After two days of the AIBA American Olympic Qualification Event, the continent’s developing boxing nations have been enjoying success in the ring. The likes of Chile, Nicaragua, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago have boxers going through the preliminaries, while Venezuela’s Pan-American champion Gabriel Mestre and Cuban WSB star Leinier Pero were among the more familiar names progressing through from Day 2.
In the women’s competition, Colombia’s South American Games winner Ingrit Valencia began her road to an Olympic quota place with a tough match against Venezuelan Karlha Magliocco, and Nicaragua’s Scarleth Ojeda also progressed with a surprise win over Dominican Republic’s Mirquin Jahaziel Sena. Fellow lightweights Mikaela Mayer of the USA and Puerto Rico’s Kiria Tapia also advanced.
“I was sharp and feel I got better as the rounds went on. I didn’t know much about my opponent so when she came out a southpaw I had to readjust, but she wasn’t as experienced as me so I tried to take advantage of that by focusing on working my best combinations and doing what I do best. I tried a little bit of everything on her to better prepare me for my next opponents and my right hand and body shots were working best,” said US star Mikaela Mayer after her opening-bout win by TKO against Barbados’ sole representative Kimberly Gittens.
Venezuela’s defending Pan-American Games champion and WSB star Gabriel Maestre began his competition with a victory over Grenada’s UK-based Jonathan Francois at welterweight, while Argentina Condors boxer Alberto Palmetta won every round against Canada’s Sasan Haghighat-Joo in front of his home crowd.
Chile’s South American Games silver medalist Daniel Munoz defeated Saint Lucia’s top welterweight Lyndell Marcellin, and his teammate Julio Alamos was too strong for Jamaica’s newly crowned National Champion Ian Darby in their light heavyweight clash. Ecuador’s Carlos Andres Mina continued his 2016 unbeaten campaign against Nicaragua’s London 2012 Olympian Osmar Bravo.
Trinidad and Tobago’s top super heavyweight Nigel Paul beat Ecuador’s more experienced Jean Carlos Mina, while Canadian newcomer Aaron Huggins scored a spectacular win over the American Marlo Moore and Cuban Leinier Pero defeated Bahamas’ veteran Keishno Major to round off the action on Day 2.