Many great matches took place on Day 4 at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games where the finalists of the three women’s gold medal bouts were decided.
Boxers from the men’s Flyweight (52 kg), Lightweight (60 kg), Light Welterweight (64 kg), Welterweight (69 kg) and Light Heavyweight (81 kg) weight classes were also in action on Day 4 as many highly rated competitors suffered surprising defeats.
The winners of the men’s contests advanced through to the semi-finals in the Games earning each victor at least a guaranteed bronze medal.
Bout of the day
Cuba’s team captain Julio Cesar de la Cruz won the last two editions of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku, but suffered a surprise loss to Ecuador’s Carlos Andres Mina in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) last season.
Their long awaited rematch took place on Day 4, and the two athletes produced an outstanding Light Heavyweight quarter-final.
Cruz moved forward more frequently than in their previous bout, while his legendary footwork consistently allowed him to switch from defence to attack with consummate ease.
Competing in his first multi-sport event, Mina used some explosive punches in the bout, but was eventually defeated by his Cuban rival after their narrow contest was completed.
Team of the day
The Venezuelan team earned three guaranteed medals on Day 4 to take their total medal tally to six in Toronto.
Venezuela’s AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Luis Arcon achieved their first success after he defeated Costa Rica’s Eduardo Sanchez at Light Welterweight, and he will now meet Canada’s Arthur Biyarslanov for a place in the final.
AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist and London 2012 Olympic Games quarter-finalist Gabriel Maestre then eliminated Pan American Games Qualifier winner Roberto Custodio Queiroz after an exceptional performance.
The third Venezuelan medal was achieved by Albert Ramirez, who outperformed Brazil’s Michel Borges at Light Heavyweight.
Surprises of the day
Puerto Rico’s Jeyvier Cintron reached the quarter-final of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the age of 17, and qualified for Rio 2016 after a superb debut season in WSB.
Despite his world class talent, the 20-year-old Flyweight is now out of the Pan American Games after losing to USA’s Antonio Vargas.
Cintron was overwhelmed by the rhythm and accuracy of Vargas, who will now meet David Alejandro Jimenez in the semi-finals.
Jimenez became Costa Rica’s first ever medallist in the AIBA World Championships two years ago, yet was not the favourite in his quarter-final bout with Mexico’s defending AMBC American Continental Champion Orlando Huitzil.
Jimenez had only recently moved up to Flyweight, but used great pressure and sustained attacks to eventually eliminate his talented rival.
Guatemala’s Kevin Luna was not among the medal contenders of the Lightweight division in Toronto, but became his country’s lone medallist after beating Argentina’s Ronan Sanchez.
Argentina’s Welterweight boxer Alberto Ignacio Palmetta enjoyed another surprise result when he won every round against Bahamas’ Central American & Caribbean Games silver medalist Carl Heild.
Canada’s three-time AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Mandy Bujold edged a tight bout over Colombia’s Central American & Caribbean Games winner Ingrit Valencia to reach the women’s Flyweight final.
Bujold will meet defending AIBA Women’s World Champion Marlen Esparza’s main rival in the dream gold medal bout after the American dominated her semi-final against Puerto Rico’s Monica Gonzalez.
London 2012 Olympic Games winner and current AIBA Women’s World Champion Claressa Shields is one of the most dominant boxers on the planet, and reached yet another final with a typically comfortable victory over Argentina’s Lucia Noelia Perez.
Shields will fight former AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Yenebier Guillen in the women’s Middleweight final after the Dominican Republic fighter caused another surprise on Day 4 by beating Canada’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Ariane Fortin.
Brazil’s Joedison Teixeira won the Pan American Games Qualifier in Tijuana last month and engaged in a scintillating Light Welterweight quarter-final with Mexico’s AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Raul Curiel.
Both boxers are emerging talents on the world scene, but it was the Brazilian star who emerged as the winner in Toronto after his footwork and composure proved to be the main difference makers.
Teixeira will fight for the gold medal against Cuba’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Yasnier Toledo, who eliminated US boxer Luis Angel Feliciano.
Fact of the day
After the completion of the action on Day 4, the following nations have won medals:
- Cuba: 10 guaranteed medals
- Canada, Venezuela: 6 medals
- Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, United States: 5 medals
- Argentina: 3 medals
- Brazil, Puerto Rico: 2 medals
- Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala: 1 medal
Quote of the day
“In my game plan I had to move left because I was fighting with a southpaw boxer in the quarter-finals. I picked it up each round, and figured him out during the whole bout. Luckily my condition paid off as I picked it up in the third round. I felt good, but just a bit slow at the start, but I improved the rhythm and finally won the bout,” said Canada’s 20-year-old Arthur Biyarslanov after beating Argentina’s Lucas Gimenez in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Light Welterweight class (64 kg).
The first part of the men’s semi-finals will be held on the fifth competition day at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games on Wednesday.