By: Bob Trieger
PROVIDENCE (June 8, 2011) – U.S. Olympic Boxing Team hopeful Toka Kahn-Clary, the recent 18-year-old E3 Academy graduate in Providence, will be shooting for a berth in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials when he competes in the upcoming 2001 USA Boxing National Championships at Colorado Springs.
By finishing among the top four in the 132-pound division at The Nationals, June 20-24, Kahn-Clary will advance to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The winners there in each of the eight divisions will become members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, which will participate in the 2011 World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan to try and qualify for 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The Liberia-native who moved to Providence 12 years ago 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), explained that Toka will represent Regional 1 (New England, New York and New Jersey) at The Nationals. “All Toka needs to do is win two fights and he’ll qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Box-Offs,” said Manfredo, who is also coach of the Regional 1 team. “Toka is looking real good. He’s had great sparring partners, pros and amateurs. I brought in all styles – power, speed, pressure, etc. – because we wanted him to work with every possibility that he may box in this tournament. The Nationals is most prestigious and important tournament because the top four make it to the Box-offs, unlike only the winners for the other four tournaments (PAL, Golden Globes, Armed Forces and Last Chance Qualifier).”
Last year, Kahn-Clary (72-7 career amateur record) captured a gold medal in the 123-pound bantamweight class of the National Golden Gloves Tournament.
If Toka earns a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, he will become the third straight Olympic boxer from Rhode Island, joining Jason Estrada and Demetrius Andrade from the 2004 and 2008 squads, respectively.