After the completion of the enthralling preliminary rounds, the quarter-finals of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games were held on the third competition day as the program was divided into an afternoon and evening session.
Athletes from the three women’s weight classes also began their competition at Flyweight (51 kg), Lightweight (60 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg).
Additionally, boxers from the men’s Light Flyweight (49 kg), Bantamweight (56 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg) categories fought to earn guaranteed medals and a place in the semi-finals.
Bout of the day
Canada’s Caroline Veyre emerged onto the international boxing landscape in 2013 after a series of excellent performances, and the home star also won the Pan American Games Qualifier in Tijuana, Mexico last month.
As the main gold medal contender of the women’s Lightweight division, Veyre’s first opponent in Toronto was Puerto Rico’s former Pan American Games winner Kiria Tapia, who is a vastly experienced boxer.
Veyre defeated her Puerto Rican rival last month, and edged their much awaited rematch on Day 3 by split decision after a tremendously thrilling bout.
Tapia looked in control early, before her Canadian opponent began to soak up the loud support from the crowd as her accuracy and concentration increased.
Both athletes worked tirelessly through each round, but it was Veyre’s power which seemed to make the most significant difference, as she caused damage with many of her shots.
Following her tough opening victory, Veyre will now meet Mirquin Jahaziel Sena after the Dominican Republic fighter eliminated Karla Patricia Herrera.
Team of the day
As the host nation of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Canada are under pressure to perform well, and achieved a perfect series of results on Day 3 as all four of their representatives achieved success.
Besides Caroline Veyre, Canada won two further women’s bouts, beginning with a close victory for Mandy Bujold over Peru’s Lucy Valdivia at Flyweight.
Bujold was a strong favourite heading into the bout, but was forced to work incredibly hard against her talented Peruvian opponent.
Former two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Ariane Fortin enjoyed a more serene route to the semi-finals as she won every round against Venezuelan Middleweight Francelis Carmona.
Canada’s fourth winner on the third competition day was AMBC American Continental Championships silver medallist Kenny Lally who showed a great fighting spirit in his Bantamweight match with Ecuador’s Strandja Memorial Tournament silver medallist Segundo Padilla.
Surprises of the day
Two incredible Light Flyweight bouts produced some surprise results, beginning with Venezuela’s Yoel Finol enjoying a decisive victory over Colombia’s number one seed Yubergen Martinez.
18-year-old Finol recently enjoyed a successful opening season in the World Series of Boxing (WSB), and he used his new found experience against a highly rated neighbouring opponent.
Nicaragua’s Kevin Adonis Arias won the gold medal at the Pan American Games Qualifier in Tijuana last month, but then lost to Cuba’s AIBA Junior World Champion Joahnys Oscar Argilagos Perez in their Light Flyweight quarter-final.
Current AIBA Women’s World Boxing Champion Marlen Esparza opened her tournament in Toronto with a dynamic Flyweight triumph over Nicaragua’s Claudia Parrales.
London 2012 Olympic Champion and defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Claressa Shields also made her debut at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games with success over Brazil’s South American Games winner Flavia Figueiredo
United States’ third triumph on Day 3 was delivered by WSB National Trials winner Francisco Martinez, who stopped Peruvian Bantamweight Jorvi Edgar Farronan.
Mexico’s current AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Victoria Torres then defeated Dominica’s Valerian Spicer at Lightweight, and will now meet Argentina’s strong Dayana Sanchez in the semi-finals.
Colombian Middleweight Jorge Luis Vivas beat all of his rivals at the Pan American Games Qualifier last month, and he eventually earned another victory in Toronto over Dominican Republic’s Raul Sanchez.
22-year-old Sanchez was a competitive rival with incredible strength, but Vivas was able to soak up the initial pressure and eventually win the contest.
The further guaranteed medallists from the men’s Middleweight class (75 kg) are Mexico’s Misael Rodriguez, Venezuela’s Endry Saavedra and Cuba’s Arlen Lopez.
Fact of the day
The following nations have secured the 32 medals so far in Toronto after Day 3:
- Canada, Cuba: 5 guaranteed medals
- Dominican Republic, United States of America: 4 medals
- Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela: 3 medals
- Argentina: 2 medals
- Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico: 1 medal
Quotes of the day
“I was happy to get the tournament started and my opponent from Peru was a very good boxer for me in the opening. I felt like I started to get my timing as the fight went on and I will carry that with me into the semi-finals tomorrow night,” said Canada’s Mandy Bujold.
“I am very happy with my performance, mainly because as the fight progressed I felt more relaxed and fluid. The first fight of the tournament is always more stressful, so I am happy that the ice has broken. Yenebier is an opponent whom I have a lot of respect for, and I am looking forward to being in the ring with her tomorrow,” commented Canada’s former two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Ariane Fortin.
The twelve remaining women’s boxers will be fighting for the place in the Pan American Games gold medal bouts, while the men’s Flyweight (52 kg), Lightweight (60 kg), Light Welterweight (64 kg), Welterweight (69 kg) and Light Heavyweight (81 kg) classes will be in action on Day 4.