Pan American Games: 5 American boxers earn spots in the Olympics

Pan American Games: 5 American boxers earn spots in the Olympics

Five American boxers competed in the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, to earn a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Just eight months after initially losing out on a berth on the national high performance squad, Jajaira Gonzalez became the first boxer from the United States to make it onto the Olympic team on Wednesday.

Joshua Edwards, Jennifer Lozano, Morelle McCane, and Jahmal Harvey qualified to join her on the squad on Thursday.

Gonzalez, 26, advanced to the semifinals and secured her spot in the Olympics by winning her first two Pan American matches.

She did so in the 60kg division after Rashida Ellis, the 2022 World champion and Tokyo Olympian in the weight, was removed on the national squad earlier this year for disciplinary reasons.

Gonzalez competed in the 57kg weight division at first in 2023, but after a match in March, she was ranked lower than Alyssa Mendoza.

Gonzalez defeated Mikaela Mayer in the final match of a best-of-three finals series in the 2016 Olympic Trials, despite having won junior world titles in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

2018 saw her give up competition, claiming mental health issues.

According to USA Boxing, she claimed, “During this time, since I wasn’t boxing or really training, I gained 35 pounds and was kind of depressed.” “I genuinely wasn’t happy and just wasn’t mentally there. But then in 2021, I started to get back into it. I was going to therapy and talking to friends about what was going on. I moved back to California with my parents and started training again.”

The five boxers that made it to the Pan American Games will be competing in their first Olympics.

Lozano, 20, was raised in the border city of Laredo, Texas, and has dedicated her victories to her grandmother and mother, who passed away in 2019 after drug cartel violence outside her Mexican home. Lozano was raised by a single mother.

McCane, 28, finished second at the 75 kg Olympic Trials in Tokyo. Her 66kg weight allowed her to make the Olympic squad.

Two years after taking home a world title at 57 kg, Harvey, 20, joined the team.

In the +92kg super heavyweight class, 23-year-old Edwards formed his first-ever global championship team.

Early December marks the Olympic Trials for the remaining weight classes. Boxers can then qualify in the winter and spring for Olympic quota berths.

The United States’ boxers won home four medals from the Tokyo Games, the most since 2000. Every medallist became a professional.

Topics #2024 Paris Olympics #5 American boxers #Olympics #Pan American Games

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