By Tom Degun

michael_hunter15-07-11July 15 - The media accreditation process for the United States Olympic Team Trials in men's boxing has now opened, with the event at the Mobile Civic Centre in Alabama set to decide the American boxers that will compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games next year.

The United States has produced some of the greatest Olympic boxers of all time including heavyweight icon Muhammad Ali, who won gold at the Rome 1960 Olympics, and Sugar Ray Leonard, who claimed victory at the Montreal 1976 Olympics, with the next generation of American amateur boxers hoping to emulate the two legends at London 2012.

The event, which will take place from July 31 to August 6, will see the competitors in each of the ten men's weight divisions determined by five qualifying tournaments with the champions from the 2010 National PAL Championships, 2011 Armed Forces Championships, 2011 National Golden Gloves Championships and the Last Chance Qualifier event joining the top four finishers from the 2011 USA Boxing National Championships.

The event already boasts a stellar cast, with 2007 flyweight world champion and two-time Olympian Rau'shee Warren in action, looking to win his division to become the first American boxer in history to compete in three Olympic Games.

Fellow United States Olympic Team Trials champion Michael Hunter (pictured) will look to compete in his second Olympics in London, although he could face a major obstacle for the heavyweight spot in the form of 2010 USA Boxing Athlete of the Year Steve Geffrard.

Three-time National Champion Louie Byrd will be favourite to qualify for London 2012 in the light flyweight division, while fellow triple National Champion Errol Spence looks likely to claim the welterweight spot.

Meanwhile Beijing 2008 Olympian Raynell Williams earned a berth in his second straight United States Olympic Team Trials just last week at the Last Chance Qualifier tournament in Cincinnati.

The United States Olympic Team Trials for men's boxing is a double elimination tournament with the champion from the winners' bracket meeting the victor from the challengers' bracket in the finals.

The challenger's bracket representative must beat the champion's bracket winner twice in order to win the United States Olympic Team Trials.

Action will commence on Sunday, July 31 with quarterfinal action in all 10 weight divisions, while the event will culminate with the final round contests between the champions bracket winner and the challengers bracket titlist on Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6 if necessary.

The ten winners at the United States Olympic Team Trials for men's boxing will represent the United States at the first international Olympic qualifier at the 2011 AIBA men's World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan from September to October.

To obtain a press credential for the event in Alabama, contact [email protected] before July 29.

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