Exciting finals were held in the Panamerican Games Qualifier in Managua, Nicaragua where Cuba claimed five gold medals, but the United States of America and the Dominican Republic also had remarkable performances. It was the lone qualification event for the 18th PanAmerican Games which will start in Lima, Peru in the end of July.
Defending AIBA World Champion Yosbany Veitia from Cuba returned to the international stage and won the final of the flyweight (52kg). His teammate Andy Cruz didn’t lose any contests since October 2015, but he had to do his best to beat United States’ 20 year old Keyshawn Davis at the light welterweight (64kg). Four-time AIBA World Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz (81kg), defending AIBA World Champion Erislandy Savon (91kg) and their new sensation Dainier Pero (+91kg) won their finals as well.
The Dominican Republic team contains of young hopes with their eldest boxer in the squad being 25 years old, they claimed two gold medals. Alexis Miguel De La Cruz advanced to the bantamweight (56kg) final and used his longer reach well against Ecuador’s Jean Caicedo and won a gold medal. The second gold was earned by their most experienced boxer Leonel De Los Santos who defeated Cuba’s three-time AIBA World Champion Lazaro Alvarez in the final of the lightweight (60kg).
The USA had six finalists, and four among them achieved gold medals. Delante Johnson walked over to the gold medal of the men’s welterweight (69kg). His teammate Troy Isley earned the gold medal with his best performance ever in middleweight (75kg), being slightly better than Cuba’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games winner Arlen Lopez in the final. Their new sensation Rashida Ellis defeated the top favourite of the lightweight (60kg) Brazil’s two-time AMBC American Women’s Champion Beatriz Ferreira. The fourth medal was taken by their No.1 Virginia Fuchs at the flyweight (51kg) following her success over Costa Rica’s Valeria Cardenas.
Following Argentina’s Leonela Sanchez’s gold medal at the women’s featherweight (57kg), Panama’s Jeju 2014 AIBA Women’s World Champion Atheyna Bylon won the title of the women’s welterweight (69kg) after beating USA’ 21 year old Oshae Jones. Bylon proved same strong performance as in 2014 and earned Panama’s gold medal. Canada’s Tamara Thibeault had tough tactical mission in the final of the women’s middleweight (75kg) against Colombia’s AIBA 2018 Women’s World Boxing Championships silver medallist Jessica Caicedo, but was able to claim her gold medal using long range combinations.