The last American man to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing and the 2014 Fighter of the Year will both be ringside for the 2016 Olympic Trials for Men’s Boxing next week in Reno. 2004 Olympic gold medalist and super middleweight world champion Andre Ward (Oakland, Calif.) and two-time world champion Terence Crawford (Omaha, Neb.) will each travel to northern Nevada for a trip down memory lane. Ward and Crawford competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials respectively before reaching entering the professional ranks.
Ward won the Olympic Trials in the light heavyweight division prior to claiming gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He currently enjoys a winning streak that reaches back to 1997 and his early amateur days. Ward will serve as the honorary team captain at the 2016 Olympic Trials and looks forward to passing the torch to the athletes competing for the Olympic dream in Reno. He will arrive on Friday, December 11 and looks forward to catching the final two days of action at the Reno Events Center.
Crawford boxed in the lightweight division at the 2008 Olympic Games and is currently one of the top professional boxers in the world. He was named the Boxing Writers Association Fighter of the Year in 2014 and was nominated for an EPSY in the Best Fighter category earlier this year. He will land in Reno this Sunday to support his close friend, light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Omaha, Neb.) and the current generation of Olympic-style boxers. Crawford enjoyed a stellar amateur career before turning professional in March of 2008.
Almost all of American boxing’s greatest names through USA Boxing and the Olympic Trials, including Olympic gold medalists Muhammad Ali (as Cassius Clay), Joe Frazier, Ray Leonard, Jr., Pernell Whitaker, and Oscar De La Hoya. Floyd Mayweather, Jr., won the featherweight title at the 1996 Olympic Trials, coming out of the challengers bracket to earn his berth on the 1996 Olympic Team. Mayweather won a bronze medal in the 1996 Olympic Games before embarking on his historic professional career.
Hosted by the Eldorado Resort, Silver Legacy Resort and Circus Circus Reno, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s Boxing will take place December 7-12 at the Grande Exposition Hall at the Silver Legacy Resort and the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nev.
The Olympic Trials winners in nine men’s weight divisions will earn the right to represent the United States in the international qualifying tournaments for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sixty-nine athletes will compete in nine weight divisions over six days of competition in Reno, Nev. The event will be a double elimination tournament with each athlete having to lose twice to be eliminated from the competition.
Olympic Trials competition will take place at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., December 7-9 and in one session at 6 p.m., on December 10 at the Grande Exposition Hall at Silver Legacy Resort. Championship round action will be contested at 7 p.m., on December 11 and 12 at the Reno Events Center. Admission will be free of charge December 7-10 and tickets for final round action on December 11 and 12 start at only $16 and can be purchased now at www.ticketmaster.com.
The 69 Olympic Trials participants earned their berths in one of five qualifying tournaments beginning with the WSB and World Championship Team Trial in December of 2014. Qualifying continued at the 2015 USA Boxing National Championships in January and the final six spots were determined at Men’s Trials Qualifiers I, II and III in June, September and October. For more information on the Olympic qualifying process for both male and female athletes, go to www.usaboxing.org.