Omar II, would spar each other in the basement of their Uncle Heem’s house as their punches echoed in the dimly lit room as they'd work out relentlessly. Omar Sr., Jamar's biggest role model and the source of his inspiration, has been by his side every step of the way, bestowing upon him the title of "champ" since his earliest memories.
“Inspirations growing up was really my father. He stayed on me,” said Talley on his father being his inspiration.
Jamar expressed he didn’t have much time hanging out with friends or a normal childhood. Talley’s father would call him after school and would make sure he was in the ring or gym.
However, Jamar's path to boxing glory was far from easy. Finding a coach and a fight proved to be a challenge initially. It was a pivotal moment in sixth grade that led Jamar to the R&B gym, a place that would shape his destiny. Walking home from school one fateful day, Jamar found himself in a dangerous encounter, facing adversity head-on.’
“When I was in sixth grade, around 11-years-old, I was jumped and shortly after that I got into the gym at R&B in Pennsauken.” Jamar expressing the beginning of his journey. “I already knew how to fight because my dad taught me how to box in our basement, but after that I got into R&B gym at 11.”
Jamar then found his coach in Coach Chris Williams and got his first fight in 2015 in Atlantic City. Ever since Jamar hasn’t looked back and continues to make strides toward his Olympic dream. Jamar, proud to be from Camden, is looking to go in history books to represent Camden as a boxer in the Olympics.
“Wow, I would be going down in history, not only to qualify but looking to go out there and medal in the Olympics.” Jamar spoke on the opportunity to be first Camden Boxer in the Olympics since 1928. “It would be an inspiration to my city and would let them know anything is possible, anything can be done, just hard work and dedication.”
“My coach was always telling me, ‘You going to the Olympics, you the next champ.’ He would just always say my face can end up on the Wheaties box,” stated Jamar.
Ever since falling short of making the Olympic team in 2020, Jamar has been more motivated than ever and likes his odds to qualify this time. Jamar won gold in the 2023 Gee Bee International Tournament and AMBC Elite Championship in 2022. Talley also placed third in the 2023 Strandja International Tournament and fifth at the 2021 World Championships.
His dedication to the game will never fall short as summer of 2021 showed that. Jamar returned to his hometown of Camden, where boxing was all he knew and all he wanted. Each day, he would rise early, train relentlessly with his coach, and then share his knowledge and passion with younger aspiring boxers, all in pursuit of his Olympic dream. Nights were spent on a cot in the boxing gym, a humble reminder of the sacrifices he was willing to make to achieve greatness.
Jamar stated the biggest change in his boxing from 2020 to this time around is he is now imposing his own will and expanded his game. Talley said he increased his midrange and inside game which has helped him capture lot of his knockouts and his nickname, "No Mercy."
As Jamar continues to train in Colorado Springs, Colo. for this month’s Santiago 2023 Pan American Games, where he hopes to officially qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Talley not only represents Camden but also embodies the spirit of countless individuals who refuse to give up.