Meet the athletes competing in the light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions at the 2016 Olympic Trials for Men’s Boxing, December 7-12. There are 22 athletes boxing in the three largest weight classes at the Olympic Trials in Reno, Nev. The super heavyweight division is the smallest in the tournament with six boxers due to Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) and Brandon Glanton (Atlanta, Ga.) qualifying in both the heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions and choosing to compete at heavyweight.
At the 2012 Olympic Games, Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.) competed in the light heavyweight division, Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) boxed in the heavyweight division and Dominic Breazeale (Alhambra, Calif.) represented the United States at super heavyweight.
The United States’ last gold medal in men’s boxing was in the light heavyweight division. Two-time world champion Andre Ward (Oakland, Calif.) took gold in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and he will be on hand in Reno to support the boxers hoping to duplicate his feat. Current heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) won the most recent American medal in the heavyweight division, claiming bronze in 2008. Former heavyweight world champion Riddick Bowe (Brooklyn, N.Y.) is the last American boxer to medal in the super heavyweight class, taking a silver medal in the 1988 Olympic Games.
2016 Olympic Trials Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight Athlete Rosters
Light heavyweight/178 lbs
1. Steven Nelson, Omaha, Neb. (WSB and World Championship Team Trial)
2. Edward Ortiz, San Antonio, Texas (USA Boxing National Championships)
3. Miguel Teo, Framingham, Mass. (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)
4. Richard Vansiclen, Seattle, Wash. (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)
5. Jonathan Esquivel, Anaheim, Calif. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
6. Elvis Figueroa, New Haven, Conn. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
7. Joseph George, Houston, Texas (Olympic Trials Qualifier III)
8. Eric Moon, Marietta, Ga. (Olympic Trials Qualifier III)
1. Joshua Temple, St. Louis, Mo. (WSB and World Championship Team Trial)
2. Patrick Ferguson, Spokane, Wash. (USA Boxing National Championships)
3. Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)*
4. Derae Crane, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)
5. Adrian Taylor, Mesquite, Texas (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
6. Hakim Lopez, Lithonia, Ga. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
7. Brandon Glanton, Atlanta, Ga. (Olympic Trials Qualifier III)*
8. Sardius Simmons, Flint, Mich. (Olympic Trials Qualifier III)
Super heavyweight/201+ lbs
1. Darmani Rock, Philadelphia, Pa. (USA Boxing National Championships)
2. Marlo Moore, Hayward, Calif. (Olympic Trials Qualifier I)
3. Alante Green, Cleveland, Ohio (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
4. Manase Raikadroka, Inglewood, Calif. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
5. Brandon Lynch, Albany, N.Y. (Olympic Trials Qualifier III)
6. Nkosi Solomon, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Olympic Trials Qualifier III)
* Qualified at both heavyweight and super heavyweight
The tournament next to the athletes’ names denotes the tournament in which they qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials for Men’s Boxing.
Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight and Super Heavyweight Fun Facts
The youngest athlete in the largest weight divisions is light heavyweight Miguel Teo (Framingham, Mass.) at only 18-years-old. Teo won the youth title at the light heavyweight division earlier this year. The oldest athlete in the middle weight divisions is 30-year-old light heavyweight Derae Crane (Colorado Springs, Colo.).
Two competitors in the heavier weight divisions have fought for their country outside of the ring. Light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Omaha, Neb.) and heavyweight Derae Crane (Colorado Springs, Colo.) are both U.S. Army athletes and served tours of duty in Afghanistan. Nelson worked in Satellite Communications and deployed with the 7th Special Forces Group in 2008-09. Crane is a Captain in the United States Army and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012-13.
Steven Nelson enjoyed a special moment at the Olympic Trials for Women’s Boxing in October, proposing to his then girlfriend and fellow boxer Raquel Miller during the finals of the event. Click here for the video.
Multiple athletes in the heavier weight divisions enjoy showing their creative sides outside of the ring. Super heavyweight Alante Green (Cleveland, Ohio) works who in the security field regards himself as a great artist and light heavyweight Joseph George (Houston, Texas) is a musician and poet outside of the ring. Light heavyweights Richard Vansiclen (Seattle, Wash.) and Steven Nelson (Omaha, Neb.) are both barbers.
Super heavyweight Marlo Moore (Oakland, Calif.) and light heavyweight Richard Vansiclen (Seattle, Wash.) have major career goals outside the ring. Moore is an aspiring attorney and and Vansiclen hopes to attain a post graduate degree in nutrition.
Heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) is the second returning Olympic Trials champion competing in Reno. Since his super heavyweight division win in 2012, the vegan heavyweight legally changed his name to Cam F. Awesome. The Pan American Games bronze medalist does stand up comedy work throughout the country when he travels for boxing and will do a set at the Laugh Factory at Silver Legacy on the Saturday prior to the start of competition.
Two athletes in the heavier weight divisions have gotten their own small taste of the Olympic experience. Top ranked super heavyweight Darmani Rock (Philadelphia, Pa.) won a silver medal in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Omaha, Neb.) served as a training partner to fellow light heavyweight Marcus Browne at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Click here for the list of light heavyweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight athlete bios.
Olympic Trials for Men’s Boxing Information
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.
To obtain a media credential for the 2016 Olympic Trials for Men’s Boxing in Reno, Nev., click here.
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). For more information about USA Boxing, go to www.usaboxing.org