The third day of Olympic qualification for the Americas saw the continent’s best men’s light flyweight, bantamweight, middleweight and heavyweight boxers in action in Buenos Aires. The tension was high with three Rio 2016 quota places at stake at each class, and the crowd didn’t have to wait long for some remarkable action to unfurl.

The biggest result of the day came for home favourite Alberto Melian, who recovered brilliantly from an early knock-down to defeat Cuba’s reigning Olympic Bantamweight Champion Robeisy Ramirez and raise the roof of the city’s Ferial la Rural de Palermo venue.

Fellow bantamweight star Hector Luis Garcia of the Dominican Republic followed Ramirez out of the competition after losing to Canada’s experienced Tanjit S. Kenny Lally in a brilliant, frenetic contest.

“It felt like my best fight I’ve ever had to date, everything was just working. The gameplan was to keep him off balance with my footwork and to make him constantly reset his attack and it worked. Each round I could see him getting more and more frustrated with not being able to attack, and as the fight progressed I started picking up my own attacks and letting my hands go. It feels right to be in the top eight, but I’m not done shocking people yet – I’ve only just begun,” said Canada’s Kenny Lally after the memorable win.

The American bantamweight favourite Shakur Stevenson never looked in any trouble against Colombia’s Luis Miguel Ruiz, and Puerto Rico’s Carlos Jose Caraballo beat Ecuador’s Segundo David Padilla to reach the last eight.

Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez remains among the favourites for light flyweight gold after his win over Canadian Todd Napper, and America’s Charles Conwell was in inspired form as he outclassed Uruguay’s Alejandro Mora at middleweight.

Ecuadorian APB star and middleweight top seed Marlo Delgado came through his tough opener against Brazil’s Pedro Lima, and he will be joined in the last eight by Costa Rica’s Jason Fabian Ramirez, who got his tactics just right against the experienced Raul Sanchez

“We had a strict game plan for my Brazilian opponent and I was able to follow it step by step. I am satisfied with that performance, but I have even more to show in my next bout in Buenos Aires,” said Ecuador’s London 2012 Olympian Marlo Delgado after his bout.

At heavyweight, Colombian WSB star Deivis Julio Blanco had to dig deep to overcome a spirited challenge from the Chilean Miguel Veliz, before Haiti’s Arnaud Sony Junior scored his first ever international triumph with a win over Louis Jones of Belize. Junior is joined in the last eight by American Cam F. Awesome after he defeated Bahamas’ teenager Davon Hamilton.