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Who’s on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team? Meet the Athletes Competing in Paris

Team USA consists of eight Olympic first timers, each with their own unique reason for lacing up their gloves.

By Jax Miller

Some of the nation’s finest boxers are gearing up to knock out the competition at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

A promising lineup of four men and four women makes up Team USA’s Olympic boxing team, a roster comprising all Olympic first-timers in their 20s. Most members qualified at the October 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, followed by the Boxing Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, in March 2024, and the second qualifying tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, earlier this month, sending them forward for a chance to bring home the gold.

The United States already boasts boxing’s highest medal count with 117 overall, 50 of which are gold, according to the Olympics official page. If the past is any indication, the nation can hope the 2024 team can add more gold to its impressive collection.

But first, meet Team USA’s boxers according to their weight category.

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Roscoe Hill: Men’s Flyweight

Roscoe Hill (Blue) of USA celebrates after winning over Gan-Erdene Gankhuyag (Red) of Mongolia

It can’t be ignored that 29-year-old Roscoe Hill has some pretty amazing connections with the boxing world. Not only did Hill’s father train alongside Olympian George Foreman — who won gold in the 1968 Games in Mexico City — but he also trained legends such as Archie “The Mongoose” Moore. As if that wasn’t enough, Foreman even baptized the rising star.

“They taught him everything he knows,” Hill told Olympics.com of his father. “And he passed it down to me.”

According to his Team USA bio, Hill comes from Spring, Texas, and won silver at the 2021 World Championships and Bronze at the 2023 Pan American Games. In March, Hill told Olympics.com that he looked up to greats such as Foreman, Muhammad Ali, and Floyd Mayweather, but insisted his style was “very different.”

“I don’t feel like I have a lot of pressure. I know how to handle it. I just do what I do best,” he said. “I’m trying to be great.”

Jahmal Harvey: Men’s Featherweight

Twenty-one-year-old football player turned boxer Jahmal Harvey is already making quite the name for himself since winning gold in the 2023 Pan America Games. Harvey, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, was “undersized” for football but found boxing through his football coach turned boxing coach, according to the Olympics page. Harvey went on to win championship gold at junior, youth, and elite levels in over a dozen renowned competitions.

“My football coach started a boxing gym,” Harvey said in a January 2024 interview with Boxing Scene, explaining that he started training at 13. “He had other football players come and work out, too, but I stuck with it. So, I was the first one to start fighting.”

At 18, Harvey punctuated a 14-year dry spell for U.S. men when he snagged gold at the 2021 Elite World Championships. His victories might be part of his competitive nature, he explained to Boxing Scene.

“Boxing is just one part of me. it doesn’t make up 50 percent of me; boxing is just fun,” he said. “I just love to compete and do anything competitively — sports, Connect Four, anything. I was in the chess club in high school. It is just fun for me.”

Omari Jones: Men’s Welterweight

Orlando-based boxer Omari Jones, 21, was the only American boxer to secure a quota at the Busto Arsizio tourney, according to the Olympics page. Nicknamed “Banger” for his “aggressive demeanor in the ring,” Jones takes on a Robin Hood-esque persona, using his boxing winnings to buy backpacks for children in his Florida hometown.

Jones started boxing at 8 after trying his hand at karate, according to his Team USA bio, and he went on to win several international events. Placing first in the 2012 Gee Bee International Tournament, the Czech Republic Grand Prix, and the 2022 USA Boxing International Invitational were only his most recent impressive feats.

As if training for the 2024 Summer Games wasn’t enough, Jones is enrolled at Valencia College and studying for his business degree, according to Boxing Scene. He said he was doing his best, but admitted it was “tough being on the road in high-stress situations.”

“I feel education was instilled in me since I was a child,” he said. “My two brothers graduated from college; I always thought I am going to make something out of college, I am going to go to school for something, even if I don’t go to get a Master’s [Degree].”

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Joshua Edwards: Men’s Heavyweight

At an imposing six-foot-three and weighing in at 200 pounds, Houston native Joshua Edwards considers defense and speed his greatest attributes in the ring, per NBC Olympics. Winning gold in the 2023 Pan-Ams secured Edwards’ position on the Road to Paris, and he is the first super heavyweight boxer from Houston since George Foreman to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Edwards placed third in the 2022 A.M.B.C. Elite Championships and first in the 2021 USA Boxing Elite National Championships, making him a formidable opponent in the ring.

He began boxing at 6, but after playing high school basketball, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and give boxing a try. Edwards “prides himself on having an upbeat and fun attitude in and out of the ring,” according to his Team USA profile.

“There were times where I wanted to quit. I thought about quitting and focusing on basketball in high school, but I could see that if I quit, it would tear my dad apart,” Edwards said in an October 2023 interview with USA Boxing. “My dad has pushed me every step of the way through both hard and good times.

Jennifer Lozano: Women’s Flyweight

Jennifer Lozano, 21, plans to take no prisoners when the Texan from Laredo heads from her border town to Paris, France. Known as “La Traviesa” (Spanish for “The Troublemaker) — a nickname handed down by her late grandmother for being a “really reckless kid,” she told Olympics.com — Lozano has been candid about how she learned how to box to defend herself from hometown bullies.

Others would push her around for being overweight and fluent in Spanish, and after fighting in the street, she chose to join a boxing club near her home.

Georgii Kushitashvili (Red) of Georgia and Jamar Talley (Blue) of USA seen in action during the Boxing road to Paris 2nd World Qualification Tournament

“But back in the day, there was a culture that women shouldn't box. Especially being from a town that isn’t on the map, there's a lot of 'machismo' there,” she said. “It’s all about the men while women are in the kitchen and things like that.

After finding a coach who believed in her capabilities, Lozano went on to win silver in the 2023 Pan-Ams and now stands as the first Laredo resident to make the U.S. Team.

Alyssa Mendoza: Women’s Featherweight

As the youngest on the U.S. boxing team, 20-year-old rookie Alyssa Mendoza qualified via the Bangkok Olympic Qualifying Tournament, winning every bout by unanimous decision, according to the Olympics page. Mendoza was trained by her father and comes from Caldwell, Idaho, making her the first Olympic boxer from the state.

“It was definitely my dad and what he raised me to be. My work ethic and my resilience, my determination,” Mendoza told Olympics.com. “Growing up and having a father figure like that made me who I am today.”

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Mendoza has quite the resume with numerous wins under her belt, including first-place prizes for the 2022 USA Boxing Elite National Championships and the 2022 National Golden Gloves, as listed on her Team USA bio.

Mendoza identifies as a Christian and regularly credits her faith in God as her Road to Paris continues, as seen on her Instagram page.

Jajaira Gonzalez: Women’s Lightweight

Former teen boxing prodigy Jajaira Gonzalez will make the Paris Games following multiple Olympic setbacks. The 27-year-old from Glendora, California, won bronze in the 2023 Pan-Ams, years after she won gold at the Junior World Championships, the Youth World Championships, and the 2014 Youth Olympics.

She placed second in the 2016 Olympic Trials but missed the Rio Games, according to NBC Olympics. Her Paris-bound journey comes after a four-year hiatus she took between 2018 and 2021 to tend to her mental health, time away only compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Not a lot of people get second chances like this, so I cannot take it for granted again, so I’m giving it my all,” Gonzalez told Olympics.com. “The new Jajaira Gonzalez is a warrior and a very strong, independent woman, and I can’t mess it up this time.”

Citing a “strong mindset,” Gonzalez said she was happiest when boxing, though journaling and therapy have also helped her combat depression and anxiety.

Morelle McCane: Women’s Welterweight

Cleveland, Ohio’s Morelle McCane is the eldest of Team USA’s boxing roster at 29 years old. Self-styled as Morelle “Big Blessed” McLane on her Instagram page, she qualified for the 2024 Olympics after winning silver in the Pan-American Games.

When not eating tacos, watching The Lion King, or listening to Drake — some of her regular hobbies, per her Team USA profile — she finds inspiration in family, so much so that some relatives are even following in her footsteps.

“It’s so surreal to me. I had a super hard upbringing. I was in foster care, my mom was in and out of my life as she struggled with addiction,” McCane told Signal Cleveland. “When you become an adult, you see how hard being an adult really is. Things happen. I came to forgive her for not always being there. She eventually got herself together.

“My mom just loves and supports me and my brothers and sisters so much,” she emotionally continued. “I can now provide my family with a better life. It’s such an honor.”

McClane, the first Cleveland woman boxer to get an Olympic ride, started a GoFundMe page to help with travel costs to bring her family to Paris.

"When people see me fight, I don’t want them to say I fight like a dude,” she told USA Boxing. “I want them to say, 'Oh, my God, that girl can fight.'"

Don't Miss

Watch live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, on NBC and Peacock beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Peacock.

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