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The 2016 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team Learns Opening Round Opponents at the Official Olympic Games Draw
by Julie Goldsticker/USA Boxing
August 5, 2016

(AUG 5)  RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL  - The eight members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team now know their opening round foes at the 2016 Olympic Games. The official tournament draw took place on Thursday morning at the Teatro Bradesco in Rio de Janeiro. All 13 weight divisions learned their road to the Olympic medal stand at the Olympic Games on Thursday.

"We're very happy at this stage. We've been sitting on edge for the last week or so waiting for the draw. We're happy to know where we are at. We're ready to roll. The team's been ready for awhile. They're all excited to get in to the Olympic arena and produce some of the best performances," U.S. Olympic Boxing Coach Billy Walsh said. "We're going to take it one fight at a time, one round at a time, one minute at a time and we'll work our way from there."

Lightweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) will open competition for the United States in a bout with Kazakhstan's Berik Abdrahkhmanov in the early session on Saturday. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) will compete on the first day of action at the Riocentro Pavilion 6 as well. Hernandez will face off with Italy's Manuel Cappai in light flyweight competition on Saturday night.

Male middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) will make his Olympic debut on Monday evening in a bout with India's Krishan Vikas.

Light welterweight Gary Antuanne Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.) will be the fourth American boxer to compete in Rio de Janeiro. Russell will challenge a familiar face in his opening contest on August 10, taking on Haiti's Richardson Hitchins in preliminary round competition.

The women will take the ring for the first time on August 12 and female lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) will open her Olympic Games in a bout with Jennifer Chieng from the Federated States of Micronesia in the evening session.

2015 Pan American Games champion Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) will return to the international stage on August 13 as he faces host nation boxer Juliao Neto of Brazil.

Two American boxers received first round byes in the draw based on their seeding. Junior and Youth World Champion and Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) was the number four seed in his bantamweight division and therefore received an opening round bye. He will compete for the first time on August 14 against the winner of the first round match-up between Brazil and Algeria.

2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) entered the Olympic Games as the number one seed. She therefore received an opening round bye and will step in the to the ring on August 17 where she will face the victor of a bout between Chinese Taipei and Russia.

Boxing competition will take place in two sessions daily at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., at the the Rioecentro Pavilion 6. Full tournament brackets should be posted on www.aiba.org shortly.

Opening Round Bouts

108 lbs/male: Nico Hernandez, Wichita, Kansas vs. Manuel Cappai, ITA on August 6
114 lbs/male: Antonio Vargas, Kissimmee, Fla./USA vs. Juliao Neto, FRA on August 13
123 lbs/male: Shakur Stevenson, Newark, N.J./USA vs. winner of Brazil and Algeria after first round bye on August 14
132 lbs/male: Carlos Balderas, Santa Maria, Calif./USA vs. Berik Abdrahkhmanov, KAZ on August 6
132 lbs/female: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif./USA vs. Jennifer Chieng, FSM on August 12
141 lbs/male: Gary Antuanne Russell, Capitol Heights, Md./USA vs. Richardson Hitchins, HAI, on August 10
165 lbs/male: Charles Conwell, Cleveland Heights, Ohio/USA vs. Krishan Vikas, IND on August 8
165 lbs/female: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich./USA vs. winner of TPE/RUS on August 17

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