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Alhambra boxer Dominic Breazeale takes shot at Olympic berth

Super-heavyweight is among seven fighters pursuing spots on the U.S. Olympic team during a qualifying tournament next week.

April 24, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Dominic Breazeale, right, delivers a punch to the face of Brett Rather during their super-heavyweight bout at the U.S. Boxing Championships in Colorado on March 3.
Dominic Breazeale, right, delivers a punch to the face of Brett Rather during… (Jack Dempsey / Associated…)

Alhambra super-heavyweight Dominic Breazeale is among seven American boxers who will try to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic boxing team starting next week in Rio de Janeiro.

Breazeale and four others have been training in Carson at a facility known as "the Rock," including light-flyweight Santos Vasquez of Reno, lightweight Jose Ramirez of Avenal, light-welterweight Jamel Herring of Coram, N.Y., and middleweight Terrell Gausha of Cleveland.

The final Americas qualifier tournament in Brazil on May 5-13 will require a minimum top-five finish by the fighters to land a spot on the U.S. team, otherwise the weight class will be vacated by the U.S. in the London Games.

In a 14-fighter competition, Breazeale will need a top-three finish in Brazil after the U.S. failed to send a super-heavyweight to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

"I feel great about the situation," Breazeale said.

A large part of his optimism has to do with the training process Breazeale has gone through at "the Rock," which is financially backed by television producer Michael King, and seeks to return American heavyweights to prominence.

Breazeale, from Alhambra High, was among 800 athletes recruited to the facility after he was the starting quarterback at Northern Colorado in 2006-07.

"It's kind of unique. There's a war room with video to study opponents, a strength and conditioning center, a great nutrition program — the key things you need to be successful in sport," Breazeale said. "It has the makings of something great.

"I've got an edge that no other boxer in the country or the world has."

Bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte, flyweight Rau'shee Warren of Cincinnati and welterweight Erroll Spence of Desoto, Texas, have clinched U.S. Olympic team spots.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimespugmire

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