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Eight U.S. Boxers to Vie for Gold at the 2011 Pan American Games
by Julie Goldsticker
October 17, 2011


(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) Ė The 2011 Pan American Games are have opened competition in Guadalajara, Mexico and boxing action will kick off on just a few days. Team USA is traveling south to Mexico today to undergo final preparations on site and will open the action on Friday at the Expo Guadalajara Arena.

A team of five male and three female boxers will represent the United States in the unique multi-sport event. It will be the first-time womenís boxing will be contested in the Pan American Games, mirroring the Olympic debut of the sport in the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games. The three women who will represent Team USA in the sportís event debut are flyweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.), lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) and middleweight Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.).

In addition to the womenís trio, male flyweight John Franklin (Fort Carson, Colo.), male lightweight Toka Kahn Clary (Providence, R.I.), male middleweight Damarius Russell (Camp Lejeune, N.C.), male light heavyweight Jeffrey Spencer (Fort Carson, Colo.), and male super heavyweight Danny Kelly (Washington DC) will vie for Pan Am gold in Guadalajara. Coaches Gloria Peek (Norfolk, Va.), Charles Leverette (Fort Carson, Colo.), and Bruce Kawano (Pearl City, Hawaii) are leading the team into action in Mexico. Prior to traveling south to Guadalajara today, the team participated in a week-long training camp in Houston as well as taking part in team processing with their fellow U.S squads.

All three women boast international experience with Underwood and Crews both owning multiple medals and Cruz having represented the United States in the Womenís International Dual Series. Prior to the addition of womenís boxing to the Pan American Games, a continental championship was held annually with Underwood and Crews both enjoying success and gaining valuable experience in that event.

On the menís side, four of the athletes are coming off the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Menís Boxing with Kelly being the lone exception. Kelly, the 2010 USA Boxing National Championships silver medalist, represented Team USA in the USA vs. China Dual approximately one year ago. There is a strong military presence on the United Statesí team with Franklin, Spencer and Coach Leverette all representing the United States Army and Russell competing for the U.S. Marine Corps. Franklin and Spencer both own USA Boxing National Championships while Kahn Clary is a former National Golden Gloves champion.

Two U.S. boxers will open competition for the red, white and blue on Friday as Russell and Cruzís weight divisions are both slated to take the ring on the first day of action. Franklin, Kahn Clary, Underwood, Spencer and Kelly will all compete in Saturdayís competition while Crews will be the final U.S. boxer to make her Pan American Games debut on Sunday. Preliminary round action will run through October 24 with semifinal competition scheduled to take place on October 25 and 26. All of the participants will enjoy a rest day on October 27 before final round competition on October 28 and 29.

The Pan American Games are a multi-sport event showcasing nations in north, central, and south America in over 40 different genres during the 16-day competition. The event takes place once every four years prior to the summer Olympic Games, and simulates the overall feel of an Olympic Games with athletes staying in a village throughout the duration of the event. A Pan Am Games box-off followed by international qualifying competitions determined the U.S. squad that will compete in Guadalajara.

Terra will be livestreaming the full duration of the Pan American Games and fans can watch live action at http://deportesus.terra.com/road-to-2012/2011-pan-american-guadalajara/live/.

Pan American Games Schedule
October 21-24: Preliminary round competition
October 25-26: Semifinal round competition
October 27: Rest Day
October 28-29: Final round competition

U.S. Roster
112 lbs/female: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y.
114 lbs/male: John Franklin, Fort Carson, Colo.
132 lbs/female: Queen Underwood, Seattle, Wash.
132 lbs/male: Toka Kahn Clary, Providence, R.I.
165 lbs/female: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md.
165 lbs/male: Damarius Russell, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
178 lbs/male: Jeffrey Spencer, Fort Carson, Colo.
201+ lbs/male: Danny Kelly, Washington DC

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United Statesí member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).


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