(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO) – Two qualified Olympians and an Olympic hopeful will compete in a the Chemistry Cup, March 14-17 in Halle, Germany. 2012 Olympians Joseph Diaz, Jr. (S. El Monte, Calif.) and Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas) and 2012 USA Boxing National Champion Santos Vasquez (Reno, Nev.) will all represent the United States in the Olympic preview event.
The tournament, which is slated to feature over 110 athletes from 19 countries, will begin on Wednesday. In addition to the United States trio, squads from Germany, Algeria, Austria, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Romania, Russia and Uzbekistan are scheduled to compete in Germany.
The tournament draw will take place on Wednesday morning prior to preliminary round action tomorrow afternoon. Chemistry Cup competition will continue with quarterfinal action on Thursday and semifinal round boxing on Friday. The event will conclude with final round bouts and award ceremonies on Saturday.
Diaz will compete in bantamweight action in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The 19-year-old qualified for the Olympics with a top 10 finish at the 2011 World Championships and the Chemistry Cup will be his first return to international action since that event. Welterweight Spence clinched his berth in London at the 2011 World Championships as well, advancing to the quarterfinals at the tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan. He has remained out of action since that time as well.
Vasquez is fresh off his light flyweight victory at the 2012 USA Boxing National Championships in Colorado Springs. His gold medal finish at the premier amateur boxing national championship earned him the right to compete in the final international Olympic qualifier in May in Brazil. Should Vasquez finish in the top three in Rio de Janeiro, he will join Diaz and Spence in London.
Bernard Roach (Washington DC) will serve as the Team Coach for Team USA with Dr. Marilyn Boitano (San Francisco, Calif.) traveling as the Team Physician and Andy Mustacchio (Carteret, N.J.) working as the AIBA official. The United States team will return home on Sunday following the tournament.
The Chemistry Cup is the first international event of 2012 for USA Boxing, and several qualified Olympians from numerous countries are scheduled to compete in Halle as well.
Chemistry Cup U.S. Roster
108 lbs: Santos Vasquez, Reno, Nev.
123 lbs: Joseph Diaz, Jr., S. El Monte, Calif.
152 lbs: Errol Spence, Desoto, Texas
Coach: Bernard Roach, Washington DC
Physician: Dr. Marilyn Boitano, San Francisco, Calif.
AIBA Official: Andy Mustacchio, Carteret, N.J.