Chattanooga to host US National Championships boxing qualifier
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – A local boxing club will host the first stop on the road to the 2012 London Olympics next month in Chattanooga.
Winners from the Chattanooga fights will be eligible for US National Championships in Colorado Springs. The top four finishers in Colorado clinch a spot in the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Three boxers from Chattanooga will take part in the bouts – Roger Hilley, 123 pound class, Ryan Martin, 141 pound class, and Emily Dagnan, 125 pound women's class. Pugilists from Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi will compete in the tournament.
"It feels good to have it at home because it definitely feels like you have the support behind you," said Martin, who goes to Central High School. "I hope the crowd is into it because I'm really excited to fight in my hometown in something so major and so important."
The 2012 Olympics in London will mark the first time for women's boxing.
The regional championships are being coordinated by Joe Smith, director of the Westside Boxing Club and team manager for the US Olympic Team in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
"This is the best of the best in these four states, and it's two steps away from the U.S. Olympic team, so that's pretty strong," Smith said. "We've had one other tournament at the First Tennessee Pavilion, but nothing that led to international competition like this. It's outdoors, but it's indoors, so it should be a great atmosphere.
"We're just excited to bring it here to Chattanooga because this event is a home run for the city."
Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Corporate ringside tables, which seat eight, are also available for $200. To purchase tickets or to obtain more information, call 400-8472 or 847-7682.