(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Team USA will compete in the first international event of 2009 at the USA vs. Ireland Dual, February 27-March 2 in Dublin, Ireland. The two countries will face off in two dual events with the first taking place at the National Boxing Stadium on Friday, February 27 and the second on Sunday, March 1 at the Arch Centre Athy. The United States team will participate in a training camp, February 18-24 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., before departing for Dublin.
The United States squad competing in Ireland features many of the top, young boxers who hope to compete for a spot in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. The team showcases three of the top returning boxers from 2008 in two-time Olympian and 2007 flyweight World Champion Rau'shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio), featherweight Olympian Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) and U.S. Olympic Team Trials super heavyweight champion Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.). The trio will be joined by 2008 light flyweight national champion Louie Byrd (Denver, Colo.); 2008 National Golden Gloves bantamweight champion Ernesto Garza (Saginaw, Mich.); 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championships light welterweight bronze medalist Charles Watson (Johnson City, Tenn.); 2008 welterweight national champion Javonate Starks (Minneapolis, Minn.); 2008 U.S. Future Stars middleweight bronze medalist Aleem Whitfield (Geneva, N.Y.); 2008 National PAL light heavyweight champion Siju Shabazz (Las Cruces, N.M.); and 2008 U.S. Future Stars heavyweight bronze medalist Paul Koon (Philadelphia, Pa.).
The team will be led by coaches Hal Chernoff (Fruitland, Md.); Ray Velez (Ridgewood, N.Y.) and Ken Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa). Richard Trindle (Mercer, Pa.) will serve as Team Manager for the event with Larry Ferebee (Lynchburg, Va.) and Tom Cleary (Cincinnati, Ohio) working as AIBA officials and Dr. John Denker (Portland, Ore.) joining the squad as the Team Physician. Mike Stafford (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Sankara Frazier (Minneapolis, Minn.) will accompany the staff as Training Camp coaches.
The 2009 USA vs. Ireland Dual is the first competition between the two countries since November of 2005 when the two nations faced off in a three-nation event in Cleveland, Ohio. The international competition is the first trip to Ireland for a U.S. team since the multi-nations tournament in 2003. The 2009 USA vs. Ireland Dual is the first senior level competition to which the United States has sent a full team to since the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Ireland has not yet announced their roster, but is expected to do so following a competition in mid-February.
106 lbs: Louie Byrd, Denver, Colo.
112 lbs: Rau'shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio
119 lbs: Ernie Garza, Saginaw, Mich.
125 lbs: Raynell Williams, Cleveland, Ohio
132 lbs: TBA
141 lbs: Charles Watson, Johnson City, Tenn.
152 lbs: Javontae Starks, Minneapolis, Minn.
165 lbs: Aleem Whitfield, Geneva, N.Y.
178 lbs: Siju Shabazz, Las Cruces, N.M.
201 lbs: Paul Koon, Philadelphia, Pa.
201+ lbs: Michael Hunter, Las Vegas, Nev.
Coach: Hal Chernoff, Fruitland, Md.
Coach: Ray Velez, Ridgewood, N.Y.
Coach: Ken Buffington, Marshalltown, Iowa
Team Manager: Richard Trindle, Mercer, Pa.
AIBA Official: Larry Ferebee, Lynchburg, Va.
AIBA Official: Tom Cleary, Cincinnati, Ohio
Team Physician: Dr. John Denker, Portland, Ore.
Training Camp Coach: Mike Stafford, Cincinnati, Ohio
Training Camp Coach: Sankara Frazier, Minneapolis, Minn.