Article by Tibor Kincsis

Sanford and Viafara delivered the sensations of the day at the AMBC Continental Championships.

Fantastic quarter-final contests took place in the third competition day at the AMBC Women’s and Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Canada’s Wyatt Sanford and Colombia’s Jose Manuel Viafara delivered the main sensations of the day, winning their bouts against experienced rivals. The Ecuadorians earned medals too in the third day of boxing following the strong performance of their talents.

Erislan Romero is Cuba’s first semi-finalist. He competed already at the 2011 Cuban School National Games and developed over the years to be involved on their team. The Cuban boxer is competing in the flyweight category (51kg) of the AMBC Continental Championships where he opened his campaign against Guatemala’s young Jose Daniel Felipe Mijangos. Romero won all of the three rounds on the judges’ scorecards and marched to the semi-finals, earning a guaranteed medal in Guayaquil. Dominican Republic’s experienced Mario Lavegar will be his next opponent in the final four, who eliminated Brazil’s Ruan Pablo De Jesus by split decision.

U.S. sensation Roscoe Hill impressed on Day 3. The United States sent a new team to the Belgrade 2021 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships, and their flyweight (51kg) boxer, Roscoe Hill, bagged an unexpected silver medal in the Serbian capital city. The US athlete is now a favourite at the AMBC Continental Championships where he used his longer reach well against Panama’s Martin Rene Perez and took the lead on the scorecards after three minutes. Hill had unpredictable movements, organized his defence strongly, and landed several counter-punches in all of the three rounds. The US boxer joined the final four in this strong weight class and will now meet with Argentina’s Ramon Nicanor Quiroga who competed already at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships.

Roberto Cuesta and David Segundo Padilla earned medals for the host country. Roberto Cuesta is not the most experienced Ecuadorian national team member yet, but he impressed in the quarter-finals of the men’s bantamweight (54kg) on Day 3. The local boxer met with Guatemala’s AIBA World Boxing Championships competitor Michael Jonathan Tello and dictated the tempo in the first round. Cuesta had strong attempts against the Guatemalan veteran boxer, and after the last bell, he could celebrate his tight triumph and will now meet with Cuba’s Damian Arce. His teammate David Segundo Padilla is well-known in international events since 2011. He had the experience in the critical moments of his fight to beat Puerto Rico’s Keith Colon in the featherweight (57kg) category.

Sanford and Viafara are the surprise winners in the men’s light welterweight (63.5kg) category. Canada’s Wyatt Sanford competed as a welterweight (69kg) in the 2019 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships in Yekaterinburg where he advanced to the final 16. The Canadian boxer moved down to the light welterweight (63.5kg) following his intense training sessions where he can use his distance better. Sanford had a strong opponent, Argentina’s Mirco Cuello, who had better international results than the Canadian in the past and expected to win this contest. Sanford had a well-built strategy which he followed from the first seconds and eliminated the 22-year-old Argentinean in Guayaquil. Colombia’s Jose Manuel Viafara showed rapid developments last year, but his success over Cuba’s Jorge Moiran Vinent was the second surprise of this weight class.

Trinidad & Tobago’s Aaron Prince delivered the first KO of the championship. The Trinidad & Tobago team arrived mostly with their experienced veteran boxers at the AMBC Continental Championships. Their Aaron Prince competed in all levels of boxing in the recent ten years, and he looked stronger and quicker from the first exchanges against Paraguay’s Pablo Nicolas Alvarez. Trinidad & Tobago’s pride knocked out his Paraguayan opponent after 120 seconds, delivering the first KO of the championships. Prince joins the final four and will now meet with the United States’ Obed Emmanuel Bartee-El who stopped Canada’s Dylan Joseph Martin in the second round of their quarter-final.

Another 24 quarter-final contests are to be held in the fourth competition day at the AMBC Continental Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador on Sunday where all of the winners will be medallists. The Championships are live streamed through the IBA YouTube channel.

Background: Boxers who were born between 1982 and 2003 are eligible to compete in the AMBC Continental Championships. There are neutral referees and judges from Europe in the competition to ensure fair play in Guayaquil, which hosted its last AMBC event for the elite women boxers in 2009.

Altogether, 197 boxers are attending the AMBC Continental Championships from 25 countries. The number of the female boxers is a record number of 75, and the most popular category is featherweight (57kg) with the participation of 11 boxers. 122 male boxers are competing for the thirteen available male titles where the lightweight (60kg) and the light welterweight (63.5kg) are the most popular categories with 14-14 boxers on the board.

Among the titleholders of the competition are Colombia’s Yeni Marcela Arias, Brazil’s AIBA Women’s World Champion Beatriz Ferreira, Argentina’s Lucia Noelia Perez, and Canada’s Tammara Thibeault will be there in Guayaquil to defend their titles, which they earned in Tegucigalpa five years ago.

The participating nations in the AMBC Championships include Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fair Chance Team, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States of America.

For more information visit Boxing Canada’s event page and the AMBC Continental Championships website.

Images courtesy of Campeonato Continental Élite de Boxeo Masculino-Femenino Guayaquil 2022

Lead image courtesy of Boxing Canada