Meet The Six U.S. Boxers To Qualify For The Tokyo Olympic Games

Author: Megha


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Slowly but finally, we are getting the names of all the boxers who will participate in the Olympics Games in Tokyo 2021. Here’s some good news for all the Americans who are early waiting to see their favorite athlete fight in the ring at the Olympics this summer. The Boxing Task Force (BTF) announced the availability of 49 quota spots in the Olympics, among which six are reserved for the Americans. Initially, these spots were provided based on the qualifiers. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, qualifiers will no longer be happening. Therefore, this year, the U.S. boxers competing in the Olympics were picked on the basis of BTF or World Rankings.

 

Note: To know more about the Tokyo Olympics Games, please visit the official webpage. 

USA Boxing High Performance Director Matt Johnson said, “These six boxers have been staples within our program and have established themselves amongst the world’s best by their performances during the past quad. Now it is time for them to perform at the world’s biggest stage in Tokyo.”

Unfortunately, many prominent U.S. boxers didn’t get a chance to qualify for Tokyo Olympics, namely: Anthony Herrera (men's flyweight), Charlie Sheehy, Joseph Hicks, Bruce Carrington (men's featherweight), Darius Fulghum (men's heavyweight), Rahim Gonzales (men's light heavyweight), Andrea Medina (women's featherweight).

However, here is the list of six boxing athletes who are going to represent the United States at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Learn more about these U.S. boxers before you watch them in the ring. 

 

Rashida Ellis

Rashida Ellis is a 26-year-old bronze medalist at Elite Women's World Championships. She is going to make her Olympic debut this year. Ellis is one of the top players on the USA boxing team and holds the second position in BTF Americas rankings. However, her overall rank among the lightweight boxers in the world is 12th. She is one of the best U.S. boxers to compete in multiple international championships and has brought home several medals. Right from a bronze medal at Pan American Games 2019 to an international gold at the Pan Am Qualifier, Rashida Ellis has always been an outstanding performer in the ring.

At a press conference by USA Boxing, Ellis said, "Qualifying for the Olympics has been one of my deepest dreams. I never doubt my ability. I have stopped being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited about what could go right. So, I embrace my mistakes and learn from them, as my mistakes have helped me improve and reach the Olympics. I don't do easy; I make things happen. With hard work and dedication with effort and determination, I can succeed."

 

Weight class: Lightweight

Classification: 60 kg

D.O.B: June 4, 1995

Hometown: Lynn, Massachusetts, U.S.

Team/Club: Private Jewels Fitness

Coach(es): Ronald Ellis

 

Virginia Fuchs

The U.S. boxing team is considered among the best teams in the world, and Virginia Fuchs played a significant role in achieving that. At the age of 33, she has been selected for her first Olympic game. Among the list of best U.S. boxers in the flyweight category, she holds the second position in BTF ranking and 16th in the world. Fuchs won a silver medal at the Pan American Games in 2019, followed by a bronze medal in 2018 at the world championships. With several victories and an impressive record in the ring, Fuchs has been one of the best U.S. boxers in the recent decade.  

Fuchs expressed her happiness at being qualified for the Tokyo Olympics via press release. She said, “I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. I am so excited I can finally call myself an Olympian. With all this world has been through and having to postpone the Olympics a whole year, I am proud to say I am one of the participants in what will be known as the most recognized Olympics in history. I am ready to represent my country in the most respected way and bring home the gold!”

 

Weight class: Flyweight

Classification: 51 kg

D.O.B: March 9, 1988

Hometown: Houston, Texas, U.S.

Team/Club: Baby Bull Boxing Academy

Coach(es): Derwin Richards

 

Naomi Graham

Naomi Graham is America's highest-seeded middleweight boxer who ranks no. 1 on BTF America's ranking and 8th in the entire world. She is also a U.S. Army member and has been fighting in the ring at a high level for the last six years and internationally since 2018. Graham brought home a gold medal by winning the Pan-American Games 2019. Before her victory, she won the fifth position in the World Championships 2016 and came third in 2018. Graham is one of the highly confident and experienced U.S. boxers and the first active female military member to compete in the Olympics.  

While talking about earning a place in Tokyo Olympics 2021, Naomi Graham said, "It feels unreal that I am going to the Olympics. I continue to surprise myself by finding my own limits and then having the courage to blow past them."

 

Weight class: Middleweight

Classification: 75 kg

D.O.B: May 15, 1989

Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.

Team/Club: Army World Class Athlete Program

Coach(es): Charles Leverette

 

Delante Johnson

Delante Johnson is a talented U.S. boxer who ranks third on America’s welterweight BTF ranking and 19th in the world. Looking at his achievements, he has won a gold medal in 2016 at the youth world championships and came third at the Pan American Games in 2019. In addition, he has competed in three world championships and multiple other tournaments under the welterweight category. Johnson is among the best U.S. boxers with excellent distance control and a high ceiling when it comes to his boxing abilities. 

At the U.S. Boxing press conference on Tokyo Olympic Games 2021, Johnson stated, “My struggles are my stripes, and I wear them on my back so that the people around me can see that even when you’re living in a jungle, you can still chase your dreams. I am not only doing this for my city but for my two coaches, Dante Benjamin Sr. and Clint Martin, whom I lost during my journey to these Games.”

 

Weight class: Welterweight

Classification: 69 kg

D.O.B: August 13, 1998

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

Team/Club: MLK Boxing

Coach(es): Clint Martin, Renard Safo and Dante Benjamin

 

Oshae Jones

Oshae Jones is another Ohioan on the list of U.S. boxers to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Jones plays in one of the two new weight divisions in the women’s class, i.e., welterweight (152 lbs./69 kg) division. She is a 23-year-old boxer known worldwide for creating history as the first welterweight gold medalist at Pan American Games 2019. Jones is an excellent body-puncher and a southpaw. For the Tokyo Olympics, the public is looking at Jones as a symbol of hope under the women’s welterweight community. 

“I may only take up one spot, but my one spot represents so much. I’m beyond grateful for the chance to represent women, African Americans, my small city of Toledo, but most importantly, my country,” Jones said at the press conference. 

 

Weight class: Welterweight

Classification: 69 kg

D.O.B: January 3, 1998

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio, U.S.

Team/Club: Soul City Boxing Gym

Coach(es): Otha Jones, Roshawn Jones

 

Richard Torrez Jr.

The U.S. Olympic Boxing Team captain - Richard Torrez Jr. ranks among the best super heavyweight boxers and holds 11th position worldwide. Since the London Games in 2012, Torrez is the first U.S. boxer to compete in the men’s super heavyweight division. He has an exceptional boxing record with several victories and has become a youth icon. At the junior world championships, he finished fifth in 2015 and third in 2016. Along with this, he secured the third-place at the Pan American Games 2019. He had also won the Strandja Tournament in 2019. By the age of 22, Torrez won the Boxam Tournament in 2020. Looking at the boxing record, Richard Torrez Jr. is expected to be one of the most talented U.S. boxers in the ring at the Tokyo Olympics. 

On his selection in the Tokyo Olympics, Torrez said, “Everyone is happy they’re going to the Olympics, it’s everyone’s dream, but I need to be there. The fire that was instilled in me before I could even walk that drives me to be the best, the fire that has been in my family for generations has overflowed. It has set ablaze all my second options, and it has made ashes of any other possibility besides that of success.”

 

Weight class: Super heavyweight

Classification: 91+ kg

D.O.B: June 1, 1999

Hometown: Tulare, California, U.S.

Team/Club: Tulare Athletic Boxing Club

Coach(es): Richard Torrez Sr.

 

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