PROVIDENCE (March 20, 2011) – U.S. Olympic Boxing Team hopeful Toka Kahn- Clary, an 18-year-old senior at E3 Academy in Providence, won a close decision today (Sunday) against U.S. Marine Tommy Rogue at the 2011 Pan American Games Box-Offs, held at the Olympic Training Center’s Sports Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
By winning at the Pan American Box-Offs, Kahn-Clary earned a spot on the U.S. Team heading to the 2011 Pan Am International Games Qualifier 1, March 25-30, in Venezuela.
Kahn-Clary and Rogue, who is the U.S. Armed Forces Championship winner, fought to a 13-13 (25-25) deadlock that went in Toka’s favor by way of a 3-2 judges’ poll. He had defeated Louis Cruz in the semifinals, 6-3.
The Liberia-native who moved to Providence 12 years ago opened had already captured top honors in the 132-pound lightweight division this year at the at the New England Tournament of Champions at Foxwoods Resort Casino (CT), New England Golden Gloves Tournament in Lowell (MA), and Northeast Regional Championships at Lake Placid (NY).
Kahn-Clary’s coach, Peter Manfredo Sr., (Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket), has been named as a coach for the New England squad competing in the National Golden Gloves Tournament, as well as the Region 1 team (New England, New York and New Jersey) at the U.S. Championships. “I’ll be seeing plenty of Toka,” his proud trainer said. “This was a real tough fight. Toka was losing going into the third (final) round but he hhit him with some real nice one-twos. The other kid kept coming at him and Toka won it with his left. Toka beat Rogue before in Newport when a team from New England fought the U.S. Marines boxing team. They go all over boxing and the boxers are all in tremendous shape. This was a real big win for Toka.”
Last year, Kahn-Clary took gold 123-pound bantamweight class at the National Golden Gloves Tournament. His career amateur record is 71-6 and he has qualified for The USA Boxing National Championships, June 20-25, at Colorado Springs. The top four finishers will qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to box for a spot on the squad competing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Toka is aiming for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, which will compete in London. Kahn-Clary would become the third straight Olympic boxer from Rhode Island, joining Jason Estrada and Demetrius Andrade from the 2004 and 2008 squads, respectively.