Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josh Cassatt, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A San Diego-based Sailor assigned to USS Pinckney (DDG 91) will compete in the 36th annual National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues (PAL) Boxing Tournament Oct. 2-9 in San Antonio, which could mean a shot at the 2012 Olympics.
Seaman Justin Diaz, a Miami native, is leading the All-Navy Boxing Team to San Antonio, where he will face off against military and civilian amateur boxers in the first Olympic trials qualifying tournament.
"This is my second time trying to make the Olympic team," Diaz said. "I have the entire command behind me, and I'm extremely motivated to show what I can do."
The 21-year-old Diaz will fight as a light welterweight in the 141-pound weight class. He holds a record of 20-3 in Navy competition and has won back-to-back gold medals in inter-service competition in the 2009 and 2010 Armed Forces Sports Championships.
"I think it is a great opportunity for him to compete," said Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW/AW) Erik Findall, Pinckney's Operations Department leading chief petty officer. "He knows what he wants, and he knows how to get there."
Diaz recently earned his place on, and became captain of, the All-Navy Boxing Team by becoming one of six finalists during boxing tryouts held earlier in 2010 in Port Hueneme, Calif.
Although he is currently unranked, Diaz has beaten the third, fourth, fifth and seventh nationally ranked fighters this year, a record that should instill confidence heading into the Olympic qualifier.
"If you know what you want, you have to go out and get it, and Seaman Diaz knows what he wants," said Findall.