Lightweight Davy Armstrong figures to be the first boxer to represent the United States in three Olympiads and carries the hopes of winning a gold medal in 1980 in Moscow.
Five U.S. boxers who won Olympic championships in 1976 - Sugar Ray Leonard, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Howard Davis and Leo Randolph - have turned professional.
Only three members of the 1976 team, Armstrong, light flyweight Louis Curtis of Washington, D.C., and welterweight Clint Jackson, still are amateurs and Jackson is expected to become a professional shortly, according to Col. Don Hull, Amateur Athletic Union boxing administrator, whose organization conducts the "official" United States boxing championships.
Hull cautions hopeful U.S. fans that Marvis Frazier, son of the former Olympic and later professional heavyweight champion, Joe Frazier, may not be ready to represent this country in next year's Olympiad. But, Hull adds, Frazier still is the best-looking fighter in his class at this time after defeating Tony Tubbs of Cincinnati May 19.
Frazier, 18, is unbeaten in 32 bouts and has scored 17 knockouts. He won the national Golden Gloves heavyweight title March 31 in Indianapolis by decisioning Philip Brown.
But Hull notes that Joe Frazier is "monitoring" his son's career closely and held him out of the national AAU competition May 9-12 in Lake Charles, La., and the upcoming Pan American Games.
Hull, who also is president of the International Amateur Boxing Association, says there are two heavyweights who could beat Frazier - Tubbs and Jimmy Clark of Coatsville, Pa.
"The fellow who could be the best is Mitchell Green of New York City, who has never had the right training like Frazier but has a lung reach and a good punch," Hull said. He is 215 pounds but skinny at 6-foot-5.
"I wish our heavyweights were bigger as well as good. Teofilo Stevenson is big, 235 pounds, and good. Tubbs, Clark, and Frazier are all under 200 pounds." Stevenson won gold medals for Cuba in 1972 and 1976.
It is the smaller men who have Hull envisioning gold medals for the United States.
Bantamweight Kenneth Baysmore of Washington, a 17-year-old Cardozo High School student, is a veteran of nearly 50 bouts and besides being impressed with his "toughness," Hull thinks he is "exceptionally good."
Baysmore's chances of making the Olympics, however, were damaged when he was defeated recently by Jackie Beard of Jackson, Tenn., in the Pan American Games trials in Toledo. Earlier, Baysmore had decisioned Beard for the national Golden Gloves title. (KEY OFF)(KEYWORD)nother Washingtonian, Curtis, was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1976 as a light flyweight, but Hull doubts if he can beat out Albert Sandoval of Pomona, Calif. He expects Curtis can no longer make the weight limit and be effective enough.
Though he recently turned 16, Tony Ayala of San Antonio won the national Golden Gloves middleweight title in what Hull calls "polished style" after being helped by two brothers who box professionally. Ayala is a finishing puncher and has demonstrated he can take a hit, too.
"I'm saying on the record that right now Cuba is still the best team . . . ," Hull said. "Russia and the United States can give Cuba good competition but can't beat the Cubans, with fellows like Stevenson in the heavyweight division and Angel Herrera defending his featherweight gold medal.
We'll (the U.S.) do our damndest."
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - ALBERT SANDOVAL.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Stephen Mushoki, Kenya; Albert Sandoval. U.S.
1976 CHAMPION - Jorge Herandez, Cuba.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Jerome Coffee.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Henry Srednicki, Poland; Jerome Coffee, U.S.; Alexandr Mikhilov, Soviet Union; Jorge Hernandez, Cuba.
1976 CHAMPION - Leo Randolph, U.S.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Jackie Beard.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Jackie Beard, U.S. Stefan Forster, East Germany; Adolfo Horta, Cuba.
1976 CHAMPION - Yong Jo Gu, North Korea.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - BERNARD TAYLOR.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Bernard Taylor, U.S.; Angel Herrera, Cuba.
1976 CHAMPION - Angel Herrera, Cubo.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Davy Armstrong
MEDAL FAVORITES - DAVY ARMSTRONG, U.S.; ANDEH DAVIDSON , NIGERIA.
1976 CHAMPION - Howard Davis, U.S.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Lemuel Steeples.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Valeri Lvov, Soviet Union; Lemuel Steeples, U.S.
1976 CHAMPION - Ray Leonard, U.S.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Eddie Green.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Valeri Rachkov, Soviet Union; Miodrag Permunovic, Yugoslavia.
1976 CHAMPION - Jochen Bachfeld, East Germany.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Jeff Stoudemire,
MEDAL FAVORITES - Victor Savchenko, Soviet Union; Jeff Stoudemire, U.S.; Louis Martinez, Cuba.
1976 CHAMPION - Jerzy Rybicki, Poland.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Tony Ayala.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Jose Gomez, Cuba; Vladimir Shapkivov, Soviet Union.
1976 CHAMPION - Michael Spinks, U.S.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Tony Tucker.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Tony Tucker, U.S.; Herbert Bauch, East Germany; Mikolai Erofeev, Soviet Union.
1976 CHAMPION - Leon Spinks, U.S.
LIKELY U.S. COMPETITOR - Marvis Frazier.
MEDAL FAVORITES - Teofilo Stevenson, Cuba; Marvis Frazier, U.S.; Jurgen Fanghaenel, East Germany.
1976 CHAMPION - Teofilo Stevenson, Cuba.