Meet The Olympic Trials For Women's
by Julie Goldsticker
October 15, 2015
(OCT 15) The lightweight
division, which is a minimum of 126 pounds and a maximum of 132
pounds, is the middle of the three Olympic weight divisions in
women's boxing. The weight class is contested in both Pan
American Games and Olympic competition as well as world
championships and national events.
Ireland's Katie Taylor, one of the most accomplished female
boxers in the world, won the gold medal in the lightweight
division in front of a raucous Irish crowd at the 2012 Olympics
in London. Queen Underwood represented the United States at the
2012 Olympics in London but will not be competing in the Olympic
Trials so a new face will take the American spot in 2016.
2016 Olympic Team Trials for Women's Boxing Lightweight
1. Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif. (USA Boxing National
2. Lisa Porter, Van Nuys, Calif. (USA Boxing National
3. Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif. (Olympic Trials Qualifier
4. Rianna Rios, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Olympic Trials
5. Stalacia Leggett, San Diego, Calif. (Olympic Trials Qualifier
6. Tiara Brown, Fort Myers, Fla. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
7. Samantha Kinchen, Lexington, Ky. (Olympic Trials Qualifier
8. Amelia Moore, Millersville, Md. (Olympic Trials Qualifier II)
The tournament next to the athletes' names denotes the
tournament in which they qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials
for Women's Boxing.
Lightweight Fun Facts
Three of the 2016 Olympic Trials for Women's Boxing flyweight
competitors are competing in their second Olympic Trials event
in Memphis. The returning participants are Mikaela Mayer (Los
Angeles, Calif.), Lisa Porter (Burbank, Calif.), and Tiara Brown
(Fort Myers, Fla.).
Two of the lightweight participants are World Championships
medalists in different weight classes than the 132-pound weight
division. Tiara Brown (Fort Myers, Fla.) won a world title at
the 2012 World Championships at the featherweight class and
added a bronze medal in the same weight division in 2014.
Mikaela Mayer claimed light welterweight bronze in the 2012
The oldest flyweight competitor is Stalacia Leggett at
32-years-old and the youngest boxer in the division is
18-year-old Jajaira Gonzalez.
Tiara Brown has had the quite the crazy schedule recently,
juggling her training for the Olympic Trials with her commitment
to the Police Academy in Washington DC. Brown has a degree in
Criminal Justice from Columbus State University and is working
to become a Washington DC Metro Police Officer.
Brown isn't the only lightweight with a time consuming career
outside the ring, there's also a lawyer and an accountant among
the Olympic Trials competitors at 132 pounds. Stalacia Leggett
is an attorney and obtained her legal degree at the University
of California's Hastings College. Amelia Moore, the final
lightweight to clinch her spot in the Olympic Trials, makes her
living as an accountant and automotive service administrator.
Prior to becoming a boxer, Mikaela Mayer, the number one
lightweight seed, was a model. A former member of the United
States Olympic Education Center Program at Northern Michigan
University in Marquette, Mich., Mayer was featured in Dr.
Pepper's national "One of a Kind" campaign. She is currently an
athlete representative on the USA Boxing Board of Directors.
Jajaira Gonzalez, the baby of the lightweight division, is
certainly not the least experienced. She ruled the junior and
youth divisions over the past three years, becoming the first
American female to win both junior and youth world championships
as well as Youth Olympic Games gold. Just days after winning the
2015 Youth World Championships, Gonzalez celebrated her high
Former youth titlist Samantha Kinchen made quite the
transformation to earn her Olympic Trials berth at lightweight.
She dropped 20 pounds from her former welterweight division to
qualify for the Olympic Trials in September.
Olympic Trials for Women's Boxing Information
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women's Boxing will be
contested October 26-31 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in
Memphis, Tenn. The Olympic Trials winners in the three women's
Olympic weight divisions will earn the right to represent the
United States in the international qualifiers for the 2016
Olympic Games in Brazil.
Twenty-four athletes will box in the Olympic Trials in Memphis
and the competitors will arrive in Memphis on Friday, October 23
prior to the official draw on Sunday, October 25. Olympic Trials
competition will take place nightly at 6 p.m. at the Memphis
Cook Convention Center from October 26-30 and final round action
will begin at 7 p.m., on Saturday, October 31.
The 2016 event will be only the second edition of the double
elimination tournament with the inaugural tournament taking
place in Spokane, Wash., in 2012. The United States placed first
in the team standings in women's boxing at the 2012 Olympic
Games in London with middleweight Claressa Shields taking gold
and flyweight Marlen Esparza winning bronze. The United States
remains one of the strongest squads in the world in women's
boxing as the two Olympic medalists both won world titles in
2014 and featherweight Tiara Brown claimed bronze.
The 24 Olympic Trials participants earned their berths in the
event in one of three qualifying tournaments beginning with the
2015 USA Boxing National Championships in January. The two
finalists from the national championships and top three
finishers from qualifying tournaments in June and September all
earned spots in the Olympic Trials. For more information on the
Olympic qualifying process for both male and female athletes, go