U.S. Olympic Trial Previews-- Part 1


U.S. Olympic Trial Previews-- Part 1

Rau'shee Warren looks to become 2-time Olympian

Press Release: Three youngsters have controlled the light flyweight, flyweight and bantamweight divisions in the United States over the past two years, but the Olympic Team Trials will provide great drama in the three smallest weight classes. 2004 Olympian Rau'shee Warren and 2007 Pan Am champion Luis Yanez heads up the 2008 U.S. Olympic candidates in the lightest weight divisions.


Light Flyweight/106 lbs

Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) has controlled the light flyweight division since entering the open class in 2006, winning every domestic event he has entered. Yanez has earned two U.S. Championships titles as well as two Golden Gloves championships in the past two years. He extended his success to the international side in July, winning gold at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Daniel Lozano (Bowling Green, Fla.) advanced to the finals of the recent 2007 U.S. Championships in June before dropping the championship bout to Yanez. 2004 Olympic runner-up Diego Hurtado (Reno, Nev.) is back for a second run at the Olympic Team in 2008. Hurtado made a return at the 2007 U.S. Championships after a long lay-off from the sport. 2005 National Golden Gloves champion Roberto Ceron (Doraville, Ga.) has given Yanez many tough battles over the past two years, holding the number two spot in the country in 2006 and hopes to get over the jump in Houston. Northern Michigan University’s Keola McKee (Wailuku, Hawaii/NMU); Jerail Singleton (St. Louis, Mo.) and Malcom Franklin (Bakersfield, Calif.) will look to make their first mark on the men’s senior division scene in Houston. 2006 National PAL Champion Gabino Saenz (Indio, Calif.) recently pulled out of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing due to problems making the 106 pound weight.


Flyweight/112 lbs

2004 Olympian Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) is back for his second straight Olympic Trials, now at the flyweight division. Warren has dominated the weight class since making the move to flyweight following the 2004 Olympic Games. Now a three-time flyweight national champion and 2005 World Championships bronze medallist, Warren is looking to become the first U.S. boxer in 30 years to compete in two Olympic Games. He is undefeated at the flyweight division in the United States over the past three years, but there are seven boxers looking to complete the upset. 2004 Flyweight Olympic runner-up Aaron Alafa (Visalia, Calif.) has returned for a second run at the Olympics. Alafa has won two Golden Gloves titles since the 2004 Olympic Team Trials – Boxing. Eighteen-year-old Qa’id Muhammad (Atlantic City, N.J.) emerged on the scene in 2006 and the 2006 Under 19 National Champion is fresh off his first Pan American Games appearance. 2007 Armed Forces champion John Franklin (Fort Carson, Colo.) will look to earn a berth for the United States Army’s World Class Athlete Program when he takes the ring in Houston while Bruno Escalante (Waimanalo, Hawaii/NMU) will represent the United States Olympic Education Center in Houston. Timothy Ibarra (Fort Carson, Colo.); Juan Leija (Alvin, Texas) and David Gaspar (Wilmington, Calif.) will round out the flyweight competitors.


Bantamweight/119 lbs

Two-time national champion and World Championships bronze medallist Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.) headlines a talented bantamweight division at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing. Russell has been on a roll since winning his first U.S. Championships title at 16. A hand injury kept the 2005 Athlete of the Year from finishing the 2007 U.S. Championships, but the walkover loss is Russell’s only defeat in the United States since entering the senior division in 2005. Yet there are two youngsters looking to take the bantamweight division, including 2007 National Champion Ronny Rios (Santa Ana, Calif.). The 17-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding 2007, winning both the U.S. Championships and Golden Gloves. 2006 Junior Olympic National Champion Roberto Marroquin (Dallas, Texas) has made quite an impression himself since making his senior division debut at the 2006 National PAL Championships. The 18-year-old is fresh off an appearance at the 2007 Pan American Games. A second hard-hitting junior star is competing in his first Olympic Team Trials – Boxing as well with two-time junior Olympic National Champion Samuel DiPace (Las Cruces, N.M.) looking to earn an Olympic berth in Houston. Joining the trio of teenagers will be veteran and 2004 Olympic Team Trials participant David Clark (San Diego, Calif./NMU). Clark earned his highest career finish at the 2007 U.S. Championships, winning a silver medal and hopes to take one more step up the medal stand in Houston. 2005 Junior Olympic National Champion Sergio Perales (Los Fresnos, Texas), Jessy Cruz (Miami, Fla.) and Alexis Ramos (Fort Carson, Colo.) complete the elite eight competing in Houston.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Boxing will feature 88 of the nation’s top boxers all vying for 11 coveted Olympic berths. First round action will kick off Monday, August 20 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas and run through Sunday, August 26.

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).