Worst showing ever for US Men's Olympic boxing team

by Jon Saracen | source: usatoday.com
 

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.

Read entire article...

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Recent Comments »

anthonyMI site profile image  

8/9/12 5:54 PM by anthonyMI

At the tender age of 6 she watched Don Frye beat Mark Coleman and decided that Judo was for her.

buddie site profile image  

8/9/12 4:14 PM by buddie

True and false, True in that the completion of amateur boxing has changed significantly, false in that the guys who came up in the mid-90's are still the fighters who people talk about when they talk "modern" boxing. Tell me the last big HW fights, you are talking Holyfield v Tyson, Tyson v Lewis, Maybe Kilitchko v Lewis, those fights were a long time ago. People talk about Floyd, Tarver even Vargas (who is retired) is still a name we commonly associate with modern boxing. Yeah it was a long as time ago now, but hey I don't see guys at the water cooler talking about Andre Ward and the super Six. IF boxing comes up, its Floyd vs Pac or some of the fighters from 15 years ago.

Alumynabjj site profile image  

8/9/12 3:23 PM by Alumynabjj

  Not that long ago? Brother how old are you ? 1996 was almost fucking forever ago and has nothing to do with shit going down today.

TARRat site profile image  

8/9/12 3:13 PM by TARRat

<blockquote>Alumynabjj - <blockquote>judoanswersall - I believe many of you are mistaking the THING in the Olympics as boxing...<br /><br />Whatever that was supposed to be - it wasn't boxing...</blockquote>That is the truth. I watched three fights and turned the channel. The scoring is retarded, the rules are dumb as shit, and the level of the fighters was sickening. I cannot believe these dudes were Olympic level. I seriously doubt any truly talented boxer would even fuck with the Olympics. I would just focus on my pro career. <img src="/images/phone/droid.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/></blockquote><br />I actually made it through four. Two of which were basically two guys with zero skill playing rock'em sock'em robots, hoping they landed enough shots to win a decision. One other had one guy (British - can't remember his name) that seemed to have some clue as to what he was doing. The other guy? Not so much. And the last one was the one last night between a Cuban and Brazilian. Those two actually had a pretty good fight.EDIT: were, not was...

buddie site profile image  

8/9/12 12:33 PM by buddie

For those who claim that winning gold "isn't that important anymore" consider that in the 1996 games (not that long ago in the world of boxing) it was Antonio Tarver who was considered to be the biggest favorite to win a gold. There was also a lot of buzz about Roshi Wells, Fernando Vargas and Floyd Mayweather. David Reid ended up being the single gold winner. He got a record signing bonus (1 million bucks without ever throwing a punch as a pro) and debuted on HBO. The others were fighting on USA and telefutura. There were a lot of good prospects on that team (a LOT better than are on the 2012 team) and a handful made good pros. Raheem, Morel had good careers, Tarver, Vargas and Floyd became stars and Cauthen, Diaz and Cley-Bey all got a good push but fizzled out. But it was David Reid, who was on the cover of magazines and making real money at the beginning of his career.

LordSeano site profile image  

8/9/12 9:06 AM by LordSeano

Lol MMA fans are such dorks.I mean its not like Harrison was training in Judo from 6 years old or anything - she just picked it up after watching Bonnar/Griffin I.........Also lol at claiming GB have been getting hometown decisions - we got one decision that was wrong in our favour and arguably one in the other direction last night.Everyone else have been legitimate winners and there's been a tonne of dodgy decisions across all nationalities. Its a function of the messed up scoring system they have now

stillmatic site profile image  

8/9/12 1:39 AM by stillmatic

Warren fights at Flyweight.  There's no money at the low weight classes.  Winning a medal in his case would have given him some buzz, but he still wouldn't be making much regardless.

God Bless Tim Tebow site profile image  

8/9/12 1:19 AM by God Bless Tim Tebow

Warren isn't talented enough to go pro. The other members on the team are.Guys like Jose Ramirez, Joseph Diaz Jr, Michael Hunter and Terrell Gausha all have pro, fan friendly styles.

buddie site profile image  

8/9/12 12:42 AM by buddie

^wrong. That's the reason Rush'ee went to 3 Olympic games, he went twice and got offered peanuts to turn pro.

stillmatic site profile image  

8/9/12 12:32 AM by stillmatic

 Talent is not as good obviously, but the top talents are turning pro early rather than waiting for the Olympics.  They're also fighting a pro style early on and not picking up the habits that work well as an Amateur.  It also used to be a big thing to get that Olympic Medal before going Pro to get bigger money, but it's not even necessary anymore.