Six Members of the United States Olympic Boxing Team to Compete in the Americas Olympic Qualifier

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Six members of the United States Olympic Boxing Team will vie for a berth in the 2008 Olympic Games, March 12-18 at the Jean Pierre Complex in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Lightweight Sadam Ali (Brooklyn, N.Y.); light welterweight Javier Molina (Commerce, Calif.); middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.).; light heavyweight Christopher Downs (Fort Carson, Colo.); heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.); and super heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) will all compete in the event, which is the second international Olympic qualifier.

The U.S. team will travel to Port of Spain on Saturday, March 8, with competition beginning on March 12. Molina and Downs will have to place in the top three finishers at the event to qualify with Ali, Estrada and Wilder all having to advance to the final round to earn a berth at the Olympics. Hunter is the lone boxer who will have to win gold to punch his ticket for Beijing. Both the draw and the first day of boxing will take place on March 12 with preliminary action running through March 15 and a rest day of March 16. Semifinal competition will be contested on March 17 and final round action will take place on March 18.

Nineteen countries from North, Central and South America are scheduled to compete in the first continental qualifier. Cuba will send a full 11-man squad to the event after choosing not to compete in the 2007 AIBA World Championships, the first international Olympic qualifier in October. In addition, teams from Ecuador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Argentina, Guyana, the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands will all send at least six boxers to the qualifying event. Delegations from Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Jamaica, Barbados, Peru and El Salvador have all confirmed their participation as well.

The six U.S. team members will look to join their five teammates, light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas); flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio); bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.); featherweight Raynell Willams (Cleveland, Ohio) and welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.), who qualified for the Olympic Games at the 2007 World Championships in Chicago, Ill., in October.

The U.S. team will be led by USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Dan Campbell (Colorado Springs, Colo.); 2008 Olympic coach Willy Price (Peshtigo, Wis.); and 2004 Olympic Head Coach and 2008 Olympic Technical Advisor Basheer Abdullah (Fort Carson, Colo.).

If any of the U.S. boxers fail to qualify at the Americas Olympic qualifier in Trinidad, they will have a third opportunity, April 23-30 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Results will be disseminated upon completion of bouts. E-mail Julie Goldsticker at with any questions during competition.

Americas Olympic Qualifier Roster
132 lbs/60 kg: Sadam Ali, Brooklyn, N.Y. (must finish in top two to qualify)
141 lbs/64 kg: Javier Molina, Commerce, Calif. (must finish in top three to qualify)
165 lbs/75 kg: Shawn Estrada, E. Los Angeles, Calif. (must finish in top two to qualify)
178 lbs/81 kg: Christopher Downs, Fort Carson, Colo. (must finish in top three to qualify)
201 lbs/91 kg: Deontay Wilder, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (must finish in top three to qualify)
201 lbs+/91+ kg: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev. (must win to qualify)

Americas Olympic Qualifier Schedule
March 8: United States team arrives
March 12-15: Preliminary competition
March 16: Rest Day
March 17: Semifinal Bouts
March 18: Championship Bouts

Article posted on 07.03.2008

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