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Jun 20, 2011 2:25 AM by Lee Douglas/USA Boxing

USA Boxing Championships begin Monday in Colorado Springs

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) - Over 500 athletes, boxers, coaches and officials arrived in Colorado Springs on Sunday in preparation for the 2011 USA Boxing National Championships, June 20-25. The event draw took place on Sunday evening, determining the path each athlete will have to navigate to take home a gold medal, and in the 13 Olympic weight divisions, a highly coveted U.S. Olympic Team Trials berth.

Preliminary action will be contested in eight of the 10 men's weight classes and all three female Olympic weight divisions on opening day. Monday's victors will join those who received opening day byes and the less crowded weight classes who will commence preliminary round action on Tuesday.

Several top athletes will showcase their skills in Monday's action with 2008 Olympian Raynell Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) making his long awaited return to the national championships in an opening bout against Christopher Bell (Little Rock, Ark.). 2010 USA Boxing National Championships bronze medalist Toka Kahn Clary (Providence, R.I.) will join him in lightweight action as well.

Monday's competition will feature a rematch of the bantamweight championship bouts as defending champion Joseph Diaz, Jr. (El Monte, Calif.) battles silver medalist Ricky Rodriguez (Greeley, Colo.). 2010 USA Boxing National Championships bronze medalist Daquan Arnett (Orlando, Fla.) will take the ring on opening day, facing off with Edgar Alvarado, Jr. (San Bernadino, Calif.).

In women's action, five-time national champion Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) will begin her run toward a sixth straight crown, battling Tiffany Perez (Hammond, Ind.). Her fellow defending champion in an Olympic weight class, lightweight Queen Underwood (Seattle, Wash.) will kick off her 2011 USA Boxing National Championships on Monday as well with a first round contest with Tiara Brown (Lehigh Acres, Fla.).

Monday's preliminary round action will be contested in two sessions at noon and 6 p.m. at the Colorado Springs Christian School and full results will be disseminated at the completion of each session. The brackets for each of the 20 weight divisions can be found at this link - at USA Boxing

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