BOXING: Team USA to Compete in the Battle Across the Border with Mexico's National Team, January 18 in San Diego
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.)-Eleven members of USA Boxing's National Team will compete in the opening event of 2008, vying in the Battle Across the Border, January 18 at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, Calif. The international dual competition will feature top boxers from both the United States and Mexico as both countries countdown toward the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The event, which is being presented by the San Diego International Sports in partnership with USA Boxing, will provide an early glimpse of many of the boxers who will be competing for Olympic gold in August in Beijing, China. The U.S. team is highlighted by three members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic boxing team, led by 2007 Pan American Games light flyweight gold medalist Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas). He is joined by two Southern California natives, light welterweight Javier Molina (Commerce, Calif.) and middleweight Shawn Estrada (E. Los Angeles, Calif.). It will be a family affair for Molina, whose twin brother, Oscar, will be representing the Mexican team at the welterweight division. The Olympic trio will be joined by 2007 U.S. Championships runner-up Daniel Lozano (Bowling, Green, Fla.), competing at the flyweight division; hometown boxer and 2007 U.S. Championships bantamweight silver medalist David Clark (San Diego, Calif.); 2006 National PAL featherweight champion Rico Ramos (Los Angeles, Calif.); Olympic Trials lightweight runner-up Miguel Gonzalez (Cleveland, Ohio); 2007 National Golden Gloves light heavyweight champion Siju Shabazz (Las Cruces, N.M.); 2006 U.S. Championships heavyweight bronze medalist David Carey (Anchorage, Alaska); and two-time super heavyweight national champion Mike Wilson (Central Point, Ore.). The Mexican team will be represented by: light flyweight Odilon Zaleta; flyweight Braulio Avila; bantamweight Oscar Valdez; featherweight Arturo Santos; lightweight Francisco Vargas; light welterweight Jessie Vargas; welterweight Oscar Molina; middleweight Marco Antonio Periban; light heavyweight Joshua Garza; heavyweight Javier Torres; and super heavyweight Andres Ruiz. Team USA will be taking part in a preparatory training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., with the remaining members of the United States Olympic Team. The U.S. team will be led by USA Boxing National Director of Coaching Dan Campbell (Colorado Springs, Colo.); USA Boxing Resident Coordinator Larry Nicholson (Colorado Springs, Colo.); and Mario L'Esperance (Vacaville, Calif.). Eppie Quintana (Velarde, N.M.) will serve as Team Manager with Joe Sanchez (Darien, Ill.) and Brent Venegas (Colma, Calif.) working as AIBA officials, and Linda de la Paz (Augusta, Ga.) participating as the computer technician. Dr. Armando Sanchez (Milwaukee, Wis.) will join the delegation as the Team Physician. The 2008 Battle Across the Border will be the first USA vs. Mexico Dual since 2000. Former professional world champions Jermain Taylor (Little Rock, Ark.) and Jeff Lacy (St. Petersburg, Fla.) both competed in the earlier event prior to boxing in the 2000 Olympic Games.