Skip to main content

Meet Team USA: Boxing

Claressa Shields
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC Sports

Meet Team USA: Boxing

Find out who will represent the United States in boxing at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Qualifying for men's and women's boxing is now complete. The United States successfully qualified six of 10 men's weight classes and two of three women's weight classes, meaning that eight Americans will be competing in Rio.

The only member of the team with prior Olympic experience is Claressa Shields, the 2012 gold medalist and reigning world champion. The 21-year-old will be heavily favored to repeat as Olympic champion.

The men's delegation will be the smallest at a non-boycotted Olympics since 1908 and, led by Shakur Stevenson, will be looking to return the medal podium after being shut out in 2012.



Nico Hernandez

Nico Hernandez, who competed at the 2015 World Championships, will make his Olympic debut. Credit: USA Boxing

Nico Hernandez
Men's light flyweight (49kg/108 lbs)

The Kansas-based pugilist first started training under his father, a former boxer who runs a local gym, when he was 9 years old. Hernandez, 20, is a two-time Junior Olympic national champion, the 2013 Golden Gloves national champion and the 2014 youth national champion.



Antonio Vargas at the 2015 Pan Am Games

U.S. boxer Antonio Vargas (blue) won gold at the 2015 Pan American Games. Credit: Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Vargas
Men's flyweight (52kg/114 lbs)

Vargas, who will turn 20 in Rio, broke through at last year's Pan American Games with a gold medal performance. He says that his biggest motivation is fulfilling his father's dream, which was for Vargas to win an Olympic gold medal.



Shakur Stevenson practices at the Olympic Training Center

USA Boxing's Shakur Stevenson (red) is expected to contend for a medal. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

Shakur Stevenson
Men's bantamweight (56kg/123 lbs)

The United States' best hope for a medal on the men's side likely rests with the 19-year-old from Newark, New Jersey. Currently undefeated (23-0) in international competition, Stevenson has already won gold medals at the 2013 Junior World Championships, 2014 Youth World Championships and 2014 Youth Olympic Games.



Carlos Balderas

Carlos Balderas was the first American to officially qualify for the Rio Games in boxing. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Balderas
Men's lightweight (60kg/132 lbs)

The first-generation American was the first American to qualify for the Rio Olympics in boxing thanks to his performance in the World Series of Boxing last year. Balderas, 19, won a national championship at the 2014 Youth Open.



Gary Russell

Gary Antuanne Russell is following in his older brother's footsteps. Credit: USA Boxing

Gary Russell
Men's light welterweight (64kg/141 lbs)

Russell, 20, is the younger brother of professional boxer Gary Russell Jr., a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team who went on to capture the WBC featherweight world championship after turning pro. The Maryland native won a Golden Gloves national championship in 2014, becoming the fourth brother in the family to do so.



Charles Conwell

Cleveland's Charles Conwell is headed to Rio for his first Olympics. Credit: USA Boxing

Charles Conwell
Men's middleweight (75kg/165 lbs)

One of nine siblings, Conwell began training under his father when he was 11 years old. The 18-year-old from Ohio is a two-time youth national champion and 2015 Golden Gloves national champion.



Mikaela Mayer

After finishing as Olympic Trials runner-up in 2012, Mikaela Mayer is finally headed to the Games. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Mikaela Mayer
Women's lightweight (60kg/132 lbs)

The former-model-turned-boxer is a three-time national champion and a 2012 World bronze medalist, even though she did not pick up the sport until she was 17 years old. Mayer, now 26, could contend for a medal in her Olympic debut.



Claressa Shields

The defending champion in women's middleweight, Claressa Shields will return to the Olympics in 2016. Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC Sports

Claressa Shields
Women's middleweight (75kg/165 lbs)

Four years after capturing a gold medal at the London Olympics, Shields is back as the favorite to defend her Olympic title. The 21-year-old has only lost one match in her career and won her second straight world title in May.

Who is… Claressa Shields

Shields is the 2012 Olympic champion in women's middleweight boxing and the favorite for gold once again in Rio.

Read More +

More from {{firstLevel.more_from}}

{{firstLevel.data.roofline_text}}

{{firstLevel.data.title}}

{{firstLevel.data.short_desc}}

See More Coverage

More from {{secondLevel.more_from}}

More from Olympics

+