I’m always astounded by how quickly time really flies. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t constant reminders, wrinkles, extra gray hair, my wardrobe, etc. But as bad as it feels getting older, sometimes time gone by brings with it a small reward. Yearly bonus time and potty trained babies come to mind specifically. The Summer Olympics return this year to remind us that another four years has passed, but the consolation prize is that Olympic boxing returns as does another chance for American gold in the sweet science!
Last time around most of the fighters were unknown to me other than the name of their hometowns and that those hometowns happened to be in the United States. Patriotism and a love of boxing will make people do strange things. Namely setting my alarm for 2:45AM so I could catch the boxing preliminaries on CNBC as they were broadcast from China. I recall, rather fondly I might add, getting up many times at crazy hours to cheer along with my better half for the pugilists sporting the red, white, and blue. Even the (let’s just call it interesting) Olympic scoring system couldn’t deter us from nearly developing insomnia as we tuned in night after night.
Success was elusive for the Americans and Deontay Wilder’s bronze medal was the only hardware the team could muster. Many on that team however are now starting to make a name for themselves as professionals. Demetrius Andrade has made several appearances on Friday Night Fights, so has Sadam Ali, the previously mentioned Wilder is scheduled to fight in August on Fox Sports, and perhaps the hottest prospect from the 2008 team is Gary Russell Jr who has looked impressive in bouts on HBO and Showtime. Rau’shee Warren, from Cincinnati, is the only member from the 2008 team that is also on the 2012 London team. He has had some television time as well thanks to being a part of the LA Matadors team in the World Series of Boxing.
I encourage any boxing fan to give the Olympians your attention, and not be turned away by the ameteur status of the bouts. These guys and (FOR THE FIRST TIME) girls have put a lot of sweat equity into earning the right to represent our country against the best competitors in the world. They deserve our support and respect as do all the athletes competing in the games of the XXX Olympiad.
I’m hoping to go into this summer’s games with a little more knowledge about the competitors representing the U.S. boxing team. I’m also going in with some optimism, as this year’s team looks strong and I think it will give us a very real shot at gold, maybe multiple golds. Most importantly, since I’m the father of a two year old and can no longer function with insane nocturnal antics, I’m going into the London games with a DVR and a plan!
Note- If you want to know more about the 2012 United States Olympic Boxing team you can go to: USA Boxing.