|Andre Ward wins gold in Athens|
The United States boxing team will be sending a large number of boxers, nine men and three women in the 2012 London Olympics. After years of dominating Olympic boxing, the Americans were not doing good in boxing the previous Games.
Only Andre Ward won the gold medal in 2004 in Athens, the only gold medal for the Americans in the three previous Olympics. In 2008 in Beijing, US won only one bronze medal courtesy of Deontay Wilder.
In London, Team USA will be led by Rau’shee Warren, the flyweight boxer from Cincinnati who will become the first three-time Olympian in US boxing history. In the previous two Olympics, Warren has lost each of his two fights, but remained in the amateur ranks to pursue his dream of putting a gold medal around his mother’s neck.
“I’m going for an Olympic dream, but that’s what everybody is doing,” Warren said. “It’s going to be the toughest thing I’ve ever done, but I waited for it.”
The inclusion of women’s boxing for the first time in the Olympics opened a new opportunity for Queen Underwood, the five-time American champion who started her boxing career nearly a decade ago with no chance of gaining an Olympic glory or harvesting financial incentives. She just simply boxed for the love of the sport and never turned pro.
“This whole process has been a dream come true,” said Underwood, who qualified for an Olympic berth just five weeks prior to the start of the London Games. “So many women have worked so hard to get us here, and now we just want to go out and put on a great show for everybody, and show we deserve to be right next to the men at the Olympics.”
The US team has the most athletes qualified for boxing in London. The boxers qualified through the 2011 Men’s World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, 2012 Women’s World Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, or the 2012 AIBA America’s Olympic Qualifier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Famous American boxers who won Olympic gold medals were superheavyweight Tyrell Biggs (1984), lightwelterweight Ray Leonard (1976), lightmiddleweight Frank Tate (1984), heavyweights Rey Mercer (1988), Joe Frazier (1964), George Foreman (1968), lightheavyweights Leon Spinks (1976), Andrew Maynard (1988), Cassius Clay (1960), middleweights Michael Spinks (1976), Floyd Patterson (1952), welterweights Mark Breland (1984), lightweights Oscar de la Hoya (1992), Howard Davis (1976), Pernell Whitaker (1984), featherweights Meldrick Taylor (1984), and flyweight Steve McCrory (1984), among others.
Source: Maloney L. Samaco, PhilBoxing