MaxBoxing
Crave Online

SPORTS  >  MAXBOXING

MaxTV Podcasts Fight Schedule Radio Todays Press Message Boards
Login
 
Max Analysis
John Raspanti
Radio Rahim
Radio Rahimn's Interviews Radio Rahim's Facebook Radio Rahim's Google+ Radio Rahim's Website email Radio Rahim
Talkin Boxing With Billy C Live
Talkin Boxing with Billy C on YouTube

LUIS CORTES

Luis Cortes Archive

ALEC KOHUT

Alec Kohut Archive

MARTY MULCAHEY

Marty Mulcahey Archive

ALLAN SCOTTO

Allan Scotto Archive

STEPHEN TOBEY

Stephen Tobey Archive

GERMAN VILLASENOR

German Villasenor Archive

ANSON WAINWRIGHT

Anson Wainwright Archive

MATTHEW PARAS

Matthew Paras Archive

DANIEL KRAVETZ

Daniel Kravetz Archive

JASON GONZALEZ

Jason Gonzalez Archive
Espinoza Boxing Club

RECENT TOPICS ON THE MAXBOXING FORUMS















featured sponsor

2012 Olympic Trials Projections and Preview

 Raushee Warren (Photo © Brian Kersey UPI)
Raushee Warren (Photo © Brian Kersey UPI)


The London Games are just around the corner, which means the U.S. Olympic Trials are lurking as well. This year’s festivities for the men will take place in Mobile, Ala., from July 31-Aug. 6 (The women don’t duke it out until next year).
 
To earn the right to participate in the Olympic Trials tournament, an American amateur must earn one of the eight spots afforded each weight class. Here’s the breakdown:
 
• The 2010 National PAL Champion (1)
• The 2011 National Golden Gloves Champion (1)
• The 2011 Armed Forces National Champion (1)
• The 2011 USA Boxing National Championships’ top four finishers (4)
• The 2011 Last Chance Qualifier Tournament Champion (1)
 
All of the aforementioned contests have been completed with the exception of the Last Chance Qualifier Tournament next week in Cincinnati (July 4-9). 

After the fruitless debacle in Beijing where the 2008 team made history for the wrong reasons, is there a gold medalist in this group? We’ll find out in London but for now, here’s a comprehensive list of the fighters in each weight class who have already punched their tickets to Mobile. Of course, everything is subject to change.
 
 
FLYWEIGHT (108 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Louie Byrd (Denver, CO)*
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: None
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Santos Vasquez (Reno, NV)
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: David Carlton (Cincinnati, OH)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Louie Byrd (Denver, CO)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Gregory Outlaw (Glenarden, MD)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Norberto Torres (Orlando, FL)
 
*Byrd qualified for the Trials with his second-place finish at U.S. Nationals, so his runner-up in the National PAL, Marco Rangel (Scottsdale, AZ), will assume his spot there. I have not received word from USA Boxing as far as what they plan to do with the vacant Armed Forces berth.
 
COMMENTS: Byrd almost pulled the hallowed amateur trifecta of titles in the PAL, Golden Gloves, and U.S. Nationals but fell just short in the finals last week to Carlton. Still, “King Louie” will be the prohibitive favorite to win it all, while Vasquez, the 2009 PAL champ and Golden Gloves titlist, looks to be a dark horse candidate to unseat him. Out of the Last Chance Qualifier pool, Eros Correa (San Jose, CA) almost toppled Byrd in the semifinals of Nationals last week, tying the Colorado juggernaut but was edged by total punches counted.
 
BANTAMWEIGHT (114 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, OH)
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Army Sgt. John Franklin (Fort Carson, CO)*
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Louie Byrd (Denver, CO)*
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Army Sgt. John Franklin (Fort Carson, CO)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Oscar Cantu (Kingsville, TX)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Emilio Sanchez (Pacoima, CA)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Gabriel Montoya (Cheyenne, WY)
 
*Byrd will campaign at flyweight, so his runner-up in the National Golden Gloves, Stephon Young (St. Louis, MO), will replace him in that spot. Franklin won gold at U.S. Nationals, so Armed Forces runner-up Marine Cpl. Alex Diaz (Camp Lejeune, NC) would theoretically jump in that slot.
 
COMMENTS: The lightning-quick Warren, having qualified for the Trials last year by winning the PAL, is the 2007 AIBA World Champion at flyweight and competed in the pro-style World Series of Boxing for the Los Angeles Matadors. Now the southpaw must don the headgear and singlet once more in hopes of erasing the memory of a disappointing first-round loss in the 2008 Olympics. Franklin, who won both last week’s Nationals and the Armed Forces title, will have the upset on his mind.
 
FEATHERWEIGHT (123 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: O’Shanique Foster (Orange, TX)
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Marine LCpl. Abraham Lopez (Camp Lejeune, NC)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Tramaine Williams (New Haven, CT)
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Joseph Diaz Jr. (El Monte, CA)
2011 USAB National. Championships Silver: Joet Gonzalez (Glendora, CA)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Antonio Nieves (Cleveland, OH)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Luis Feliciano (Milwaukee, WI)
 
COMMENTS: Diaz won his second gold in two years at Nationals and aside from a slip-up at the Southern California Regional Golden Gloves, has earned his top billing in the USA Boxing rankings. One bout to watch would be a matchup with Williams, a diminutive southpaw with outstanding hand speed who defeated Nieves to pencil himself in for Mobile. Gary Antonio Russell (Capitol Heights, MD), hoping to join his older brother Gary Allen, is among the Last Chance Qualifier entrants.
 
LIGHTWEIGHT (132 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Kenneth Sims Jr. (Chicago, IL)*
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Army Sgt. Toribio Ramirez (Fort Stewart, GA)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Erick DeLeon (Detroit, MI)
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Jose Ramirez (Avenal, CA)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Toka Kahn Clary (Providence, RI)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Kenneth Sims Jr. (Chicago, IL)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Damon Allen (Philadelphia, PA)
 
*Sims qualified with his third-place finish at U.S. Nationals so National PAL runner-up, Luis Cruz (Bronx, NY) makes it to Trials.
 
COMMENTS: In my opinion, the lightweight division is USA Boxing’s deepest. In addition to Sims, a solid inside fighter, you have Clary, a former top ten featherweight, along with the switch-hitting DeLeon, who earned his citizenship just four months ago and defeated Ramirez in the Golden Gloves.  However, I’ve tracked Ramirez’s career for quite some time, and he didn’t repeat at Nationals last week on a fluke; he fights like a seasoned veteran and will definitely study the tape in a likely second go-around with DeLeon at the Trials.  The Last Chance Qualifier will be vehemently contested, with Beijing Olympian featherweight Raynell Williams (Cleveland, OH), last year’s silver medalist at Nationals and L.A. Matador Eric Flores (Inglewood, CA), as well as former Philippine National Team member Adam Fiel (Vacaville, CA).
 
LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT (141 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Pedro Sosa (Bronx, NY)
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Marine Cpl. Jamel Herring (Camp Lejeune, NC)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Michael Reed (Waldorf, MD)*
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Semajay Thomas (Chicago, IL)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Thomas Duquette (Waltham, MA)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Michael Reed (Waldorf, MD)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Gary Allen Russell III (Capitol Heights, MD)
 
*Reed advanced to Trials with a third-place showing in U.S. Nationals, so his National Golden Gloves runner-up, George Rincon (Carrollton, TX), will come to Mobile.
 
COMMENTS: Sosa was upset in the second round of Nationals by Duquette but the New York native can still counterpunch and left hook with the best of them. Reed and Russell (Gary Jr.’s little brother) have fought each other out of the Beltway multiple times in some heated wars and will have their say in the Trials as well. Reed holds a victory of 152-pound Irish national champ Paddy Gallagher. Among the 61(!) names in the Last Chance Qualifier are former 2009 National champ at lightweight Duran Caferro (Helena, MT) and California PAL champ Andy Vences (San Jose, CA).
 
WELTERWEIGHT (152 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Errol Spence (Desoto, TX)*
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Army Sgt. Samuel Vasquez (Fort Carson, CO)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Arturo Trujillo (Easton, PA)
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Errol Spence (Desoto, TX)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Luis Olivares (Glendale, AZ)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Willie Jones (Charlotte, NC)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Regis Prograis (Houston, TX)
 
*Spence won U.S. Nationals and his National PAL runner-up, Antoine Douglas, has qualified in the 165-pound division. Unless USA Boxing goes in a different direction, they would probably go with either National PAL semifinal loser, which would be Reyes Marquez (Fountain, CO) or Bryant Perrella (Fort Myers, FL). I hope to see a box-off here so the fighters can settle it in the ring.
 
COMMENTS: Spence is the outright favorite. He won every bout at Nationals by six points or more (with one stoppage) and has received rave reviews from pros in sparring, including former National Golden Gloves champ and top pro prospect Jose Benavidez Jr. Golden Gloves runner-up Alex Martin (Chicago, IL) and last year’s Golden Gloves champ, David Grayton (Washington, DC) are a couple names to monitor at the Last Chance Qualifier.
 
 MIDDLEWEIGHT (165 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: D’Mitrius Ballard (Temple Hills, MD)
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Marine Cpl. Damarias Russell (Camp Lejeune, NC)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Jesse Hart (Philadelphia, PA)*
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Chris Pearson (Trotwood, OH)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Edgar Alvarado Jr. (San Bernadino, CA)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Antoine Douglas (Burke, VA)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Martez Jackson (Valdosta, GA)
 
*If Hart moves up to light heavyweight, Daquan Arnett (Orlando, FL) makes it to Mobile. Otherwise, Arnett will go to the Last Chance Qualifier.
 
COMMENTS: It’s a wide-open 165-pound division without Hart, who has not made a final decision whether or not to campaign at light heavyweight instead. Pearson edged Alvarado by a point at Nationals but one would be remiss not to mention the Beltway duo of Ballard and the Douglas, the latter of whom upset the former at the Washington, DC Golden Gloves in April. Last year’s champ at Nationals, Luis Arias (Milwaukee, WI), will be present at the Last Chance Qualifier and hopes to win it.
 
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (178 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Marcus Browne (Staten Island, NY)
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Army Spc. Jeffrey Spencer (Fort Carson, CO)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Caleb Plant (Ashland City, TN)
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Jesse Hart (Philadelphia, PA)*
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Jerry Odom (Bowie, MD)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Sijuola Shabazz (Las Cruces, NM)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: Sean Bettencourt (Stoughton, MA)
 
*If Hart moves back down to middleweight, USA Boxing has not stated who would take the slot.
 
COMMENTS: Spencer, who once served in Iraq, had won last year’s Nationals but was upset by Shabazz (who had moved down from heavyweight) in the second round last week. Hart, well-decorated on the national level and a part of USA Boxing’s program at Northern Michigan, figures to make a serious run along with the heavy-handed Odom. Last year’s silver medalist at Nationals, Robert Brant (St. Paul, MN) has thrown his hat into the ring for the Last Chance Qualifier and will be favored to take it.
 
HEAVYWEIGHT (201 POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Steve Geffrard (Boca Raton, FL)
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Army Sgt. Charles Blackwell (Tucson, AZ)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, NV)
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Jordan Shimmell (Hudsonville, MI)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: Andrew Tabiti (Las Vegas, NV)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Joseph Williams (Far Rockaway, NY)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: James Shorter (Northridge, CA)
 
COMMENTS: Geffrard, last year’s top-ranked 201-pounder and Hunter, a former Olympian and national champ, are the two names that stick out in the heavyweight roster. Hunter has actually made news in the pro game by helping prepare THE RING/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko for tomorrow’s unification with WBA beltholder David Haye. Former Junior Olympic gold medalist Joshua Temple (St. Louis) is one of the familiar names at the Last Chance Qualifier.
 
SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT (201+ POUNDS)
 
2010 National PAL Champion: Lenroy Thompson (Uniondale, NY)*
2011 Armed Forces National Champion: Army Ssg. Andrew Shepherd (Fort Carson, CO)
2011 National Golden Gloves Champion: Lenroy Thompson (Uniondale, NY)*
2011 USAB National Championships Gold: Jonathan Hamm (St. Paul, MN)
2011 USAB National Championships Silver: LaRon Mitchell (San Francisco, CA)
2011 USAB National Championships Bronze: Dominic Breazeale (Anaheim, CA)
2011 USAB National Championships 4th: O’Jayland Brown (Sacramento, CA)
 
*USA Boxing has yet to make a decision whether to take Thompson’s runner-up in the PAL, Roberto Morban (Bronx, NY), or the man he defeated in the Golden Gloves, Donovan Dennis (Davenport, IA).  Much like the conundrum with the welterweights, may I suggest a box-off in this situation as well?
 
COMMENTS: Mitchell has a story that would make James J. Braddock smile. Despite only ten months of ring experience, he upset second-ranked counterpuncher Danny Kelly (Washington, DC), top-ranked southpaw Thompson, and third-seeded, powerful Brown en route to silver at Nationals, where he pulled out of the final with fellow upstart Hamm due to a shoulder injury. Thompson, who was gunning for the trio of titles in the PAL, Golden Gloves, and Nationals, will enter Trials as the favorite nonetheless. Joining Kelly at the Last Chance Qualifier is Hasim Rahman Jr. (Las Vegas, NV). The son of the former heavyweight champion of the world was also a part of the Northern Michigan University program.
 

Ryan is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Contact him through email at rmaquinana@gmail.com, through Facebook at facebook.com/rmaq28 or follow him on Twitter @rmaq28.



© 2010 MaxBoxing UK Ltd