Long Beach boxer Patricia Manuel's dream of fighting in the first women's Olympic boxing tournament ended Tuesday in an Eastern Washington hotel room when she pulled out of the U.S. trials after one fight because of a shoulder injury.
Manuel, among the favorites in the lightweight (132 pounds) division, was limited to one tournament in the last 11 months because of a painful compressed joint in her right shoulder. After months of therapy she thought the injury was behind her, but it flared up again three weeks ago. And in Monday's opening-round bout in Airway Heights, Wash., she was unable to throw an effective right hand against with Florida's Tiara Brown and lost an 18-13 decision.
The 26-year-old former national Golden Gloves champion iced the shoulder late Monday but after she awoke Tuesday in greater pain, she and trainer Robert Luna elected to withdraw from the double-elimination tournament rather than risk further injury.
"I'm sorry my story ends like this," Manuel wrote in a text message.
-- Kevin Baxter in Airway Heights, Wash.
Photo: Patricia Manuel lays on the hotel bed with an ice pack on her shoulder as trainer Robert Luna checks his messages after losing Manuel lost her bout at the U.S. Olympic trials in Washington on Monday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times