Team USA Boxing Preview: Rio Olympics 2016
By: Matthew N. Becher
We are less than a month away from the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, with the boxing portion taking place from August 6th thru the 21st. All of the competitors for team USA are set, with six men and two women representing the country. Here are a few notes that may help you keep things in order.
The USA Representatives:
-Carlos Balderas (Lightweight/132lbs) 19 years old; Santa Maria, Calif
-Charles Conwell (Middleweight) 18 years old; Cleveland, OH
-Nico Hernandez (Light Flyweight) 20 years old: Wichita, Kansas
-Mikaela Mayer (Lightweight) 26 years old: Los Angeles, Calif
-Gary Antuanne Russell (Light Welterweight) 20 years old: Capitol Heights, Maryland (Brother of WBC world champion Gary Russel Jr.)
-Claressa Shields (Middleweight) 21 years old: Flint, Mich. Defending Olympic Gold Medalist
-Shakur Stevenson (Bantamweight) 19 years old: Newark, NJ
-Antonio Vargas (Flyweight) 19 years old: Kissimmee, FL
The missing Captain:
The captain of team USA is heavyweight Cam F. Awesome, formerly known as Lenroy Thompson, who qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, but was not able to make this year’s team. Unfortunately Awesome will not be competing at the games in Rio, and fulfilling his dream of winning an Olympic medal. He has also speculated that this may be the end of his boxing career, as he is more of a fan of the amateur boxing style instead of the professional one. For many that have followed amateur boxing for the past several years, Awesome’s personality and leadership will be greatly missed.
While all of our athletes are more than good enough to come home medalist, the cream of the crop are narrowed down to two of our boxers. On the Men’s side, it is Shakur Stevenson. Stevenson is 23-0 in international competition and one of the best young fighters in the world. He has the ability to really make a name for himself in these games and become the first US, Male, Olympian to win a Gold Medal since Andre Ward did it over a decade ago, at the 2004 games in Athens. The other hopeful to bring home the gold, is none other than the best female fighter on the planet, Claressa Shields. Claressa won the Gold 4 years ago in London at the age of 17, becoming the first women to ever win a Gold Medal in the inaugural year of Women’s Boxing at the Olympic Games. Shields is not only a heavy favorite to win, but could outshine all other athletes at this year’s games. She has the makings to be a star and the goods to become a phenomenal pro someday.
Olympic Boxing will be held from August 6th-August 21st. The first events will begin at 10am EST on the 6th. Check this website for updates
http://www.nbcolympics.com/live-stream-schedule/boxing?day=1 and all streaming fights from NBC.