London 2012: Picking USA Boxing's Dream Team

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London 2012: Picking USA Boxing's Dream Team
"Sugar" Ray Leonard (Image courtesy of cnnsi.com).

In the Olympic preview issue of The Ring, Norm Frauenheim lists his choices for a dream team of American boxers, selecting the best U.S. Olympian in each weight class. Such a hypothetical team is the type of project that can fuel intense debate, and Frauenheim condenses his choices to a precise one-page list.

The slideshow that follows expands on Frauenheim’s project with a couple of notable differences. Expansion comes in the form of selecting an alternate for each weight class to extend the roster to a full-fledged Olympic squad. While several of the selections mirror those in The Ring, a detailed analysis attempts to further explicate each boxer’s selection.

The alternate selections could fuel some interesting debates, and certain weight classes had numerous viable candidates. This speaks to the incredible success and depth of the United States throughout the history of Olympic boxing, and the assembled dream team, in terms of both amateur and professional accomplishments, is remarkable.

A bit about the selection process: The 10 weight classes listed are the ones boxers will compete in at the upcoming London Olympics.

Also, the choices for first-team spots and alternates were based on a combination of amateur and professional success. Light flyweight alternate Paul Gonzales and light welterweight alternate Ray Seales are the only dream team members not to win a professional title, and, in tiebreaker situations, professional accomplishments were usually used as the barometer to make tough decisions.

So, is this the ultimate U.S. Olympic boxing dream team? Is it fair to consider professional credentials in compiling such a roster? Let the debate begin.

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