(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO) – Light heavyweight Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.) officially qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games with a quarterfinal victory at the Americas Qualifier in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Tuesday afternoon.
Browne is the first American boxer to qualify at the event, which features the top boxers from north, central and south America. The 21-year-old took on the Dominican Republic’s Felix Valera in the light heavyweight quarterfinal contest. Knowing the high stakes, Browne grabbed control of the bout early and enjoyed a 7-2 lead after the first round. The pace slowed over the next two rounds with Browne taking a 9-3 advantage into the last three points. He held on to his lead in the final round to win a 12-6 final decision and a light heavyweight berth in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Browne, who began boxing at the age of 13 after following a friend to the boxing gym, was one of the three Olympic Trials winners competing in the Americas Qualifier in Rio de Janeiro. He fell just short of qualifying internationally at the 2011 World Championships, but stayed focused on his Olympic dream despite the obstacle.
“Well it’s been a long road, but I finally got to where I wanted to with sacrifice and hard work,” Browne said. “I just want to thank all of the people who stood behind me through thick and thin. I can’t wait to get home and get focused on winning the gold in London.”
A product of the Atlas Cops N Kids gym in Staten Island, N.Y., and trained by Gary Stark, Sr., Browne is a two-time National PAL Champion the 2012 USA Boxing National Champion. A southpaw noted for his strong punching power, Browne recorded first round stoppages in his opening bouts at both the 2011 World Championships in Azerbaijan and his Americas Qualifier first round contest in Brazil.
He will represent the United States in the same weight class as the most recent U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Andre Ward, when he takes the ring in London. In 2008, the United States did not have a light heavyweight representative as Christopher Downs failed to qualify.
With Browne’s win, the United States has four boxers qualified for London with the light heavyweight joining flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio), bantamweight Joseph Diaz, Jr. (S. El Monte, Calif.) and welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas).
Light welterweight Jamel Herring (Coram, N.Y.) will look to bring the total to five when he takes the ring against Yoelvis Hernandez of Venezuela at approximately 6:45 p.m. ET.
Quarterfinal Bout Result
178 lbs: Marcus Browne, Staten Island, N.Y./USA dec. Felix Valera, DOM, 12-6
Marcus Browne Bio
Weight: Light heavyweight/178 lbs
Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.
Birthdate: November 10, 1990
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