Trials champions will meet their "most noteworthy challengers" and will make the Olympic team with one victory here. But a challenger can bump a trials champion off the team with two victories.
At least, that's supposed to happen. But the courts are involved, and now it's anyone's guess. Montell Griffin of Studio City got a lawyer when he wasn't picked as a challenger and wound up here.
Southern California boxers could make up one-quarter of the 12-boxer team. Lightweight Oscar De La Hoya of East Los Angeles and welterweight Pepe Reilly of Glendale won championships at the trials and need only one victory here.
And both light-heavyweight boxers are from the Southland, trials champion Jeremy Williams of Long Beach and Griffin, who was beaten by Williams in the trials final at Worcester, Mass.
De La Hoya is on a mission to win a gold medal at Barcelona and had dedicated it to his mother, who died in 1990. The Garfield High graduate, 19, draws a longtime rival in Patrice Brooks.
The St. Louis boxer lost a 3-2 decision to Lupe Suazo of Tucson in the preliminaries at the trials but was chosen as De La Hoya's challenger because he has been competitive against him.
Reilly has a tough assignment in Briseno. Reilly beat him at Worcester in the title bout, but the decision was close, 34-27.
Williams, a strong, graceful athlete, figures as a solid favorite over the 5-foot-7 Griffin. Griffin is a strong puncher, but his forte is slipping punches and being hard to hit.
If any challengers defeat trials champions, deciding bouts will be held Sunday afternoon.
In 1988, four challengers bumped trials winners to make the Olympic team: bantamweight Kennedy McKinney, featherweight Kelcie Banks, light-heavyweight Andrew Maynard and super-heavyweight Riddick Bowe. McKinney and Maynard went on to win gold medals in Seoul.
TONIGHT (Trials champions shown first):
Light-welterweight Vernon Forrest, Augusta, Ga., vs. Steve Johnston, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Light-middleweight Raul Marquez, Houston, vs. Antwun Echols, Davenport, Iowa.
Middleweight Chris Byrd, Flint, Mich., vs. Michael DeMoss, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Light-heavyweight Jeremy Williams, Long Beach, vs. Montell Griffin, Studio City.
Heavyweight Danell Nicholson, Chicago, vs. Bobby Harris, Worcester, Mass.
Super-heavyweight Larry Donald, Cincinnati, vs. Edward Escobedo, McKinney, Tex.
Light-flyweight Eric Griffin, Broussard, La., vs. Bradley Martinez, Ft. Huachuca, Ariz.
Flyweight Tim Austin, Cincinnati, vs. Aristead Clayton, Baker, La.
Bantamweight Sergio Reyes, Camp Lejeune, vs. Sean Fletcher, Norfolk, Va.
Featherweight Julian Wheeler, Little Creek, Va., vs. Ivan Robinson, Philadelphia.
Lightweight Oscar De La Hoya, Los Angeles, vs. Patrice Brooks, St. Louis.
Welterweight Pepe Reilly, Glendale, vs. Jesse Briseno, Kalamazoo, Mich.