By Staff Sgt. Alexis R. Ramos
4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
The U.S. Army boxing team lived up to its motto, “Army Strong,” at the 2013 USA Boxing Nationals held in Spokane, Wash., April 1-6.
The Army boxing team took 11 Soldiers to Washington, and seven returned to their units with medals around their necks.
Fort Carson boxers captured three gold and two silver medals. World Class Athlete Program boxers Spc. Steven Nelson, 178 pound, and Spc. Charles Williams, 114 pound, took top honors in the senior men’s division while Staff Sgt. Reyes Marquez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, claimed the senior men’s 152 pound title. WCAP boxers Spc. Fallon Farrar took silver in the 152 pound women’s elite division and Spc. Marquis Moore seized silver in the 165 pound men’s senior division.
Spc. Javar Jones, Indiana National Guard, earned a silver medal in the 132 pound men’s senior division and Staff Sgt. Marvin Carey, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, earned a bronze in the 201 pound men’s senior division to round out the Army medals.
This type of success on the national scene has not happened for the Army in several years.
“It has been a couple quads (Olympic cycles) since we had multiple national champions,” said Staff Sgt. Charles Leverette, boxing head coach, World Class Athlete Program, Fort Carson. He said the 2004 Olympics was the last time the Army was as successful as this team.
The team was selected through the All-Army trial camp held annually at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., where the Soldiers were taught many different boxing techniques and were pushed to the limit, said Leverette.
“The success was earned in training camp that started back in February,” he said. “We have a lot of young, hungry Soldier-athletes that are not just talking about the Olympic dream, they are putting in the work to live it.”
Spc. Charles Williams, WCAP, who won his second consecutive Nationals title, credits the hard work at camp for his success.
“I think it was the camp, it was a tough camp,” explained Williams. “We had a lot of hard work and dedication, and dedication pays off.”
Teammate and team captain,
Spc. Steven Nelson, WCAP, echoed the sentiment.
“I always tell the guys (it takes) hard work and dedication,” said Nelson. “We work hard and we push each other to get to that next level. Every step we try to peak out and turn the output up a notch.”
Next up for the boxing team is the regional Golden Gloves held in Denver, Saturday. The winners will advance to the National Golden Gloves held in Utah at the end of May. If the U.S. Boxing Nationals was a litmus test for the
Army boxing team, Leverette said, the team’s success at future competitions will be just as good.
“I feel the future is bright,” said Leverette. “Again, we are still rebuilding, but the Soldier-athletes that we have here on ground are really putting in the work, and the results from Nationals show just that.”
Each competition going forward is another step toward the ultimate goal of putting Soldiers on the Olympic team.
Nelson hopes the Army will have a strong presence at the Olympics.
“Honestly, I believe that out of the 13 weight classes, there should at least be five of us on the Olympic team,” said Nelson. “We want to make the Olympic team the Army team.”
The Soldiers are proud to represent the Army in the ring.
“We’re hungry, we work hard and we bring back gold medals and represent the Army well,” said Williams.