United States Boxing Team at London 2012
With the conclusion of the AIBA American Olympic Qualifying Event, the United States boxing team has a total of 9 team members headed to the 2012 London Olympics.
This gives USA Boxing the second largest squad, trailing only Australia, which has a full team of 10 members. Kazakhstan is tied with the United States with nine Olympic boxers. The only weight class which the United States will not be competing in at the 2012 London Olympics is Light Flyweight.
The US boxing team is therefore deep, but is mixed in terms of experience, as well as international credentials. Still, after the dismal showing at the 2008 Beijing games, there seems to be promise of an improved medal haul in 2012. Here’s a quick rundown of all nine USA Boxing teammates headed to the London 2012 Olympics.
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- Rau’shee Warren – Flyweight: Warren is by far the most highly experienced and internationally well regarded fighter on the team. London 2012 will be his third trip to the Olympics. Warren won the 2007 World Championships, which ultimately made his Beijing Olympic experience all the more dissatisfying. He’s also a four-time US National Champion. Warren is the only US boxer who made it as far as the semi-finals in the 2011 World Championships, losing to eventual winner Misha Aloyan of Russia. This is his last go round at the Olympics, and in his third try, anything short of the medal stand would be viewed as a disappointment. He’s the first US boxer to compete in three Olympic games.
- Joseph Diaz Jr. – Bantamweight: Diaz was one of three US boxers who was already qualified for London before the recent American qualifying event. He’s 19 years old, and he won the 2012 US Olympic team trials. He was ranked 18th in the world as of May 1st. At the 2011 Worlds, he lost to Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez Estrada, who won Gold at Baku.
- Jose Ramirez – Lightweight: Lightweight Jose Ramirez will turn 20 this August, and he’s a three-time US National Champion. He won bronze at the American qualifying event, locking him into place for the Olympics. Ramirez is a fast, high work rate fighter who likes to pressure and overwhelm his opponents.
- Jamel Herring – Light Welterweight (Team Captain): While Warren is the most experienced fighter on the team, Herring is the elder statesman, and the team captain. The 26 year old is a sergeant in the US Marines, and a two-time Armed Forces National Champion. He also took home silver at the 2010 World Military Championships. Herring finished 4th in the American qualifying event to earn his trip to London.
- Errol Spence – Welterweight: Welterweight Errol Spence is a three-time US National Champion. Speedy and well-rounded, he was ranked 24th in the world as of May 1st. He lost in the 2011 Worlds to Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan, who took home silver at the event.
- Terrell Gausha – Middleweight: Gausha is a two-time US National Champion, and he took home gold at the Americas qualifying event, marking his best international performance. He’s an athletic late bloomer, and is one of many US boxers on the squad who is still making great improvements, and has not yet reached his full potential.
- Marcus Browne – Light Heavyweight: Browne was one of three US boxers to capture gold at the Americas qualifying event. At 6’2″, he’s rangy in the light heavyweight division. Browne lost to Egor Mekhontsev of Russia at the 2011 Worlds. Mekhonstev went on to win bronze, and previously took home gold at the 2009 World Championships.
- Michael Hunter Jr. – Heavyweight: Hunter is one of the more well-publicized US boxers, but he didn’t lock up his trip to London until the most recent qualifying event, where he took home gold. Son of former professional boxer Mike “The Bounty” Hunter, he came up short as a teen in his quest to qualify for Beijing, and now finally gets to compete at the highest international stage. Hunter won Gold at the Americas qualifying event.
- Dominic Breazeale – Super Heavyweight : Breazale took home silver at the Americans qualifying event. A former college football player, Breazeale is the least experienced member of the team, but also has near limitless potential with his overall athletic talents. If that reminds you of somebody, it should – 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner Deontay Wilder.