Boxing NewsShera Mae PatricioJamar TalleyRoscoe HillAlyssa MendozaRobby Rahim GonzalesEmilio GarciaNaomi Graham

Team USA One Last Dance To Qualify For Paris

by Luke Santangelo

Team USA officially has kicked off their camp for the World Qualification Tournament 2. This tournament represents the final opportunity for the remaining seven boxers on Team USA to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Boxing in Bangkok begins May 24 and runs through June 2. In hopes of turning their lifelong dreams into reality, Team USA will have to place in the top four of their brackets, with the exception of Rahim Gonzales (Las Vegas, Nevada) and Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas), who will have to place in the top three and top five, respectively.

Robby “Rahim” Gonzales, 27, will look to make his Olympic dreams come true by finishing top three in Bangkok. The Las Vegas native is hoping to qualify for his first Olympic Games in his third Olympic cycle with USA Boxing. After falling short at the 2016 Olympic Trials, Gonzales won the 2020 Olympic Trials and seemed destined to represent Team USA in Tokyo, however, the COVID-19 pandemic deterred his plans. With qualification guidelines changing due to cancelled Olympic qualifying events, Gonzales did not have the opportunity to compete in Olympic Qualifiers, ending his Tokyo dreams. Deciding to stay for one more quad, he won gold at the 2021 Elite World Championships, encouraging him to take one more shot at accomplishing his Olympic dreams. Since winning the World Championships, he has been one of Team USA’s top boxers, winning multiple gold medals in international competitions, including the 2022 AMBC Elite Continental Championships, 2023 Strandja Tournament, and 2023 Gee Bee Tournament.

Other notable boxers include Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas), a 2021 Elite World Championships silver medalist and 2022 AMBC Elite Continental Champion, and Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C), the sole Olympian on the roster and 2019 Pan American gold medalist.

Looking to make history in Laredo, Emilio Garcia, has dreams of becoming the first male athlete to qualify to the Olympics. Garcia will look to join his teammate, Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) in helping put Laredo on the Olympic map. Garcia secured two international medals in 2023.

Team USA also has a rising star in Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho), who is the youngest of the 13 boxers. The 20-year-old has had international success and made her presence known by earning medals in three of her four international tournaments this past year.

Shera Mae Patricio, the newest member of Team USA, recently won the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trails for Boxing. The 54 kg boxer also has international experience, taking bronze at the 2022 USA Boxing International Invitational and winning gold at the 2019 Women’s Silesian Championships as a youth. As for Jamar Talley, he is known for his strength and power in the ring, which earned him gold at both the 2023 Gee Bee Tournament and the 2022 AMBC Elite Continental Championships. He also won bronze at the 2023 Strandja Tournament and finished top five in the world at the 2021 Elite World Championships.  Both boxers were just one win away from qualifying in the first World Qualification Tournament and look to make the hurdle and qualify in Bangkok.

Team USA is represented by thirteen boxers, including seven males and six females. Six of the thirteen boxers have qualified to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games from the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and the first World Qualification tournament, including Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas), Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.), Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.) Jennifer Lozano, Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) and Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.).

The team in Bangkok will be led by National Head Coach, Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Assisting Walsh on the coaching staff is National Resident Coach, Timothy Nolan (Rochester, N.Y.), National Development Coach, Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and High Performance Coaches, Adonis Frazier (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Christine Lopez (Rowlett, Texas).

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