Wow! 78-0 with 55 KO's!
Back in 1976, the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team picked up a slew of gold medals in Montreal. In 1984, at the Games in Los Angeles came another truckload. Then, like the economy, came the decline. Change that. It wasn't a decline. It was a crash. The last Olympic boxing medal won by a U.S. male was in 2008, when Deontay Wilder won a bronze medal in Beijing.
Then came 2012. London. That's when the U.S. males bottomed out. I had to clarify it was the males who bottomed out. That's because the women's boxing team actually won a gold medal, that by Claressa Shields. Other than that...nada!
So, after the closing ceremonies, the young U.S. squad headed home. To Staten Island. To Long Island. To California. To Nevada.
Then they signed contracts with a man named Al Haymon and went into heavy training. Then they turned professional.
I can't change the numbers quick enough. Like a tote board, they keep going up. At last count, the nine male members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team were 78-0 with 55 knockouts. Almost a foregone conclusion are three more victories by 2012 squad members in the next two weeks, pushing their collective total to 81-0.
Lett's take a look at the breakdown:
RAU'SHEE WARREN, bantamweight: The smallest member of the squad, who fought as a flyweight in the Olympics, is now 10-0 as a pro and is coming off back-to-back unanimous decision wins over eight rounds against two veteran fighters. From Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren is the cosummate boxer, using fast combinations to pile up points. He has three knockouts to his record.
JOSEPH DIAZ, bantamweight: The 21-year-old bantamweight out of South El Monte, California, is a fast-handed southpaw with power. In his 9-0 record are seven wins by stoppage. He will be going for win #10 next week at the Stub Hub Center.
JOSE RAMIREZ, jr. welterweight: The 21-year-old out of Avenal, California, fought as a lightweight in the 2012 Olympics, winning his opening bout by decision, then losing by decision in his second outing. At 5'10", he moved to jr. welterweight when he turned pro. He made his debut in December 2012 with a first-round KO, then continued his barrage in 2013, winning all six of his fights, four by knockout. His last fight was on March 29, when he stopped Boyd Henley in the second round in Las Vegas. He is currently 9-0 with seven knockouts. Six of them have come in the first round.
JAMEL HERRING, Jr. welterweight: An ex-Marine from Coram, Long Island, Herring represented the U.S. in the Olympics as a jr. welterweight and continues at that weight today. He turned pro In December 2012 with a four-round decision win, picked up five more victories in 2013 and has added another one this year. At 7-0 (4), he seeks his eighth victory in a few more weeks.
ERROL SPENCE, welterweight: The 24-year-old from Texas is fast-handed southpaw with bombs in both hands. He picked up two victories in the 2012 Olympics before dropping a decision to the Russian representative. He turned pro in November 2012 with a third-round KO, then had another third-round stoppage a month later. Had a big year in 2013, going 8-0 with six stoppaqes. Has added two more victories (both via stoppage) in 2014. bringing his totals to 12-0 (10). Seven of the endings have come in the first round. His last outing was on April 18...a TKO 1.
TERRELL GAUSHA, middleweight: The 26-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio, represented the U.S. as a middleweight in London, and continues to campaign as a 160-pounder. He is 8-0 (5), coming off an eight-round unanimous decision win over George Sosa in February. His next fight is scheduledto take place on April 26 at the Stub Hub Center, in Carson, California. His opponent is scheduled to be 56-fight vet Charles Whitaker.
MARCUS BROWNE, light heavyweight: Marcus represented the U.S. as a light heavyweight in the 2012 Olympics and lost a tight decision to the Australian representative. It may be the last fight he ever loses. As a pro he is 10-0 (7). A southpaw who stands just over 6'0", Browne works the body better than most fighters. His body shots have led him to all of his 10 victories and have accounted for most of his seven knockouts. Nicknamed "The Liver Killer," the Staten Island, NY resident is coming off an impressive beatdown and unanimous decision win in eight against 41-fight vet Oris Griffin. By this time next year, he will be knocking on the door of one of the alphabet titles.
MICHAEL HUNTER, JR., Heavyweight: The 25-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada resident is the son of former heavyweight contender Mike "The Bounty" Hunter. He turned pro in 2013, winning by KO in both fights. This year he has added two more victories to his record, the last one on Apr. 3 in California. He hastwo more fights lined up. The first of the two is on April 26 in Phoenix, Arizona. The one after that is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on May 10. He stands 6'2" and has the power and boxing skills to become a factor in the heavyweight division in a few more years.
DOMINIC BREAZEALE, Super Heavyweight: The former collegiate quarterback now throws knockout punches instead of passes. A one-sided eight-round decision win on April 3 against veteran Nagy Aguilera brought Breazeale's record to 10-0 and marked the first time as a pro his opponent made it to the final bell.
At slightly over 6'7 and 255 pounds, he has the size to mix it up with any of today's upcoming heavyweight giants.
By the end of 2014, that 78-0 record will be close to 100-0. Someone has to lose eventually. Which guy will it be?