The seventh day of competition at the AMBC American Confederation Boxing Championships in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, saw four Finals and eight crucial Box-Offs resolved, with the top six in each weight category also qualifying for the 2017 AIBA World Championships. It was to be every bit Cuba’s day as the team’s top boxers swept the first four AMBC titles, while nine nations successfully qualified athletes to Hamburg with six finals still to come on Sunday.
It was Cuba’s Olympic and World Champion Arlen Lopez who led the medal charge, defeating Jorge Luis Vivas to earn the Middleweight (75kg) title and avenge his two WSB defeats earlier in the year at the hands of the Colombian. USA’s Troy Isley had earlier continued a successful start to his Elite career, defeating Brazilian Hebert Conceicao Sousa in the Middleweight (75kg) Box-off to qualify along with Puerto Rico’s Luis Rodriguez.
Triple World Champion Lazaro Alvarez had already ensured he will be able to box for a remarkable fourth title in Hamburg by reaching the Lightweight (60kg) Final against USA’s AIBA Youth World Champion Delante Johnson, and the Cuban was made to work hard for his gold. Also heading to Hamburg will be the Lightweight Box-Off winners Alexis de la Cruz of Dominican Republic and Brazilian newcomer Wanderson De Oliveira. At 28 years-old, Alvarez’s teammate Roniel Iglesias looked back to his best on route to winning the Welterweight (69kg) final against USA’s Quinton Randall, and he will be hoping to be crowned world number one for a second time having won the AIBA World Light Welterweight title back in 2009. Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre and Brazil’s Jhonathan Soares won their Box-Offs to book their places in Hamburg.
The Light Heavyweights (81kg) rounded off the penultimate day’s action in Tegucigalpa, Cuba’s fourth gold coming via a typically virtuoso performance from another of their Olympic and World Champions, Julio Cesar La Cruz. It was his Ecuadorian WSB rival Carlos Mina who felt the full force of La Cruz’s flowing fists on Saturday, and the two finalists will be joined by Box-Off winners Albert Ramirez (VZA) and Mexico’s experienced Rogelio Romero on the plane to Germany in August with the AIBA World title in their sights.