By Tom Degun

freddie_roach_15-09-11September 16 - USA Boxing's 10 man squad are set to depart for the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan this week following a two week training session with legendary trainer Freddie Roach (pictured).

Roach, who is widely considered the best professional trainer in the world, has a stable of professional fighters including the world's best pound-for-pound boxer Manny Pacquiao and Britain's IBF and WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan.

But despite his professional commitments - he is the USA Boxing director of strategy - Roach helped out the team heading to Baku at the camp, which was held at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) training base at Colorado Springs.

The training programme saw the boxers receive valuable sparring ahead the World Championships, which take place from September 26 through October 8, while the competition in Baku holds additional importance as it also serves as a qualifier for the London 2012 Olympics.

The 10 boxers representing Team USA all claimed their spots on the World Championships squad by winning the US Olympic Team Trials at Mobile, Alabama last month with USA's medal charge set to be spearheaded by Rau'shee Warren.

The 24-year-old flyweight from Ohio is the 2007 World Champion and will be aiming to compete at his third Olympic Games in London after appearing at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

Warren will be joined fellow World Championship veteran Michael Hunter (pictured left) who will be competing in his third straight World Championships but his first at the heavyweight class.

Welterweight Errol Spence was on the USA team with Warren and Hunter at the 2009 World Championships but enters the 2011 tournament as a much more experienced boxer as he vies for his first Olympic spot.

The remaining seven boxers do not boast any World Championships experience but are a talented group of athletes with two-time national champion and lightweight competitor Jose Ramirez in their ranks fresh off his first US Olympic Trials victory, which included a win over returning Olympian Raynell Williams.

Two youngsters and fellow California natives will join him in Baku in the form of bantamweight Joseph Diaz Junior - who has two national championships - and light flyweight Eros Correa who is the youngest boxer on the US squad for Baku.

Middleweight Jesse Hart claimed gold at the National Golden Gloves and USA Boxing national championships in two different weight classes before dominating the Olympic Team Trials in Mobile, while light heavyweight Marcus Browne of New York will be a strong medal contender at the World Championships after an impressive season.

US Marine Corps' light welterweight Jamel Herring, who was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2007, won silver at the recent World Military Championships but caused a shock when he won the US Olympic Trials to qualify for Baku - where he will now be a serious contender.

The squad is completed by super heavyweight Lenroy "Cam" Thompson who will look to befuddle the competition in Baku with his unique style as the two-time national champion did at the recent Olympic Trials.

The US Squad will be led into action by USA Boxing national coach Joe Zanders, as well as coaches Ronald Simms and Manny Robles.

Ken Porter will aid the coaches as the technical advisor, with Ken Buffington serving as the team manager and Dr Marilyn Boitano joining the squad as team physician.

Roach himself will not be there as he was only involved in the preparations but he is set to work with the squad after Baku as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympics.

Roach may well attend the Games in London but he will not be able to be in the corner of the US boxers at the Games even if he wanted to due to the controversial rule from the AIBA that bans professional trainers from being in the corner at the Olympics.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
August 2011: Zanders named head coach of US boxing squad for London 2012
May 2011: Pacquiao trainer to help US boxers for London 2012