Olympic Boxing Preview: A Look At Team USA
By: William Holmes
The Olympics are here, and when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. leave the sport it is probable that one of the participants from Team USA will take over their mantle as a superstar in boxing.
This event showcases the best amateurs the sport has to offer, on a world stage for all to see every four years. Some boxers do well in the Olympics only to fizzle in their professional careers. However, many who succeed in the Olympics also turn out to have thriving professional careers.
The bouts start on Saturday, July 28th at 8:25 A.M. and will be broadcast in the US on the NBC family of channels.
The lineup for the US Olympic boxing team is as follows:
Rau’Shee Warren will be competing in his third Olympics and most likely last. He has the most amateur experience on the US team and he will be competing in the flyweight division. The Cincinnati native participated in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics but was unable to capture a medal. Warren is one of the favorites in his weight class and has recently trained with Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach.
Joseph Diaz Jr.
Joseph Diaz Jr. will be representing the United States in the bantamweight division and is coached by his Father. The California native will be making his first Olympic appearance at the age of 19. Diaz competed in the 2011 World Championships and was able to beat 2009 World Championship Bronze medalist Oscar Valdez. He lost to the 2011 Gold Medallist Lazaro Alvarez.
Errol Spence will be representing Team USA in the welterweight division. The Texas native is 22 years old and has won three consecutive US amateur championships. He competed in the 2011 World Championships and lost to two-time light welterweight world champion Serik Sapiyev. He started boxing at the age of 15 and was pushed into boxing by his father Errol Spence Sr. Errol Spence has also trained with Freddie Roach.
Jose Ramirez hails from Avenal California and is still a teenager. He’s currently 19 years old, and stands at 5’10 tall in the lightweight division. He will undoubtedly be one of the taller fighters competing in the lightweight division in the Olympics. Ramirez won the 2012 US National championships and has 11 national titles. At the 2011 World Championships Ramirez lost to Beijing gold medalst Vasyl Lomachenko. Ramirez’s hero in boxing is fellow Mexican-American and Olympic participant Oscar De La Hoya. Ramirez is one of the medal favorites from team USA.
Jamel Herring is a New York native who will be fighting in the welterweight division. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and is the captain of the boxing team. Herring is a good fit to be a captain: not only has he served the US in Iraq, but he also sadly lost his daughter to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Like many successful boxers, Herring uses the ring as an escape from the problems of life. Herring, 26, is also one of the older members of Team USA.
Terrell Guasha will be fighting in the middleweight division and is from Cleveland, Ohio. He’s a five-time Cleveland Golden Gloves Champion, and he won the 2012 National Championships over Philadelphia native and current professional Jesse Hart. Gausha won the Americas Tournament in Brazil in May to qualify for the Olympics. Guasha has been boxing since the age of 10.
Marcus Browne hails from Staten Island, NY and will be representing the United States in the light heavyweight division. He trains at Atlas Cops N’ Kids Boxing Club and is trained by former corrections officer Gary Stark Jr. Browne is a three time Golden Gloves champion and is also a southpaw. Browne works with local kids to help them achieve their goals. Some have compared Browne to fellow southpaw Chad Dawson.
Michael Hunter will be representing the United States in the heavyweight division. Hunter is a Las Vegas native and his father was the late professional Mike “Bounty” Hunter. Hunter is a three-time national champion and a Golden Gloves winner. Hunter, a modern day renaissance man who also writes poetry on the side, has also previously trained with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and admits to being stunned by Klitschko when they trained.
Dominic Breazeale will be representing the United States in the super heavyweight division. He stands at 6’6” and is a former quarterback at Northern Colorado University. He’s a relative newcomer to boxing as he only started boxing about three years ago. His lack of amateur experience may be troublesome for him in the Olympics. Breazeale, who won a Golden Gloves Championship and the 2012 National Championships, trains out of Carson, California.
The Olympics is known for producing Boxing’s next superstars, and it will be surprising if none of these fighters are featured on a major PPV or HBO card after the games.
Golden Boy Promotions have already announced that they will be showcasing Olympic Boxers making their pro debuts on network television. These dates will be on Sunday October 14th and Saturday December 15th, with additional dates to follow.
So not only do members of Team USA have the chance to represent the United States in the Olympics, they also have the opportunity to make their debut on network television if they are able put on an impressive performance during the Olympics.
Jamel Herring will not be the only person from the United State military to be a member of the Team USA boxing team. Staff Sargeant Charles Leverette will act as an assistant boxing coach for Team USA and Staff Sergeant Joe Guzman will be traveling to London as a trainer for the team.
If you’re a fan of boxing, you’ll be following the Olympics, because boxing’s next superstar will likely be participating in the Olympic games.