2023 USA Boxing Trials Preview

by Luke Santangelo

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team Trials are ready to get underway from Lafayette, La. today, where talented boxers from around the country look to keep their Olympic dreams alive. Here is a closer look at the athletes.


The flyweight division is starred by Lexus Ramirez (Hanford, Ca.). Esmeralda Gonzalez (Dallas, Texas) and Sheelyn Patricio (Waianae, Hawaii), are the three top seeds for the 88-person bracket. Ramirez takes the top seed of the bracket after taking the gold at this year’s National Qualifier in March, while Gonzalez, a former junior and youth High-Performance team member, recently won the 2023 Summer Festival to secure her place as the two seed in Lafayette.


Following Gonzalez is Patricio, who had an impressive run in her first elite tournament to win the Last Chance Qualifier in Pueblo, Colo. this past September. Other notable boxers in this weight class are Pricila Medina (Fort Worth, Texas), a former junior and youth High-Performance team member, and Noelle Harro (Fayetteville, N.C.), who has participated in many Team USA high-performance camps as a training partner this year, as well as Zoe Hicks (Lansing, Mich.), who is the wife of 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Champion Joseph Hicks and will be looking to use his knowledge to have a successful run in her Trials.


Irene Diaz (Hawthorne, Calif.) and Mariana Tovar Lopez (Greeley, Colo.) complete the bracket. 


Team USA High-Performance member, Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas), secured Olympic qualification at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. These boxers are competing to be a replacement or an alternate for Lozano. 


The 51 kg. weight class features Jordan Roach (Upper Marlboro, Md.), the 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Champion. Roach, the top seed of the bracket, won bronze at the 2023 Grand Prix International Tounament. Behind Roach is Ryan Williams (Toledo, Ohio), who came in second at the 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Championships and participated in the 2022 Youth Worlds, before making the jump from youth to elite last December. Terry Washington (San Bernardino, Cali.), 2023 USA Boxing Elite National Qualifier Champion, and Alex Espinoza (Garland, Texas), 2023 National Golden Gloves Champion, complete the top four seeds.


Other notable names include Aaron Maximus Garcia (Payton, Utah), Last Chance Qualifier champion, Eli Lankford (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Maximiliano Baez (Reading, Pa.), Kenario Davidson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), David Delgado (Woodland, Cali), Peter Frakes (Cincinnati, Ohio), Marcellus Smith (Garfield Heights, Ohio), and Amos Thang (Indianapolis, Ind.).


The winner will move on and go head-to-head with Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) and try and claim the Team USA spot over Hill and go on to the World Qualifiers in March and May.

Jacob Hammond x USA Boxing

The weight class of 54 kg. in the female division is one of the most anticipated classes in Lafayette. 


The two finalists will advance to attend the January 2024 selection camp in Colorado Springs to secure their position to compete at the World Qualifiers and punch their tickets to Paris next summer.


The top of this talented weight class is Yoseline Perez (Houston), the 2022 Youth World Champion. Perez was the Team USA boxer at 54 kg. in the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Team USA Elite High-Performance Team during the second half of 2023. 


Following Perez includes Kayla Gomez (El Paso, Texas) and Jewry Rodriguez (Humble, Texas), who both were crowned champions at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games in the 52 kg. and 57 kg. weight classes, respectively, to close out their impressive youth careers before jumping to the elite division.

Rodriguez, the two-seed in Lafayette, finished second at last year’s National Championships in the 54 kg. Gomez, next week’s three-seed, earned a bronze medal at the 2022 Elite AMBC Continental Championships at 52 kg. and won the 2022 USA Boxing International Invitational at 54 kg.


Shera Mae Patricio (Waianae, Hawaii) rounds out the top four. The reigning USA Boxing Elite National Champion brings international experience, winning international medals during her junior and youth career.


Jasmine Hampton (Ann Arbor, Mich.) was a member of USA Boxing’s 2023 High-Performance Squad and took top honors at the 2023 National Qualifier. Lupe Gutierrez (Fountain, Colo.) will be returning to the Olympic Trials as she was the 2020 Olympic Trials winner. She also won gold at the 2015 Junior World Championships. 


The bracket will also include rising stars making their elite debuts. Sa’Rai Brown-El (Marietta, Ga.) and Perla Bazaldua (Los Angeles) have had impressive youth careers. Brown-El was the 2022 Youth World Championship bronze medalist and won gold at the Youth Brandenburg Cup. Bazaldua was a gold medalist at the 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup and a silver medalist at the 2022 USA Boxing Youth National Championships. 


Additional athletes in the bracket are Chantel Navarro (Glendale, Calif.), 2023 Last Chance Qualifier Champion, Natalie Dove (Philadelphia), Claire Prince, (New York), Trinity Prospers (Knoxville, Tenn.), Alyssa Vega (Odessa, Texas), Lia Lewandowski (Berlin, N.J.), and Summer Griffiths (Myrtle Beach, S.C.).


This deep and highly anticipated weight class is a must-watch for every bout. Someone fans have had their eyes on for a long time, Steven Navarro (Los Angeles), the 2021 Junior Pan Ams silver medalist and 2022 Elite Nationals silver medalist will be the top seed this week.


Raimier Walker (Liverpool, N.Y.), Francis Stewart (Cleveland), and Abraham Lozano Garcia (Concord, Calif.) round out the top four in the rankings. Walker was the 2023 USA Boxing Last Chance Qualifier Champion. Stewart was the 2023 National Golden Gloves Champion, while Garcia took top honors at the 2023 USA Boxing Summer Festival.


Zaquin Moses (Newark, N.J.) has boxing in his blood as the cousin of 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson. Moses, wanting to make a name for himself, has continued to make strides this year, winning his first elite tournament at the Last Chance Qualifier and picking up impressive wins over former Team USA members like now-professional boxer, Curmel Moton.


Additional names to watch out for in this deep weight class are Jordan Fuentes (Fresno, Calif.) and William Luther (Washington D.C.), Izak Carlos (Olathe, Kan.), Jamir Germany (Norfolk, Va.), Joel Hernandez (Renton Wash.), Yoruba Moreu (Washington D.C.), Jeremiah Perales (Omaha, Neb.), and Phillip Vella (Henderson, Nev.).


Team USA’s, Jahmal Harvey (Oxon Hill, Md.), secured Olympic qualification at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023. With this result, the winner of the 2023 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion in this weight class will become Harvey's alternate.

Jacob Hammond x USA Boxing

The top of the women's 57 kg. weight class are Deborah Grant (Spring Lake, N.C.) and Sierra Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Both women met earlier this year at the 2023 USA Boxing National Qualifier, with Grant coming out on top via a split decision to punch her ticket to Lafayette. Grant also picked up impressive wins this year over Martinez’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) teammate, Lupe Gutirrez, the 2015 Junior World Champion and 2020 Olympic Trials winner. 

Martinez punched her ticket to Lafayette after winning at the 2023 Summer Festival. She brings international experience and Team USA experience to the bracket, as she was part of USA Boxing’s junior and youth high-performance teams and served as a training partner for USA Boxing’s elite team this year.


An additional athlete to watch is Alexandra Fernandez (Splendora, Texas), Fernandez brings years of experience after being part of USA Boxing’s junior and youth High-Performance teams. She returned to competition for the first time since giving birth to her daughter earlier this year. The rest of the bracket will include Atiana Edwards (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Elise Soto (Randolph, N.J.), Valencia Kelly (Atlanta), Lizbeth Oceguera (Calexico, Calif.), and lastly Bianca Ortega (San Antonio, Texas). 

This weight class does not have a qualified boxer for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, which means the winner in Lafayette will go head-to-head with Alyssa Mendoza (Caldwell, Idaho) in the selection camp in January 2024 with hopes of moving on to the world qualifiers in March and May.


Alone at the top of the seeding is Dedrick Crocklem (Tacoma, Wash.), 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Champion, 2022 Youth World Championships bronze medalist, and 2023 High-Performance squad member. Crocklem will look to continue his winning ways and come out on top of the field once again.

Noah Timoteo (Waianae, Hawaii), 2023 National Qualifier champion, Jonathan Mansour (San Diego), 2023 National Golden Gloves Champion, and Alejandro Alvarado (La Puente, Calif.), 2023 Summer Festival Champion, round out the top four in the weight class.


Mansour has had international and world championships experience, as well as competed at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which he hopes to use to his advantage over his younger competitors. Outside of the rankings looking in include Vershaun Lee (Rockhill, Ill.), Troy Nash (Colorado Springs, Colo.), and Dustin Jimenez (Rochester, N.Y.). Jimenez, the 2022 Youth National Champion, will be the youngest male in the field, but one to keep an eye on, while Nash looked impressive in his elite debut at the 2023 Last Chance Qualifier. Lee, who represented Team USA at the 2021 Elite World Championships, began the quad on top and will look to return there.


The bracket is completed by Marcell Bonner (Cleveland, Ohio), Santana Draper (Fresno, Texas), Jordan Jenkins (Dallas), Javy Melgar-Torres (West Valley City, Utah), Cesar Olvera (San Leandro, Cali.), Khalil Osaze (East Cleveland, Ohio), Garrett Rice (Dearborn, Mich.), Israel Rodriguez (Humble, Texas) and Kentrell Rouser (Pontiac, Mich.).

Jacob Hammond x USA Boxing

The top of the 60 kg. weight class is Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.), the 2020 Olympian and 2022 World Champion, who is one of the biggest names anticipated to compete in Lafayette.


Following Ellis is Faith Mendez (Ocala, Fla.), 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Championship champion, who also won silver at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games. Rounding out the seeds for this weight class are Ja’leecia Dominguez (Crown Point, In.), 2023 USA Boxing Elite National Qualifier Champion; and Neida Ibarra (Tulsa, OK), 2023 National Golden Gloves Champion. 


Other boxers in the bracket include Lisa Greer (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2023 USA Boxing Women’s Championships Champion, Jessica Capurso (Sayville, N.Y.), Paige Gilbert (Casper, Wyo.), Karla Hall (Henderson, Nev.), Jessica Lampron (Boston), Alexandra Plichta (Austin, Texas), Angielkia Miles (Rochester, N.Y.) and Kenisha Johnson (Nashville, Tenn.). 


Team USA’s Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) did secure an Olympic quota spot at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games, resulting in the winner of this bracket looking to become the possible alternate for Gonzalez. 


Leading the way in yet another impressive weight class is Benjamin Johnson (Springdale, Md.). Johnson was the 2022 USA Boxing Youth National Champion and 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup Champion, as well as taking the title at the 2023 Elite National Qualifier in his elite debut.


Other boxers to keep a close eye on include Carlos Flowers (Dover, Del.) and Jason Moreno (Philadelphia, Pa.). Amir Anderson, the reigning National Champion, moved up to 80 kg., leaving Moreno as the top boxer from last year’s National Championships. Flowers has been part of numerous High-Performance camps this year and took victories at USA vs. Canada duels, hoping to carry that experience and momentum into these the Trials.


Keon Davis (Houston) and Kamakani Waialae (Waianae, Hawaii), the three and four seeds of the bracket, will be two other boxers hoping to make an impressive run in Lafayette. Davis is the brother of 2020 Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis and has hopes of following in his brother's footsteps who won the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials. As for Wailalae, he recently won the 2023 USA Boxing Last Chance Qualifier and will hope to use that in his favor next week. Andrew Zammit (Centerville, Ohio) also is a 2023 Last Chance Qualifier champion but won the 75 kg. bracket and did so in a dominating fashion.


The final group of boxers listed include Joseph Almaidi (Fort Worth, Texas), Ebenezer Griffith (Centennial, Colo.), Dante Kirkman (Palo Alto, Calif.), Javier Meza (Amarillo, Texas), Jirar Thompson (Inkster, Mich.) and Aaron Waldon (Georgetown, Ind.),


The winner will advance to the January selection camp, where they will go head-to-head against Omari Jones to determine who will represent Team USA at the World Qualifiers for next summer’s Games.

Jacob Hammond x USA Boxing

An anticipated rematch could be seen at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing, as the bracket is deep and full of talent from top to bottom.


The top of the list includes Stephanie Simon (Miami), a 2023 High-Performance Squad member, and Stacia Suttles (Philadelphia), an international medalist who competed at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The two met at last year’s National Championships finals, which was Suttles’s first tournament since the Olympic Trials in December 2019, where Simon took the split decision victory.


With both hoping to be in the finals again, the bracket has numerous boxers looking to break up that potential rematch, including Brooke Mullen (Boyertown, Pa.) and Algeria Johnson (Rochester, N.Y.), the third and fourth seeds in the bracket. Mullen took top honors at the 2023 USA Boxing Elite National Qualifier, while Johnson was crowned champion at the 2023 National Golden Gloves. 


Another name hoping to be victorious in Lafayette is WCAP’s Ariana Carrasco (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who recently defeated Simon in a club show and hopes to do so again next week, has also been a training partner alongside Team USA’s elite high performance this year. 


Other names worth noting as well are Whitney Gomez (Bend, Ore.), who competed at the 2020 Olympic Trials and returned at the 2023 Last Chance Qualifier, as well as Briana Carrera, a former national champion at 63 kg and Carson Crawford (Culver City, Calif.). 


Team USA’s Morelle McCane (Cleveland) secured her Olympic qualification at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023. The winner of this bracket will come into camp as the potential alternate to McCane.


The top seed for 80 kg. is Obed Bartee-El (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who won gold at the 2022 AMBC Continental Championships. A member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, Barteel-El won this past September’s Last Chance Qualifier and was formerly ranked in the top eight in the world.


Nathan Lugo (Marietta, Ga.) follows Bartee-El in the seedings after Lugo made an impressive run and won the 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Championships. Lugo, while one of the younger in his bracket, might be the most experienced boxer, having multiple national and international medals on his impressive boxing resume.


Ethan Smith (Las Vegas,) and Theon Davis (Chicago) round out this strong top four, as Smith recently made the jump from youth to elite after winning the 2022 USA Boxing Youth National Championships and the 2023 Youth Brandenburg Cup, while Davis placed second at the 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Championships.


Missing the rankings but names to keep an eye out for in this weight class are Amir Anderson (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Alexis Chaparro (Ridgewood, N.Y.). Anderson is the reigning 71 kg. national champion but made the transition to 80 kg. this year and was a member of USA Boxing’s 2023 High-Performance Squad. Chaparro competed at the 2020 Trials and took a break, now returning and finishing second at the Summer Festival. His return was impressive, as he won all his fights before the finals by RSC or KO before falling short in a close finals bout and will come to Lafayette looking for redemption.


Boxers rounding out the bracket include Isaiah Carr (Kannapolis, N.C.), Steven Colome (North Port, Fla.), Julian Delgado (Corpus Christi, Texas), Sean O’Bradaigh (New York), Delbert Taylor (McKees Rocks, Pa.), Tyric Trapp (Tinton Falls, N.J.), and Keoni Washington (Antioch, Calif.).


The winner of the light heavyweight class will go against Robby Gonzales, 2021 Elite World Champion, with hopes of overtaking him on Team USA and having the opportunity to compete at the World Qualifiers to punch their ticket to Paris. 

Jacob Hammond x USA Boxing

The winner of the middleweight weight class will look to come to the 2024 High-Performance Selection Camp to overtake the top spot from current Team USA High-Performance member, Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.). 


2022 USA Boxing Elite National Champion Kendra Samargis (Twin Falls, Idaho) is the bracket top seed and favorite to take the title, however, will face tough competition in a potential rematch with Jilian Petroglia (Lindenhurst, N.Y.), who finished second to Samargis at last year’s National Championships. 


Trinity Burke (Shippenville, Pa.), 2023 USA Boxing Elite National Qualifier Champion, will look to break up the potential 2022 National Championships rematch, while Cristine Forkins (Nashville, Tenn.), who qualified into two weight classes at these Trials, will hope to add to her resume after taking top honors at the 2023 USA Boxing Summer Festival. 


A potential spoiler is Talia Halvorsen (Harwood Heights, Ill.), the youngest boxer in the women’s field, is the 2022 Youth National Champion and represented Team USA at the 2022 Youth World Championships, hoping to be successful in her elite debut.


Other boxers competing in this weight class include Seraphina Brown (Belmont, Mass.), Chelsi Davis (Vineyard, Utah), Nadira Mohamed (Columbus, Ohio), Kamyra Ndango (Houston), and Felicia Thomas (Lewisville, Texas). 


Ben Turla (Kansas City, Mo.), Charles Pugh (East Cleveland, Ohio), Malachi Georges (Teaneck, N.J.), and Leroy Clark (Albuquerque, N.M.) are at the top of the seedings for the 92 kg. weight class.


Turla, a 2023 Elite Men’s High Performance squad member, won the 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Championship which secured the top spot in the bracket for him. Following Turla, Pugh went on to win the 2023 USA Boxing Elite National Qualifier, while Georges won the 2023 National Golden Gloves to earn him the third seed. Clark secured the fourth seed by winning at the 2023 USA Boxing Summer Festival.


A name to watch out for outside these four is Derae Crane (Houston). Crane returned to competition this year after taking a seven-year layoff following the 2016 Olympic Trials. Crane, who returned to competition at the 2023 USA Boxing Summer Festival, clinched his place to compete in Lafayette after winning the Last Chance Qualifiers in September.


The remaining boxers in the bracket include Danel Brown (Philadelphia), Kyree Brown Zellner (Virginia Beach, Va.), Jacob Cox (Hutchinson, Kan.), Maurice Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Toriano Johnson (Saint Louis, Mo.), Ali Monaghan (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Eric Post (Gardena, Calif.) and Tyler Yayalar (Sarasota, Fla.)


The winner will move on and go head-to-head with Jamar Talley (Camden, N.J.) to try and claim the Team USA spot and go on to the World Qualifiers in March and May.


The super heavyweights’ bracket in Lafayette stars 2023 Elite Men’s High Performance squad member, Ali Feliz (Danbury, Conn.). Feliz went on to gain the top spot after he was the 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Champion. Feliz also brings international experience to the bracket, as he took a silver medal at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games.


Following Feliz are Steven Williams (Chester, Pa.), Eric Ross (Chicago), and Darnell Thompson (Mckinney, Texas). Williams went on to win the 2023 USA Boxing Elite National Qualifier, whereas Ross won the 2023 National Golden Gloves Champion. Thompson secured the final spot in the seedings by winning the 2023 USA Boxing Summer Festival.


Outside of the rankings, a name that can make a push and make some noise in the field is Ty Jackson (Alexander, Ark.). Jackson continues to grow his game over the last two years and has worked with Team USA recently in training camps, gaining valuable experience against some of the top heavyweight and super heavyweights in the United States.


The remaining boxers in this bracket include Giovanni Perkins-Cornicelli (Rancho Mirage, Cali.), the 2023 Last Chance Qualifier champion, Rockill Brown (Cleveland), Curtis Gee (Little Rock, Ark.), Michael Green (Fort Worth, Texas), Jessie Jombo (Grand Prairie, Texas), Gilbert Kabamba (Boston, Mass.) and Alonzo Neal (Aurora, Colo.).


Boxers in this weight class will be looking to take top honors in Lafayette and become the alternate to Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas), who secured his place in next summer’s Olympic Games with his gold medal performance at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023.


To access the official 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing Media Guide please click here.

 

2023 USA Boxing Trials

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