The official draw for the 2016 Olympic Trials for Women’s Boxing was held on Sunday evening in Memphis, Tenn., and the 24 competitors learned their opening round opponents in the second edition of the event.
All of the athletes were called up by weight class to determine their road to a victory in the only domestic Olympic qualifying tournament. 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas), 2015 national champion Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) all received the top seeds in the tournament based upon the Olympic selection procedures for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Esparza will open the tournament in a first round flyweight bout with Melanie Costa (Norton, Mass.) in the opening match of the 2016 Olympic Trials. Flyweight number two seed Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) will take on former light flyweight champion Alex Love (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in the pair’s tournament opener.
Mayer’s first round match will be a contest with Olympic Trials Qualifier I bronze medalist Stalacia Leggett (San Diego, Calif.). The lightweight division will also feature an opening round match-up between two former youth stars. Junior and Youth World Champion and Youth Olympic gold medalist Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) will face off with 2013 Youth World Championships Samantha Kinchen (Lexington, Ky.) in lightweight first round action on Monday.
Shields first bout of the tournament will be a match-up with the U.S. Army’s Naomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.). If Shields is victorious in her tournament opener, she will face the winner of the rematch of Trials Qualifier I finale between Danyelle Wolf (San Diego, Calif.) and Tika Hemingway (Brackenridge, Pa.).
The event will begin with 12 quarterfinal bouts on Monday night at the Cook Convention Center with all the day’s victor advancing to the winners bracket semifinal and their opponents moving in to the challengers bracket. Results will be disseminated upon completion of the session. Click here for Monday’s opening round bout sheet.