MIANYANG CITY, CHINA. After over 24 hours of traveling, Team USA has settled into their temporary home in Mianyang City, China. With only five days until competition begins at the 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships, the 11 boxers representing the United States are finishing up their final preparations for what will be the first World Championships for every team member.
The event will showcase the world’s best boxers with athletes from 87 delegations scheduled to compete in the tournament. That is an increase from the 71 teams that boxed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
The United States team boasts 11 unique stories and world championships dreams as the athletes begin the journey toward Beijing in 2008. Light welterweight Karl Dargan (Philadelphia, Pa.) is looking to follow in his Olympic cousin, Rock Allen’s footsteps, but he will be chasing an accolade that Allen never earned a World Championship. Dargan made a run at the 2004 Olympic Games in the lightweight division but after falling just short at the Olympic Team Trials, he is back for a second shot at Olympic glory.
Welterweight Boyd Melson (Fort Carson, Colo.) has already enjoyed tremendous success at only 24- years-old. A West Point Graduate, Melson was named West Point Scholastic Athlete of Year in 2004 in addition to winning the first World Military Title for a United States boxer in over a decade. Melson, a member of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program, points to his girlfriend, Christan Zaccagnino, for his motivation to keep working hard. Zaccagnino broke her neck in a diving accident when she was 10-years-old and was told that she would never be able to move again from the neck down. Twelve years later, she walks five times a week with leg braces and a walker in addition to working out with weights and doing cardio every other day. Melson will certainly use Zaccagnino for inspiration as he goes for gold in China.
Melson and light heavyweight representative William Rosinsky (Brooklyn, N.Y.) are serving as co-team captains for the 2005 World Championships. The event is Rosinsky’s third international event of 2005, following the USA vs. Hungary Dual and World Cup in Moscow, Russia. Rosinsky is completing his first year on USA Boxing’s Elite Team and the 20-year-old is hoping to follow in the footsteps of 2004 Olympic Light Heavyweight Gold Medalist Andre Ward. After only three years in the sport, Rosinsky won a gold medal at the 2005 U.S. Championships and has enjoyed a strong year of national and international experience with three major international events and training camps with the nation’s top coaches.
Heavyweight Adam Willett (Bay Shore, N.Y.) is competing in not only his first World Championships but his first international event. The 23-year-old Willett emerged on the scene only weeks before earning a spot on the 2005 World Championships team. Willett defeated 2005 National Golden Gloves champion Eric Fields (Ardmore, Okla.) in a box-off on October 23 to earn a spot on the team.
Flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) is chasing his first world championship after becoming a United States Olympian in 2004. The 18-year-old has moved up to the flyweight division following his Olympic berth at light flyweight. Now an experience veteran, Warren has refocused his Olympic dream and is working toward Olympic gold in Beijing. At 17, Warren was the youngest member of the United States Olympic team in any sport. With lightning quick speed and spectacular elusiveness, Warren will be chasing his first world championship in Mianyang City, China.
2005 U.S. Championships light flyweight silver medalist Vincent Montoya (Cheyenne, Wyo.); two-time bantamweight national champion Gary Russell, Jr. (Capitol Heights, Md.); 2005 featherweight national champion Mark Davis (Cleveland, Ohio); two-time lightweight national champion Michael Evans (Dayton, Ohio); 2005 middleweight national champion Edwin Rodriguez (Worcester, Mass.); and two-time super heavyweight national champion Mike Wilson (Central Point, Ore.) will round out the 2005 World Championships team.
USA Boxing National Coaching Director Dan Campbell (Hampton, Va.) will lead an impressive coaching staff made up of Ted Palac (Hamtramck, Mich.) and Thomas Coulter (Syracuse, N.Y.). Nick Cimmento (Fort Mill, S.C.) will serve as Team Manager with Dr. Armando Sanchez (Franklin, Wis.) working as the Team Physician and Ken Butler (Boise, Idaho) is serving as the AIBA official.
World Championships competition will commence on November 13 and run through November 21 at the Mianyang Sports Gymnasium in Mianyang City of Sichuan Province in China. Opening ceremonies of the event will take place on November 12 with preliminary competition running from Sunday, November 13-18. Semifinal bouts will be contested on November 19 with the championship bouts taking place on Sunday, November 20.
2005 World Championships Team
Light flyweight/106 lbs: Vincent Montoya, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Flyweight/112 lbs: Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio
Bantamweight/119 lbs: Gary Russell, Jr., Capitol Heights, Md.
Featherweight/125 lbs: Mark Davis, Cleveland, Ohio
Lightweight/132 lbs: Michael Evans, Dayton, Ohio
Light welterweight/141 lbs: Karl Dargan, Philadelphia, Pa.
Welterweight/152 lbs: Boyd Melson, Fort Carson, Colo.
Middleweight/165 lbs: Edwin Rodriguez, Worcester, Mass.
Light heavyweight/178 lbs: William Rosinsky, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Heavyweight/201 lbs: Adam Willett, Bay Shore, N.Y.
Super heavyweight/201+ lbs: Mike Wilson, Central Point, Ore.
Coach: Dan Campbell, Hampton, Va.
Coach: Ted Palac, Hamtramck, Mich.
Coach: Tom Coulter, Syracuse, N.Y.
November 12: Opening Ceremony
November 13-17: Preliminary Rounds
November 18: Quarterfinals
November 19: Semifinals
November 20: Finals
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).