The United States 2012 Olympic boxing team has a robust nine team members, making it one of the largest squads at the London games. Australia leads the pack with a full 10 boxers, and Kazakhstan is tied with the USA at nine. The USA will therefore be represented in all but one weight class, Light Flyweight.
Three US boxers were already qualified for the Olympics thanks to their performances in earlier international competitions. The remaining six team members had to qualify at the recent Americas Qualifier tournament in Ro de Janeiro, Brazil.
With nine boxers getting to compete, one would think the team has a chance at a great improvement over their disappointing showing in 2008. In Beijing, previously unheralded Deontay Wilder won the team's only medal, a bronze, saving the United States from the complete embarrassment of a medal shutout.
The United States Olympic boxing team is led by Flyweight Rau'shee Warren, a 2007 World Champion. Warren will be the first US boxer to compete in three Olympic games. His vast international experience makes him a strong candidate to take home a medal, although he's ranked outside of the top 10 in the world by the AIBA.
Team captain Jamel Herring competes at Light Welterweight. He's a US Marine Corps Sergeant, and a two-time Armed Forces National Champion. He also took home a silver at the 2010 World Military Championships.
Bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr. is 19 years old, but already has great international experience. He lost at the 2011 Worlds to Cuba's gold-medal winning Lazaro Alvarez Estrada, making him a potential medal winner at London.
Welterweight Errol Spence is a three-time US National Champion. He lost at the 2011 Worlds to silver-medal winner Serik Sapiyev. With the right draw and a strong showing, Spence has the skills to make it to the medal stand as well.
Light Heavyweight Marcus Browne is another highly regarded member of the squad. He lost to 2009 World Champion and 2011 bronze-medalist Egor Mekhontsev at the 2011 Worlds. At 6'2", he's ready to use his range and skill to bring glory back to the division, which was home to the last United States gold medal at the Olympics, won by Andre Ward in 2004.
The rest of the team includes Lightweight Jose Ramirez, at 20 years old already a three-time US National Champion; Middleweight Terrell Gausha, a late bloomer hoping to peak at the right time on the big stage; Heavyweight Michael Hunter Jr., son of a former professional heavyweight boxer, and product of a long amateur stint after narrowly missing the Olympic cut as a teenager in 2008; and Super Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale, the least experienced member of the team, but one of the most intriguing. Don't forget, it was the inexperienced Heavyweight Wilder who brought home the only medal at Beijing for USA Boxing, and Breazeale could hope to follow in those footsteps.
Sources: AIBA.org, TeamUSA.org, ProBoxing-Fans.com
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, along with interviews, rankings and breaking news stories at the site, or you can follow ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.
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