The fourth day of the AIBA American Olympic Qualification Event saw 12 women’s and 19 men’s bouts of exceptional boxing talent in Buenos Aires on Monday. All twelve of the women’s semi-finalists are now confirmed, with three of the four at each weight guaranteed a quota place for Rio 2016.
The United States’ defending Olympic Champion Claressa Shields looked strong during a powerful display against Panama’s Atheyna Bylon, and she will now meet Dominican Republic rival Yenebier Guillen in the middleweight semi-finals.
“I got the unanimous decision tonight over Panama’s great World Champion Atheyna Bylon, but I had to pressure her a bit more than usual. I just wanted to put my jab on her to see what she did and she was comfortable boxing from the outside so I raised the pressure. I will do better in my next fight, which is on my birthday, and I am excited about winning this tournament,” said US icon Claressa Shields after her bout.
Canada’s Pan-American Games champion and pre-tournament lightweight favourite Caroline Veyre made a surprise exit to United States’ Mikaela Mayer, who now faces Puerto Rico’s Kiria Tapia. Veyre’s teammate Mandy Bujold was able to progress after she defeated Argentina’s Clara Lescurat, and will now meet Brazil’s Grazieli Jesus De Sousa in the flyweight semi-finals.
In the men’s competition, Venezuela’s WSB star Luis Angel Cabrera saw off a strong challenge from Puerto Rico’s talented 18-year-old Henry Lebron at lightweight, while the Dominican Republic’s Leonel de los Santos overcame his great American rival Antonio Vargas.
Costa Rican number one David Alejandro Jimenez overwhelmed Panama’s Francisco Antonio Rivera and will now face young Canadian talent Thomas Blumenfeld, while the Honduras team’s newest member Teofimo Lopez dominated his battle with Ecuador’s Ludy Brayan Tenorio.
“I felt great on my first day boxing for Honduras and I did what I had to do. My opponent was very tall and a little awkward but that didn’t stop me from doing what I came here to do – go on to win the continentals in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now each day will just get better and better. I’m excited and thankful to be here,” said Honduras’ teenage sensation Teofimo Lopez.
Cuba’s defending Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias overcame the Dominican Republic’s Juan Ramon Solano to reach the welterweight quarter-finals where he will be joined by home favourite Alberto Ignacio Palmetta who beat Costa Rica’s Abraham Josue Mora. Completing the welterweight quarter-final line-ups are Venezualean WSB star Gabriel Mestre, winner against Mexico’s Juan Pablo Romero, and Guatemala’s emerging talent Lester Martinez.
Please find all the results here.