Sunday saw the final day of action of a memorable AMBC American Confederation Boxing Championships in Honduras, with the last of the Finals crowning the 2017 Continental Champions at six weight categories. Saturday had already seen four men’s titles awarded, after Friday witnessed the ten Women’s AMBC Champions crowned in the capital of Tegucigalpa. With this year’s five continental competitions acting as direct qualification routes to the Men’s AIBA 2017 World Championships in Hamburg, 60 boxers from 16 countries in the Americas can now begin preparations for August’s prestigious event following what was the biggest boxing tournament ever staged in Honduras.
The first gold of the final day went to Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia at Flyweight (52kg), who proved too strong for Colombia’s Ceiber David Avila and secured his first ever Continental title after Puerto Rico’s Yankiel Rivera and Barbados’ young hope Jabali Breedy had earlier won their Box-Offs to also qualify for Hamburg. Veitia’s teammates Andy Cruz (64kg) and Erislandy Savon (91kg) then continued their team’s superb run of golds, Savon narrowly edging a split decision against Argentina’s Yamil Alberto Peralta to successfully defend his title of two years ago.
In what is becoming one of the classic Light Flyweight (49kg) rivalries, Colombia’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Yuberjen Martinez once again went toe-to-toe against Olympic bronze medallist Johanys Argilagos, and once again he was able to out-box the Cuban for enough of a superbly competitive bout to edge the decision and earn his first AMBC title. Guatemala’s Michael Tello and Costa Rica’s Robinson Rodriguez will join the pair in Hamburg after winning their respective Box-Offs.
Leonel De Los Santos was able to overcome Cuban Javier Ibanez to earn the Bantamweight (56kg) gold, becoming one of four boxers from the Dominican Republic to secure passage to the World Championships, but the Cuba team was back on top of the podium after the final action of the tournament saw Super Heavyweight (+91kg) Jose Angel Larduet continue his sparkling return to form with a brilliant win against Colombia’s Cristian Salcedo.
Along with Cuba (10) and Colombia (7), the USA (6), Brazil (5) and Mexico (5) all qualified at least half their team for the 2017 AIBA World Championships. Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela qualified four boxers, Argentina, Costa Rica and Ecuador three and Guatemala two. Barbados, Canada, Nicaragua and Trinidad and Tobago will all be represented by one boxer in Hamburg.
Argentina topped the medal table in the AMBC Women’s competition, winning three gold medals on Friday to underline the fantastic growth of the sport in the country. The Canada, USA and Colombia teams went home with two golds, Brazil with one.