While the US Judo Team had an excellent showing at the London Olympics, the US Men's boxing team not so much.
The USA has been a powerhouse in Olympic boxing, reaching a peak perhaps in 1976, when the team took five gold medals. Ray Leonard went on to become to most celebrated prize fighter of his generation. Both Spinks brothers, Michael and Leon, went on to become world champions, as did Leo Randolph, and bronze medalist 'Big John Tate'. Howard Davis Jr., although he never became a world champion, ended up with a hand happily in the MMA world, as the head striking coach for ATT.
The 2012 team is not expected to produce the same thing any time soon.
For the first time in Olympics history, a U.S. men's boxer will not ascend the medals podium, an embarrassment of historical proportions for the once-rich Team USA amateur program.
U.S. assistant coach Charles Leverette criticized Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya, two mega-stars produced by the USA amateur program, for not formally sharing their expertise. He said both had been invited to help young fighters at USA Boxing headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"USA Boxing and the Olympics made Golden Boy. And it made Ray Leonard. And everyone else out there barking about that they can do,'' Leverette said. "Put your money where your mouth is.''
Earlier this week, Leonard told The Washington Examiner that USA Boxing's two-decade slide into international irrelevance "makes me sick.''
No nation has won more Olympic boxing medals than the U.S. — 109, including 47 gold.
"And it's getting worse all the time,'' said Leonard.
Meanwhile, in back-to-back Aug. 3 tweets by De La Hoya, the 1992 Barcelona Games star said: "That's it! I'm going to request Mark Breland, Sugar Ray Leonard and myself coach the next Olympic boxing team,'' and "I have (too) much passion for the sport I love dearly. Will do something about it!''
Said Leverette, "I saw (his) tweet. I never see him anywhere (around amateur boxing).''
"If you want to do something about it," said the U.S. assistant coach, "how about opening a gym and have some camps for these kids with all the hundreds of millions (of dollars) he's got? It takes money and that's something he has plenty of.''
"We have to help ourselves,'' Leonard told The Examiner, "and I'll help in a heartbeat.''
Leverette and USA Boxing are waiting.
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