The Dominican Republic's big hope for a medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Dagoberto Aguero, has only just turned 19 but retained his Independence Cup title in impressive style. The young Flyweight put on a sumptuous performance in the final to triumph against his compatriot, Hector Luis Garcia.
World Combat Games bronze medallist, 19-year-old Juan Gabriel Medina was another Dominican to excel in this tournament. After eliminating both Mexican Panamerican Games winner Joselito Velasquez and then Ecuador's Panamerican Champion Carlos Quipo on his way to the final, the local Light Flyweight favourite claimed a deserved gold medal after dominating Mexico's young Juan Rodriguez 5:0. This was Medina's first ever piece of international silverware, the first of many he hopes.
The host nation's top Welterweight, Panamerican Junior Champion, 18-year-old Raul Sanchez then added to the home nation's tally of gold medals after claiming victory against Mexican National Champion Marvin Cabrera.
Celebrations were far from finished as the carnival atmosphere continued with Middleweight Junior Castillo overcoming a tough challenge to set foot on top the podium in Santiago de los Caballeros.
Dominican Republic's Panamerican Youth Championships silver medallist Manuel De Jesus Marinez and local rival Sandy Lugo did battle in the Heavyweight final but it was the former's win that saw him both take the title and get the opportunity to earn a place for the London 2012 Olympic Games, when he will represent his country at the upcoming AIBA American Olympic Qualifying Event in Rio de Janeiro.
The host nation's sixth gold medal was then secured by Panamerican Games silver medallist Yenebier Guillen who stopped Mexico's Irais Hernandez in the women's Middleweight final. Six of the very best for the Dominican Republic who really turned on the style for their supporters.
As expected, it was Mexico's finest, AIBA World Championships bronze medallist and former AIBA Youth World Champion Oscar Valdez, who took the Bantamweight gold medal at the Independence Cup. He was pushed all the way in the final but managed to claim victory over his teammate, current National Champion teenager Diego De La Hoya. The young pretender, who narrowly lost this enthralling final, will now be the Central American nation's big hope at the upcoming AIBA Youth World Championships.
Mexico's WSB boxer Juan Pablo Romero knocked out Puerto Rico's Panamerican Junior Champion, 17-year-old Jonathan Irrizary in the semi-finals before following his quick victory with a win over Dominican Republic's Joan Santos in the gold medal contest of the Light Welterweight category.
The third Mexican gold medal was achieved by the young Zaida Enriquez who looked class to in inflicting defeat on Puerto Rico's Tiffany Perez 4:1 in the women's Flyweight final.
Most of the Russian boxers failed in their preliminary contests in Santiago de los Caballeros but National U22 Championships bronze medallist Konstantin Bogomazov restored some pride to their squad. The 21-year-old Lightweight triumphed over Ecuador's Beijing Olympian Luis Enrique Porozo to take the gold medal.
Ecuador's Beijing Olympic Games quarter-finalist Carlos Gongora outpointed Dominican Republic's Felix Manuel Valera in the Light Heavyweight final before his compatriot, Panamerican Games winner and Youth Olympian, 18-year-old Italo Perea became the youngest winner of the Super Heavyweight title in the tournament's history. The Ecuadorian teenager eliminated Russia's Nikita Stogov in the semi-finals and then triumphed over Puerto Rico's veteran Gerardo Bisbal 4:1 to take the trophy.
Puerto Rico's only gold medal at the Independence Cup was achieved by Panamerican Games winner Kiria Tapia who first defeated Mexico's Erika Cruz in the semis before powering past Cynthia Robles in the final of the women's Lightweight class.
This was a great tournament, both for the home team and for the supporters, but overall the most pleasing aspect was just how competitive is was. The AIBA American Olympic Qualifying Event promises to be explosive.
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