The second stage of the men’s semi-finals was held today at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, where ten boxers from the Flyweight (52 kg), Lightweight (60 kg), Welterweight (69 kg), Light Heavyweight (81 kg) and Super Heavyweight (+91 kg) weight classes all qualified for their respective gold medal bouts.
Bout of the day
Cuba’s Leinier Eunice Pero won the Heavyweight (91 kg) gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games, and is looking to win his second gold at Super Heavyweight this year.
The 23-year-old 2010 Youth Olympic Champion competed in an entertaining semi-final with USA’s charismatic Cam F. Awesome on Day 6.
Awesome had defeated strong opponents over the past year, but narrowly lost to Pero after the completion of their incredible bout.
Pero used his speed advantage effectively in the first round, while Awesome showcased his excellent fighting spirit in the second frame as his lethal punches reached the target with regularity.
The Cuban’s stronger performance in the third round resulted in a split decision victory, and he will now face Edgar Ramon Munoz in the Super Heavyweight final after the Venezuelan veteran eliminated Brazil’s Rafael Duarte Lima.
Team of the day
Cuba enjoyed another excellent day in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, while the Venezuelan delegation also won all of their contests on Day 6.
Welterweight Gabriel Maestre won a bronze medal at the 2013 AIBA World Boxing Championships, and was seeded number one in Toronto.
The 29-year-old also enjoyed a successful season last season in the World Series of Boxing, and lived up to his impressive reputation with a strong win over Dominican Republic’s Juan Ramon Solano.
Maestre will now meet Cuba’s London 2012 Olympic Champion Roniel Iglesias in the Welterweight final.
Venezuela’s second success was achieved by Light Heavyweight Albert Ramirez, who performed at an amazingly high level against Mexico’s Rogelio Romero to set up a great final with Cuba’s two-time AIBA World Champion Julio Cesar La Cruz.
Athens 2004 Olympian Edgar Ramon Munoz sealed the third Venezuelan victory when he used his speed and athleticism to defeat Brazil’s Rafael Duarte Lima.
Surprise of the day
David Alejandro Jimenez won Costa Rica’s first ever AIBA World Boxing Championships medal in 2013, but suffered a surprise defeat to US teenage star Antonio Vargas in their Flyweight semi-final.
The American entered the bout in excellent form after defeating both Dominican Republic’s Leonel De Los Santos and Puerto Rico’s Jeyvier Cintron in Toronto, and kept his amazing winning run going with a dynamic victory over his decorated opponent.
Vargas will attempt to achieve a dream gold medal against Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia in the Flyweight final.
Mexico’s Central American & Caribbean Games silver medallist Lindolfo Delgado used great jabs and counter-attacks to beat Puerto Rico’s Jose Javier Rosario, and he has now set up a Lightweight final against Cuba’s world class Lazaro Alvarez.
Alvarez’s teammate Julio Cesar La Cruz has won two AIBA World Championships, and will enjoy the opportunity to claim Pan American Games gold after coolly dispatching Colombia’s Juan Carlos Carrillo by unanimous decision in their Light Heavyweight semi-final.
Fact of the day
The top 26 boxers have advanced to the finals of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, where 13 men’s and women’s finals are scheduled to take place over the next two days.
All ten of Cuba’s athletes have qualified for the gold medal bouts, with the following nations enjoying representation in the finals:
- Cuba: 10 finalists
- Canada, United States of America, Venezuela: 3 finalists
- Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico: 2 finalists
- Argentina: 1 finalist
Quotes of the day
“I felt very happy after my semi-final which I won, but I am still hungry. We are not going to stop as I want to win the gold in Toronto. My tactic today worked well as I had to box from long range to avoid the dangerous punches. My counter-attacks were really quick and I enjoyed the bout against my Puerto Rican rival,” said Mexico’s Lindolfo Delgado.
“I was confident as my preparations and sparring before the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games was successful at home. I had a very strong quarter-final opponent, but I knew I could beat him. After the bout against the Brazilian, I knew that I had more experience than my Dominican rival in the semi-final. I had to work from close and mid-range today and I had to combine my attacks with combination punches, so luckily I was able to win the bout clearly,” commented Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre.
The first day of the finals will be held tomorrow where six champions will be crowned.
The finals schedule of Day 7:
- Women’s 75 kg: Claressa Shields USA – Yenebier Guillen DOM
- Men’s 49 kg: Joselito Velasquez MEX – Joahnys Oscar Argilagos CUB
- Men’s 56 kg: Hector Luis Garcia DOM – Andy Cruz CUB
- Men’s 64 kg: Yasnier Toledo CUB – Arthur Biyarslanov CAN
- Men’s 75 kg: Arlen Lopez CUB – Jorge Luis Vivas COL
- Men’s 91 kg: Erislandy Savon CUB – Deivis Julio COL