USA_BoxingMarch 12 - While the current stars of Olympic-style boxing prepare for a run at the 2012 Olympic Games, the sport's future champions will vie for a highly coveted USA Junior National Championship.

The 2011 championships take place at the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama from July 12-17, and will mark the 40th anniversary of the event, which boasts numerous Olympians and World Champions among its previous winners.

"USA Boxing's junior program is a critical pipeline to our senior division and provides a valuable preview of our future Olympians and World Champions," said USA Boxing Executive Director Anthony Bartkowski.

"The Junior National Championships is always a bright spot on our competition schedule and we look forward to seeing the young athletes who will be contesting for Olympic berths in 2016 when action kicks off in Mobile."

The annual event will showcase the top 15 and 16-year-old Olympic style boxers in the United States as they vie for a national title in 17 weight classes and both the male and female divisions.

"The Mobile Sports Authority and the City and County of Mobile are extremely excited about hosting the USA Boxing Junior National Championships. Mobile has hosted many great sporting events and we think this will be one of the best we've had in Mobile," said Bud Ratiff, Executive Director of the Mobile Sports Authority.

"We will roll out the southern red carpet for all the athletes, coaches, officials and fans to make the 2011 Junior National Championships the biggest and best ever."

Local and regional qualifying tournaments will take place over the next four months to determine the competitors that will compete for a junior national championship in Mobile.

Many of boxing's biggest names have come through the USA Boxing's Junior Olympic program with former champions including names such as Oscar de la Hoya and Roy Jones, Jr.

In addition, six of the nine members of the 2008 US Olympic boxing team and 2004 US Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward all participated in the developmental program.

The state of Alabama boasts the most recent US Olympic boxing medalist, Tuscaloosa's Deontay Wilder, who claimed bronze in the heavyweight division at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Since returning from the Olympics, Wilder has been instrumental in the creation of a state boxing commission and enjoyed the chance to compete in the first professional boxing event in the state last month.