Gary Russell (left) overcame Jaron Ennis to claim victory in the light welterweight division ©USA Boxing

Nine boxers have booked their places at the Rio 2016 America Olympic Qualifying Event after winning their respective divisions at the USA Boxing Olympic trials in Reno, Nevada.

Under 64 kilogram light welterweight Gary Russell suffered an early setback on the opening day of competition having lost to Jaron Ennis, with the result seeing him have to battle through the challengers bracket to keep his hopes alive.

However, he was able to count on the support of his brother Gary Russell Jr, who had been forced to achieve the same feat to qualify for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Russell proved able to replicate his brother’s achievement and recorded five straight victories to reach the Championship bout, where he was able to gain revenge over Ennis.

"I feel like I'm following in good footsteps, my brother and I talk every night, every second of every day,” Russell said.

“That's a unit - me, my brother, my father.  

“We put our heads together and we're going to achieve these events and accomplish, conquer and execute.”

Under 69kg welterweight Paul Kroll also recovered from an early defeat to box his way into the American team for the Olympic qualifier, which is due to take place in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires from March 8 to 20, after beating 2015 national champion Ardreal Holmes in the final.

Nico Hernandez, Shakur Stevenson and Antonio Vargas also booked their places on the team
Nico Hernandez, Shakur Stevenson and Antonio Vargas also booked their places on the team ©USA Boxing

Toronto 2015 Pan American Games champion Antonio Vargas began the under 52kg flyweight division as the overwhelming favourite but after a surprise loss to Brent Venegas, in which he received a cut, his hopes of progression also appeared in doubt.

However, the pair met again in the final where Vargas was able to triumph in the contest against the World Series of Boxing star, receiving a split decision victory.

Lightweight fighter Nico Hernandez was the final boxer to seal victory on the concluding day of the two-day event by overcoming Leroy Davila on a split decision verdict.

The result saw him join 56kg bantamweight Shakur Stevenson, 75kg middleweight Charles Conwell and 81kg light heavyweight Jonathan Esquivel, who all earned victories on the first day of competition.

Cam F. Awesome and Marlo Moore also booked their spots on the American team after triumphing in the 91kg heavyweight and over 91kg super heavyweight events.

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