Joe Smith to lead USA women's boxing team

Joe Smith to lead USA women's boxing team

March 22nd, 2012 by Ron Bush in Sports - Professional

Joe Smith is overseeing a U.S. boxing team for competition outside the country.

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Chattanooga's Joe Smith again is overseeing a United States boxing team for competition outside the country.

This time it's the first USA women's team going to an international Olympics qualifying tournament -- the Americas qualifier in Montreal, Canada. The president of Chattanooga Golden Gloves Charities will be accompanying 10 U.S. representatives trying to earn their way to London in three weight classes.

Smith was the U.S. team manager for the Beijing Olympics.

He will be leaving Sunday -- after the 76th annual Chattanooga Golden Gloves event Saturday night -- for a week of training for the women at Colorado Springs. Then they'll fly to Montreal for the April 2-8 tournament that includes fighters from 20 countries.

"It is exciting. It is an honor, especially considering that this is the first time the Olympics has ever included women's boxing," said Smith, a member of the Tennessee Athletic Commission. "I've been to Toronto a couple of times, but I've never been to Montreal, so I'm looking forward to that.

"Boxing has taken me all over the world. I have to guess my white hair and experience is why they asked me to do this."

The local Golden Gloves competition will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday in Hall A at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Two rings will be in use with 20 bouts scheduled for each, and fighters are coming from Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina as well as Tennessee, Smith said.

Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for students, and a few corporate tables of eight for $200 are still available. Anyone interested can call Smith at 400-8472.