Teenager Jantony Ortiz eliminates strong US boxer in Rio


Photo source: Ricardo Ramos

Puerto Rico's Light Flyweight No.1, Panamerican Games bronze medallist Jantony Ortiz, who will be celebrating his 18th birthday later this year, sprung a surprise as he eliminated the first US boxer at the AIBA American Olympic Qualification Tournament in Rio de Janeiro. His opponent was the newly crowned US National Champion Santos Vasquez. Ortiz controlled the fight to win in style 15:8. His next opponent will now be Venezuela's Beijing Olympian Eduard Bermudez, who eliminated Guatemala's Alvaro Vargas by a large margin of points.

Trinidad & Tobago's US-based boxer Carlos Suarez also made his debut in the competition and fought a hectic battle against Costa Rica's top prospect, 20-year-old David Alejandro Jimenez. Suarez had a three point advantage after the first six minutes but his rival mounted a stunning comeback to draw level in the last round. Suarez was awarded the win by the judges and he will not meet Peru's Enoc Hualinga, who defeated Panama's CAC Games bronze medallist Gilbert Pedroza 15:7.

Ecuador's Panamerican Champion Carlos Quipo once again proved that he has greatly improved on his range of skills in recent months and his performance in Rio was enough to see off the threat of Brazil's Light Flyweight No.1, Beijing Olympian Paulo Carvalho. Quipo won the enthralling contest by a close 21:18 following an excellent final round, his next rival will be now be Colombia's South American Games winner Ceiber David Avila, a member of the  recent AIBA Road to London Program who eliminated Argentina's Junior Leandro Zarate.

18-year-old Joselito Velasquez, Mexico's current Panamerican Games winner, also put on a great show in Rio. Facing Dominican Republic's Juan Gabriel Medina during the second day of competition day, the promising teenager saw his opponent disqualified after leading by a large margin of points. His next rival will be Canada's newly crowned National Champion, 20-year-old Emilien Boucher, who has already secured two precious victories here in Brazil.

William Encarnacion, who replaced Luis David Salazar in the Dominican Republic's national squad, with involved in a great battle with Uruguay's newcomer at international level, Eduardo Antonio Estela. Encarnacion brought a narrow advantage coming into the final round and even though the Uruguayan tried hard to turn back their bantamweight contest, the Dominican boxer's clear punches made the difference as he eliminated his young rival 12:9. Peru's Anibal Murillo who also had a narrow victory in the first preliminary round will now meet Encarnacion's in the next stage of the competition.

Argentina's South American Games silver medallist Alberto Melian overwhelmed Guyana's Bolivarian Alternative Games bronze medallist, teenager Imran Khan. The 22-year-old Argentinean Bantamweight fighter will now meet Puerto Rico's 21-year-old Alberto Machado in the quarter-final with an Olympic quota place at stake.

Beijing Olympian and World Combat Games winner Robinelson De Jesus Vieira dominated his fight against Trinidad & Tobago's teenager Shaquille Garcia and finally eliminated his inexperienced rival by an impressive 13:1. The local favourite's next opponent will be Guatemala's AIBA Road to Baku Program member Joselito Aguirre.

Mexico's best boxer, AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Oscar Rafael Valdez, is only 21 but has been a member of his national squad since 2008 and qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. His target is now to become a two-time Olympian and he stayed on course to do just that as following his opening victory he continued the winning streak in Rio by triumphing over Colombia's Oscar Manuel Negrete 15:9. Only one win now separates him from of his dream and he will face-off against Ecuador's Julio Cortez, who went down a division this year, for that career-defining quota.

Ecuador's Panamerican Youth Championships silver medallist and South American Champion Anderson Rojas demonstrated his power against Bahamas' biggest hope, Panamerican Games silver medallist Valentino Knowles. Rojas was in fine form as he eliminated his tough rival 13:9, his next opponent will be world class fighter, former AIBA World Champion Roniel Iglesias, who eliminated Argentina's Alberto Palmeta in a hectic contest.

18-year-old Yoelvis Hernandez also advanced to the Light Welterweight quarter-finals after beating Nicaragua's Julio Laguna. The Venezuelan fighter, a Panamerican Games bronze medallist, will now meet US Marine boxer Jamel Herring, who had a great battle against Guatemala's AIBA Road to London Program member, 16-year-old Lester Martinez. Herring won their contest 15:9 but the Guatemalan teenager will have great expectations coming into the next Olympic era and if he continues his development at its current pace then the world is his oyster. We look forward to seeing the young Martinez in action at the upcoming AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Bangkok this October.

Nicaragua's Central American Champion Osmar Bravo started with an impressive victory in Rio de Janeiro where he was too strong for Uruguay's Miguel Larrosa. Bravo will now seek to inflict defeat on Jamaica's Jonathan Hanson in the quarter-final stages of the Light Heavyweight division. The winner of that contest will achieve the all-important quota place for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

US National Olympic Trials winner Marcus Browne has got some powerful hooks in his arsenal and he again used his devastating right to his advantage against Trinidad & Tobago's Declan Calliste. The referee stopped their unequal contest quickly to save Calliste who could not handle to barrage thrown at him by the excellent Browne who advanced to the last eight where he will fight Dominican Republic's Felix Manuel Valera.

The third of competition will see 33 bouts take place at the Maracanazinho, it promises to be both tense and exciting.

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