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Colombia had a perfect day in the first qualification tournament for the Central American & Caribbean Games in Tijuana, Mexico. After a painful start, with defending AMBC American Continental Champion Jorge Vivas losing his opening bout in the preliminary stage of the competition, all five Colombian boxers won their fights on day 3 of the tournament.

Bout of the day
Even though Puerto Rico is a relatively small island, all of their age groups in boxing are skilled enough to compete at world class level. Flyweight (52 kg) number one Jeyvier Cintron had qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the age of 17 and reached the quarter-finals of the Games, where he was stopped by Russia’s two-time AIBA World Champion Misha Aloian. Although still very young, Cintron already possesses a wealth of experience and can certainly nurture dreams for a medal at the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympics. The Puerto Rican boxer faced another favourite – Cuba’s National Champion Gerardo Cervantes who had competed in the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. As expected, their bout brought a fierce fight in the third day of the competition in Tijuana. Cintron’s showed all of his determination in the final moments of the contest to win by a small margin in this match involving two promising stars.

Team of the day
Colombia experienced a dream day in Tijuana, with all five of their national team members fighting in session 3 and 4 advancing to the next round of the competition.
Yubergen Martinez showed the way for Colombia in the Light Flyweight class (49 kg), beating Honduras’ London 2012 Olympian Bayron Molina. Flyweight (52 kg) experienced boxer, South American Games winner Ceiber David Avila and newcomer Brayan Rico then both defeated athletes from Haiti. National Games winner Juan Carrillo went on to eliminate Nicaragua’s top fighter, London 2012 Olympian Osmar Bravo by split decision, while the fifth and final victory of the day for Colombia was achieved by AMBC American Continental Champion veteran Deivis Julio who beat Puerto Rico’s AMBC American Youth Continental Champion Sahret Delgado in a narrow contest.

Surprise of the day
Panama’s Atheyna Bylon, winner of the Independence Cup in Santiago de los Caballeros in Dominican Republic in February, continued his winning streak against Mexico’s Adriana Adriano, the Middleweight (75 kg) boxer winning by unanimous decision. Bylon won all of the rounds with a score of 10:9 on all judges’ scorecards and her victory was therefore fully deserved and certainly represents a great achievement for boxing in Panama.

Facts of the day
Twelve nations have guaranteed at least a bronze medal after the quarter-finals in Tijuana. The most successful nations are the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico with nine semi-finals places each in the qualification tournament.

Not to miss
The qualification tournament reaches the semi-final phase and one of the most anticipated bout will see Guatemala’s AIBA Youth World Championships silver medallist sensation Lester Martinez take on Bahamas’ Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Carl Heild in the Welterweight class (69 kg).