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U.S. Olympic Boxing Spotlight: Light Flyweight – Luis Yanez

Last month when SaddoBoxing got the opportunity to meet with the U.S. Olympic boxing team at a workout session at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York, I have to admit I did a little research on the various fighters to get myself more familiar with the team. I, of course, knew the East Coast amateurs pretty well, but needed to brush up on the rest of the team.

After reading up on all the athletes, one of the more publicized media highlights was that Luis Yanez had been dismissed from the team. The particular workout session I attended was just after he had been dismissed from the team and before his return, so he was not available for an interview, not to mention unavailable to sign a boxing glove the rest of the team signed, but I digress.

The background story was that Yanez left the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs and did not return. He was originally leaving to attend his high school graduation and never returned, breaking off all communication with his coaches. Yanez was kicked off the team on July 1 after missing three weeks of mandatory training and refusing to respond to a letter from USA Boxing that insisted he return or risk expulsion.

Yanez was reinstated two weeks later with an agreement that overturned the decision to dismiss him from the team. Yanez released the following statement, “I want to thank USA Boxing for its understanding and sense of forgiveness. I sincerely apologize to head coach [Dan] Campbell , to my teammates, and to USA Boxing for not only breaking the rules of the Athlete Code of Conduct, but also for my lack of candor regarding the circumstances of my absence from the Resident Program.”

In the agreement, Yanez had to meet specific stipulations including a financial penalty for his absence. Although he was reluctant to specify a reason for his actions, he later stated he had been caring for his sister and her four children while she was undergoing medical treatment.

Yanez was born on October 25, 1988 in his hometown of Duncanville, Texas. He began boxing in 1997 and is coached by Dennis Rodarte. As a child, his dad brought him to the boxing gym, but his biggest influence was Hector Beltran, who he grew up with and has helped train Yanez.

Yanez's career highlights include: two-time National Golden Gloves Champion, Cadet World Championship Silver Medallist, National Champion, U.S. National Champion and Pan American Games Gold Medallist.

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