USA Boxing select Abdullah as London 2012 head coach
Saturday, 30 June 2012
June 30 - USA Boxing have named the experienced Basheer Abdullah as head coach of the US Olympic boxing team at London 2012 where he will be charged with upholding America's reputation as the greatest Olympic boxing nation of all time.
The 49-year-old from Colorado Springs will be traveling to his fourth consecutive Olympics having been part of the US boxing set-up at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 – although London 2012 will be the first time he will serve as head coach.
Abdullah (pictured above) was also the 2004 USA Boxing Coach of the Year and has also been involved in several other major boxing events including the men's and women's World Championships, the Pan American Games and World Military Championships.
He is one of four coaches nominated to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to lead the US Olympic boxing team alongside assistant coaches Candelario Lopez and Israel Acosta and team leader Delilah Rico.
Both Lopez and Acosta served as assistant coaches at Sydney 2000 while Rico was the team manager at the recent 2012 Women's World Championships in China.
"We are sending a very experienced coaching staff to London with the 2012 US Olympic Team and we believe that their knowledge will be critical in aiding our athletes to perform at the highest level," said USA Boxing executive director Anthony Bartkowski.
"Coach Abdullah's Olympic Games experience provides him and the staff with a huge advantage as the team prepares to face the world's best boxers."
America's biggest medal chance at London 2012 is likely to come in the form of flyweight Rau'shee Warren (pictured above), the 2007 world champion.
At London 2012, the 25-year-old from Ohio will become the first American boxer ever to fight at three Olympics having competed at both Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
However, he and his London 2012 compatriots have some way to go to replicate the American Olympic boxing greats of the past such as the legendary Muhammad Ali – who won the light heavyweight gold medal at Rome in 1960 under the name of Cassius Clay before going on to become the most famous boxer ever.
Other American Olympic boxing greats include George Foreman, who won the heavyweight gold medal at Mexico City in 1968, Sugar Ray Leonard, winner of the light welterweight title at Montreal in 1976 and Oscar De La Hoya, who claimed victory in the lightweight category at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.
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