Featherweight Jahmal Harvey is thought to be the United States’ best chance at a gold medal at the 2024 Paris Olympics. A lot of those hopes come from his international success as the 21-year-old has collected his fair share of gold medals internationally 

Harvey is currently in Colorado Springs, Colo., putting together the final touches on a training camp he hopes will change his life and earn him a gold medal in the Olympics in August. If Harvey achieves that, he will be the first U.S. male boxer to win gold since Andre Ward in 2004. 

Yet Harvey would give up a chance at amateur boxing’s triple-crown, including his gold medal at the AIBA 2021 World Championship and his gold medal 2023 Pan-Am Games, if he were able to have the gold medal right now.

“I would turn in my two gold medals just for that Olympic gold,” Harvey told BoxingScene. “A gold medal would mean my name is forever cemented into history.”

Harvey is no stranger to competing at a high level. At a young age, he found himself playing in the same seven-on-seven football league with Caleb Williams, the quarterback who was drafted number one overall by the Chicago Bears in the 2024 NFL Draft. They were part of the DMV Elite. His long-time coach, Darrell Davis, who played college football at Charleston Southern University, but now runs a youth boxing program in Oxon Hill, Maryland, converted Harvey from a Reggie Bush-type running back, and receiver to an accomplished boxer.  

“I always knew he had it,” said Darrell Davis, Harvey’s coach. “Fighters like Jahmal, don’t come around that often.”

In 2012, USA Boxing had high hopes for Errol Spence Jr., in 2016 it was Shakur Stevenson, and in 2020 it was Keyshawn Davis. For the 2024 U.S. team, Harvey has pole vaulted himself to the position of being the most talked about fighter looking to end the gold medal drought. 

“It means a lot [the praise], I am just happy to work and get better and better every day,” said Harvey about his promising potential. “To become an Olympic gold medalist is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am going to be working really hard, pushing myself.”

With all the pressures heading into the Olympics and comparisons to previous great Olympians who went on to be distinguished professionals, it is the simple pleasures in life that motivates Harvey the most. While the world watches this summer to see if he lives up to his potential, Harvey wants a very small thing from boxing.

“I want boxing to keep me happy,” Harvey said. “It is fun to go out there and compete.”

Now Harvey has several months to wait while training to see if his life will forever change. The United States has yearned for another gold medalist, and Harvey provides as good of a shot as any.