Team USA Completes Final Preparations for the Americas Olympic Qualifying in Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO) – Years of training and toiling in boxing gyms across the nation has come down to one week of Olympic-style boxing action for seven male Olympic hopefuls. The Americas Qualifier is the final international Olympic qualifying opportunity for Team USA’s male boxers and the delegation is primed and ready for the week-long tournament, May 5-12, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They will face off with teams from north, central, and south America in the event with all of the competitors vying for the final berths in London. The U.S. boxers will need a finish ranging from top three to five based upon their weight division.

The squad arrived in Brazil on Monday for five days of acclimation training prior to the opening day of action on Saturday. The seven U.S. boxers competing in the event each won titles at the 2012 USA Boxing National Championships to claim a berth on the United States team boxing in Brazil. The squad includes light flyweight Santos Vasquez (Reno, Nev.), lightweight Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.), light welterweight Jamel Herring (Coram, N.Y.), middleweight Terrell Gausha (Cleveland, Ohio), light heavyweight Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.), heavyweight Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.), and super heavyweight Dominic Breazale (Alhambra, Calif.).

Ramirez, Herring and Browne will be competing in their second international Olympic qualifying tournament when they take the ring in Brazil. The three Olympic Trials champions each boxed in the 2011 World Championships but did not place in the top 10, which was required to clinch their berths in London. The trio earned another shot at London with victories in the recent USA Boxing National Championships and hopes to officially punch their tickets for the Olympics with successful showings in Brazil. Ramirez and Browne will need a top four finish to qualify while Herring will need to place in the top five to earn his Olympic spot.

Vasquez, Gausha, Hunter and Breazale filled the final four spots on the U.S. squad in Brazil with victories in the 2012 USA Boxing National Championships. Vasquez, Hunter and Breazale have the toughest tasks on the U.S. squad with a top three finish needed for the trio while Gausha must place in the top five.

AIBA has chosen to keep the entry list confidential, but each boxer will learn their road to their Olympic berths at the official event draw on Saturday at noon Rio de Janeiro time (one hour ahead of Eastern Time). Preliminary competition will start on Saturday as well with opening round action taking place at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the first day of boxing. Preliminary round action will continue through Tuesday with two sessions daily at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The all-important quarterfinal round bouts will be contested at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9. The athletes will enjoy an off day on Thursday, May 10 before returning to the ring for semifinal action at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, May 11. Championship action will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday prior to a championship banquet.

Coaches Joe Guzman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Tom Mustin (Tacoma, Wash.) Manny Robles (Paramount, Calif.), and Andy Smith (Chattanooga, Tenn.) are leading the team in Brazil. Ken Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa), is serving as the Team Manager for the event with Dr. Armando Sanchez (Milwaukee, Wis.) joining the squad as Team Physician.

Live scoring for the event can be found on AIBA’s website at www.aiba.org and the semifinals and finals will be shown for livestream on AIBA TV, which will be linked to the AIBA website as well. USA Boxing will tweet results as well @usaboxing.

U.S. Team Bios

SANTOS VASQUEZ

Weight Class: Light Flyweight/108 lbs/48 kg

Birth date: January 18, 1991

Height: 5-3

Hometown: Reno, Nevada

Coach: Don Fain

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS SILVER MEDALIST

2010 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS BRONZE MEDALIST

Jose Ramirez

Weight Class: Lightweight/132 lbs

Hometown: Avenal, Calif.

Birthdate: August 12, 1992

Height: 5-10

Coach: Armando Macinas

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS NATIONAL CHAMPION

2011 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

2010 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

TWO-TIME JUNIOR OLYMPIC NATIONAL CHAMPION

JAMEL HERRING

Weight Class: Light welterweight/141 lbs

Hometown: Coram, N.Y.

Birthdate: October 30, 1985

Resides in: Camp Lejeune, N.C.

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

2012 ARMED FORCES CHAMPION

2012 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS CHAMPION

2011 ARMED FORCES CHAMPION

2010 MILITARY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SILVER MEDALIST

TERRELL GAUSHA

Weight Class: Middleweight/165 lbs

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Height: 5-10

Coach’s Name: Renard Saffo

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION
2009 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

Marcus Browne

Weight: Light heavyweight/178 lbs

Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.

Birthdate: November 10, 1990
Height: 6-2

Coach’s name: Gary Stark

Club name: Park Hill Boxing Club
Began boxing: At age 13, I followed my friend N’Wachi Hartley, to the gym and have been there ever since. He passed away in 2008 but his memory still motivates me to this day

Did you know?: I like to roller blade

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS CHAMPION

2010 NATIONAL PAL CHAMPION

2008 NATIONAL PAL CHAMPION

MICHAEL HUNTER
Weight class: Heavyweight/201 lbs
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.

Birthdate: July 10, 1988

Height: 6-2

Coach: Ken Croom

Did you know: He boxes in memory of his father, Michael “Bounty” Hunter, Sr., a former professional heavyweight

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

2009 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

2008 U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS CHAMPION

DOMINIC BREAZALE

Weight Class: Super Heavyweight/201+ lbs

Hometown: Alhambra, Calif.

Birthdate: August 24, 1985

Height: 6-6

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPION

U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS PARTICIPANT

2012 USA BOXING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BRONZE MEDALIST

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).


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