By Ryan Maquiñana
American amateurs Jamel Herring and Marcus Browne are just one victory away from representing their country in London this summer after both won their respective Americas Olympic Qualifier bouts at the Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro Sunday night.
Herring, a U.S. Marine from Coram, N.Y., who is stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., decisioned Lester Martinez 15-9 to advance to Tuesday evening’s light welterweight (141 lbs.) quarterfinals, where he faces Venezuela’s Yoelvis Hernandez. The victor will officially become an Olympian, while the loser can still make it to London if his conqueror wins the entire tournament. Such a scenario would make Tuesday’s loser fifth place, and would fill the five-man quota in the 141-pound division.
Meanwhile, light heavyweight (178 lbs.) Marcus Browne of Staten Island, N.Y., has advanced to the quarterfinals in his division after a first-round stoppage of Trinidad and Tobago’s Decian Calliste. Official time was 1:17. Browne will meet the Dominican Republic’s Felix Valera on Tuesday night with an Olympic spot on the line. With only four 178-pound Olympic spots available, the fight will be winner-take-all.
Santos Vasquez of Reno, Nev., dropped his light flyweight (108 lbs.) opener to Puerto Rico’s Jantomy Ortiz, 15-8, and has been eliminated from Olympic contention.
TEAM USA OLYMPIC QUALIFYING STATUS
Light flyweight (108 lbs.): Santos Vazquez (Reno, Nev.) - eliminated in opening round by Puerto Rico's Jantomy Ortiz (15-8)
Flyweight (114 lbs.): Rau'shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) - already qualified for Olympics through World Championships
Bantamweight (123 lbs.): Joseph Diaz Jr. (S. El Monte, Calif.) - already qualified for Olympics through World Championships
Lightweight (132 lbs.): Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.) - fights Monday vs. Trinidad and Tobago's Michael Alexander in opening round
Light Welterweight (141 lbs.): Jamel Herring (Coram, N.Y.) - fights Tuesday vs. Venezuela’s Yoelvis Hernandez in quarterfinals*
Welterweight (152 lbs.): Errol Spence Jr. (DeSoto, Tex.) - already qualified for Olympics through World Championships
Middleweight (165 lbs.): Terrell Gausha (Cleveland, Ohio) - fights Monday vs. Nicaragua's Oliver Ballestero in opening round
Light Heavyweight (178 lbs.): Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.) - fights Tuesday vs. Dominican Republic's Felix Valera in quarterfinals*
Heavyweight (201 lbs.): Michael Hunter (Las Vegas, Nev.) - fights Tuesday vs. Nicaragua's Marcio Figueroa in quarterfinals
Super Heavyweight (201+ lbs.): Dominic Breazeale (Alhambra, Calif.) - fights Monday vs. Venezuela's Jose Payares in opening round
*a win will earn automatic qualification into the London 2012 Olympic Tournament
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Panel. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.