U.S. boxing team far from smokin'

Posted: August 08, 2012

SOMEWHERE, Joe Frazier is fighting mad.

For the first time in Olympic history, no U.S. boxer will win a medal.

No gold, no silver, no bronze.

The shutout was ensured after welterweight Erroll Spence lost a 16-11 decision to Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy in Tuesday's quarterfinals.

And unlike other American fighters, Spence was given two chances to snag a medal. Last week, his Round-of-16 loss to India's Krishan Vikas was overturned after a review determined there were a number of uncalled holding fouls.

On Tuesday, Spence conceded the loss was legitimate.

"I'm glad a better guy beat me this time, because I didn't like the way I went out last time," Spence said. "I didn't think about the pressure on the team. I just tried to fight my fight, and it didn't work out. He was the better man."

Sadly, every U.S. opponent was the better man at the London Games.

So'll there be no U.S. gold medal winners using the London Games as a springboard to a professional career. No Frazier (Tokyo, 1964), Muhammad Ali (Rome, 1960), Sugar Ray Leonard (Montreal, 1976) or Oscar De La Hoya (Barcelona, 1992).

Earlier this week, Leonard told a newspaper he was sickened by how far the once mighty U.S. team has plummeted.

And earlier this month, De La Hoya tweeted he was going to recruit Leonard and Mark Breland to take over the U.S. team because, "I have [too] much passion for the sport I love dearly."

Those comments hit U.S. assistant coach Charles Leverette like a hard left hook. And on Tuesday, after Spence had lost, Leverette called out Leonard and De La Hoya.

"USA Boxing and the Olympics made Golden Boy [De La Hoya]. And it made Ray Leonard," Leverette said. "And everyone else out there barking about what they can do, put your money where your mouth is."

Leverette was particularly irked at De La Hoya, saying, "I saw [his] tweet. I never see him anywhere [around amateur boxing]."

"If you want to do something about it, how about opening a gym and have some camps for these kids with all the hundreds of millions [of dollars] he's got? It takes money and that's something he has plenty of."

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