It was a sad day for the San Gabriel Valley's Olympic contingent.
Dominic Breazeale, a former Alhambra quarterback who represented Team USA in heavyweight boxing, fell behind early in a brutal match to Russia's Magomed Omarov which he lost 19-8.
"Playing the catch-up game is tough at this level," Breazeale, 27, said, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. The Northern Colorado graduate only began training 3 1/2 years ago, after not making it to the NFL draft. Instead, he was recruited to box at a Carson gym called "The Rock" and quickly climbed the ranks as a super heavyweight. "I'm learning, definitely, from this experience," Breazeale said. "The trainers did a great job. Every time I came back to the corner, they said, `Stick to the game plan.' It's my fault, not sticking to the game plan. In the middle of a bout, you can't second-guess yourself."
Bantamweight Joseph Diaz, Jr., of South El Monte, fell to Cuban World Champion Lazaro Alvarez Estrada 21 – 15. The third US heavyweight boxer, Michael Hunter of Las Vegas, also lost.
The Los Angeles Times sports writer Bill Plaschke, in a column "US Boxing Heavyweights Come Away Battered," blamed poor coaching and that American heavyweight athletes are more attracted to the NBA or NFL where they earn millions — and do not get punched.
Breazeale, Diaz, and Hunter will likely turn pro in the fall, according to the Bulletin.