Naomi Graham fights Morelle McCane at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team Trials on Dec. 15, 2019 in Lake Charles, Louisiana
What started from a list of more than 100 boxers is down to just 13 Olympic hopefuls as USA Boxing announced Wednesday the men and women who will compete at upcoming qualifiers for a place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Another 13 alternates were also named for the qualifying event held March 26 to April 3 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The names were determined following December’s 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing and the Strandja Tournament held earlier this month in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The USA Boxing Olympic Qualification Team is as follows: women’s 51 kg.: Virginia Fuchs; men’s 52 kg.: Anthony Herrera; women’s 57 kg.: Andrea Medina; men’s 57 kg.: Bruce Carrington; women’s 60 kg.: Rashida Ellis; men’s 63 kg.: Keyshawn Davis; women’s 69 kg.: Oshae Jones; men’s 69 kg.: Delante Johnson; women’s 75 kg.: Naomi Graham; men’s 75 kg.: Joseph Hicks; men’s 81 kg.: Rahim Gonzales; men’s 91 kg.: Darius Fulghum; men’s 91+ kg.: Richard Torrez Jr.
The USA Boxing Olympic Qualification Team alternates are women’s 51 kg.: Christina Cruz; men’s 52 kg.: Abraham Perez; women’s 57 kg.: Lupe Gutierrez; men’s 57 kg.: David Navarro; women’s 60 kg.: Amelia Moore; men’s 63 kg.: Ernesto Mercado; women’s 69 kg.: Briana Che; men’s 69 kg.: Freudis Rojas Jr.; women’s 75 kg.: Morelle McCane; men’s 75 kg.: Javier Martinez; men’s 81 kg.: Atif Oberlton; men’s 91 kg.: Jamar Talley; men’s 91+ kg.: Antonio Mireles.
Sixty-four men in eight weight classes and 40 women across five weight classes took to the ring in December at the Olympic trials. Winning each weight class wasn’t enough to make it to the qualification event on its own, but it helped. Winners got five points and runners-up earned three points as part of a points qualification system. Athletes earned points not only for their results but also their conduct throughout the process for things like keeping weight and punctuality.
A maximum of 65 points were available. Almost half of those were based on performance. Performance at the Strandja Tournament was even more valuable, with a win worth 20 points, a silver medal worth 15 points and a bronze medal worth 10.
“Some of these boxers were neck and neck between training camp and the 2020 Strandja Tournament,” said U.S. head coach Billy Walsh. “We feel the 13 boxers that earned their place on the Olympic Qualification Team will be the best team to represent Team USA at the upcoming qualifiers, as well as have the best opportunity to qualify a full team to the 2020 Olympic Games [in] Tokyo.”
Athletes who don’t qualify in Buenos Aires will get a final chance at the world qualifier in Paris, May 13-24.