Cuban gold medal hunt in Tijuana

May 12th, 2014 / All

The first qualification tournament of the Central American & Caribbean Games finished with the thirteen finals in Tijuana where the top boxing nation of the entire American continent, the Cuban delegation claimed half a dozen of gold medals in the male part of the competition. The women’s part of the tournament introduced a high level of boxing while the gold medals went to Colombia, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Bout of the day
Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias won the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Milan in 2009 and following some unexpected losses he was able to return to the throne in the London 2012 Olympics. The virtuoso boxer moved up to the Welterweight class (69 kg) after the Games and adopted the strength of the punches in that division last year. He now looks ready to do great things once again in his new weight class and managed to control his gold medal bout against Guatemala’s AIBA Youth World Championships silver medallist Lester Martinez who will be turning 19 later this year. Iglesias who has been competing in the current season of the World Series of Boxing as well and preparing for the finals, won all of his rounds with a score of 10:9 thus bagging a further tournament title.

Team of the day
The Cuban national boxing squad claimed five further gold medals alongside Iglesias’ top result. Two-times AIBA World Champion Lazaro Alvarez dominated his final fight against Dominican Republic’s teenager Sparkinson Almonte while London 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Yasniel Toledo Lopez had to do his best to beat Puerto Rico’s Danielito Zorrilla who developed well enough in strength and in technique.
Cuba’s Julio Cesar de la Cruz won the last two editions of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku and in Almaty therefore his quick victory over his Colombian rival, Juan Carrillo was an expected result for the Light Heavyweight class (81 kg) star. The Caribbean nation’s Heavyweight class (91 kg) No.1 Erislandy Savon subdued Colombia’s AMBC American Continental Champion Deivis Julio. Following that, two-time National Champion 19-year-old Yoandy Toirac delivered their sixth gold medal in Tijuana beating Mexico’s last hope Edgar Ramirez by unanimous decision.

Surprise of the day
Dominican Republic’s Hector Luis Garcia was silver medallist in the Independence Cup in February but is still not the most famous boxer of his nation. The Bantamweight class (56 kg) athlete lost to Puerto Rico’s Jantony Ortiz in the La Romana Cup last November but in the qualification tournament in Tijuana he stroke back to his previous loss in the gold medal bout. Garcia learnt from the first lesson and used a different tactic which proved successful in the final of the championships.

Ones to watch
Puerto Rico’s Jeyvier Cintron was one of the youngest qualified boxers in the London 2012 Olympics where he advanced to the Top8 at the age of 17. The Puerto Rican Flyweight class (52 kg) boxer defeated his main national rival London 2012 Olympian Jantony Ortiz and received the right to fight for his strong nation at an international level in 2014. The 19-year-old virtuoso boxer was too smart for Colombia’s South American Games winner Ceiber David Avila and won Puerto Rico’s first gold medal in Tijuana.
The two top female Middleweight class (75 kg) boxers, Dominican Republic’s defending AMBC American Women’s Continental Champion Yenebier Guillen and Panama’s Independence Cup winner new hope Atheyna Bylon met in the gold medal bout in Tijuana. The experienced Guillen demonstrated her strength in the first part of their top level contest while Bylon had a brave attempt to beat her star opponent. Finally Guillen’s hand was raised but both boxers are considered ones to watch in the future competitions.

Stat/fact of the day
Cuba topped the team rankings winning six gold medals, the team of the Dominican Republic became the runner-up in the competition while Puerto Rico finished in third position in the qualification tournament. Developing boxing nations such as Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama all have at least one finalist in Tijuana.