The qualification tournament for the Panamerican Games begins tomorrow in Tijuana, Mexico, where the competing boxers will all be hoping to secure their place at July’s huge event in Toronto, Canada.
What: Panamerican Games Qualifier
Where: Tijuana, Mexico
When: 4-9 June 2015
The Tension and the Drama
There are some boxers who have already qualified for the Panamerican Games via their individual rankings in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
Cuba, United States of America and Mexico were the most successful nations from the American continent in WSB, which puts pressure on their neighbouring countries to try and qualify in-form talent to join them in Toronto.
Shields vs Bylon?
London 2012 Olympic Champion and AIBA Women’s World Champion Claressa Shields already has an amazing gold medal collection, but the US star is hunting for her first Panamerican Games title to add to her list of accomplishments.
Shields could meet Panama’s own World Champion Atheyna Bylon in Tijuana, who has moved back to Middleweight (75 kg) this year.
A potential bout between the two decorated athletes is an excellent proposition for all boxing fans, and would be a battle that guarantees world class action from beginning to end.
Ones to watch
Dominican Republic’s Leonel De Los Santos was a silver medallist in the 2013 AMBC American Continental Championships, and won the 2014 Central American & Caribbean Games where he was the lone non-Cuban winner in the men’s part of the event.
After moving up to Flyweight (52 kg) three months ago, he won the Cheo Aponte Tournament in April, which makes him a major threat in Mexico.
His main rivals will be Brazil’s AMBC American Continental Champion veteran Juliao Henriques Neto, and 19-year-old US hope Antonio Vargas.
Puerto Rico’s strong 22-year-old Danielito Zorrilla is the favourite of the Light Welterweight class (64 kg), where his dangerous opponents include Brazil’s Sportaccord World Combat Games winner Joedison Teixeira, Dominican Republic’s AMBC American Youth Continental Champion Sparkinson Almonte, and Trinidad & Tobago’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Michael Alexander.
Facts and figures
A record number of 32 nations has registered to take part in the Panamerican Games Qualifier, with 186 boxers expected to feature.
All 13 Olympic categories will be represented, including 37 women’s boxers across three weight classes.
History of the Panamerican Games Qualifier
The first Panamerican Games qualification tournament was held in 1999 from Salinas, Puerto Rico, while the last edition was held in Guadalajara, Mexico when women’s boxing was involved for the very first time.