Meet The boxing future of the American United States Boxing Team bound for London, England. Latina Marlen Esparza became the first American female boxer to qualify for the London Olympics, while the chances for the two United States fighters in the other weight classes, Quanitta Underwood and Claressa Shields, have been left hanging by a thread.
Women’s boxing will make its debut as an Olympic event at this summer’s Games. There are 10 weight divisions for men, but only three for women: featherweight, 112 pounds; lightweight, 132 pounds; and middleweight, 165 pounds.
Twenty-four of the 36 Olympic qualifiers will be determined this week at the women’s world boxing championships in Qinhuangdao, China. Advancing in the tournament is one criterion. Geographical distribution is another.
Esparza, 22, of Houston qualified for the Olympics on Tuesday by beating Luu Thi Duyen of Vietnam, 28-13. It was her second victory in the tournament, and she is the only featherweight from the Americas left in the competition.
The United States mens team consists of the flyweight Rau’shee Warren of Cincinnati; the bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte, Calif.; the lightweight Jose Ramirez of Avenal, Calif.; the light welterweight Jamel Herring of Coram, N.Y.; the welterweight Errol Spence Jr. of DeSoto, Tex.; the middleweight Terrell Gausha of Cleveland; the light heavyweight Marcus Browne of Staten Island; the heavyweight Michael Hunter of Las Vegas; and the super heavyweight Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra, California.