PUEBLO, Colorado — More than 400 amateur boxers from across the US will be in Pueblo this week to compete for a chance to advance to the Olympic trials later this year.
USA Boxing is hosting its Last Chance Qualifier all week long at the Pueblo Convention Center. The tournament will feature men and women competing in 13 weight classes.
The top two finishers will earn a spot at the Olympic trials in Lafayette, Louisiana in December.
Nine of the fighters are active duty soldiers at Fort Carson. They are competing as part of the Army's World Class Athlete Program (WCAP.)
Omaha naitive Jeremiah Parales is competing in the crowded 125 lb. bracket.
"I'm just ready to get back in the ring, to show how hard we've been working," he said.
Many of his teammates have already qualified for the Olympic trials at other competitions earlier this year.
"It's my time, this is my opportunity to get qualified for the Olympic trials," he said.
Brian Taylor with USA Boxing said more than 300 bouts are scheduled for the week. Fighters will compete in two rings in the center of the Exhibit Hall.
Taylor said the format of these fights are different from the prize fights on TV.
“A lot of times people see the big fights on TV and it’s 10 to 12 rounds. This is 3 rounds, three minute rounds," Taylor said. "So, they're high-intensity fights from start to finish. Iit’s a lot of great action. It’s really, really good to watch.”
The competition is open to the public. Single-day tickets and week-long passes can be purchased from the Pueblo Convention Center box office inside Memorial Hall, or by visiting https://www.puebloconventioncenter.com.
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