Article by Tibor Kincsis

Brazil’s Luiz Gabriel Do Nascimento Oliveira defeated the reigning World Champion in Guayaquil.

Thirteen exciting male finals were featured in the eighth competition day at the AMBC Continental Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Brazil’s 21-year-old Luiz Gabriel Do Nascimento Oliveira delivered the top sensation of the last competition day, when he defeated the United States’ defending featherweight (57kg) world champion, Jahmal Harvey.

Argentina, the United States, Colombia, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Brazil shared the eleven female titles in the competition. Cuba, United States, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico claimed the gold medals in the men’s portion of the AMBC Continental Championships which was a big return for the continent’s boxers.

The Brazilians topped the team rankings in the AMBC Continental Championships with seven gold medals which was a much better performance from the South Americans in comparison to the previous editions. The United States earned two female and four male gold medals in Guayaquil and became the runner-up squad behind the Brazilians. Colombia earned three titles in the event and secured the third position in the medal standings.

Roscoe Hill won his first big title.

The United States produced excellent flyweight (51kg) boxers in the recent period and their Roscoe Hill waited for the perfect time to attend a major event. The US boy achieved a silver medal at the Belgrade 2021 AIBA World Men’s Boxing Championships, and he arrived to Guayaquil to earn his first ever big title. The US boxer met in the final with Cuba’s Erislan Romero who finally received the right to attend in a top championship like Hill. The Cuban did not find the best fighting distance against Hill and could not catch his taller rival in the final which delivered a clear US success.

Dominican Republic achieved two gold medals in Guayaquil.

Dominican Republic’s best boxer in the past nine years, Leonel De Los Santos, was not able to attend Continentals in Guayaquil, but two of their hopefuls earned gold medals in the event. Rodrigo Marte moved up to the bantamweight (54kg) division since his last title at the 2019 Pan-American Games but his decision paid off in Guayaquil. Marte was in a different level than Cuba’s experienced Damian Arce in the final and earned his second major achievement during his career. His teammate, Alexys Miguel De La Cruz has five years of experiences on the elite national team, and he had amazing stamina in the decisive third round against Cuba’s Simon Rafael Joubert in the final of the men’s lightweight (60kg).

Brazil’s Oliveira delivered the main sensation of the day.

Brazil’s Luiz Gabriel Do Nascimento Oliveira won the gold medal at the 2018 AMBC Youth Boxing Championships and joined Brazil’s elite national team in January 2020 before his 19th birthday. The Brazilian talent competes as a featherweight (57kg) and marched to the final of the championship, but he had to meet with the United States’ reigning AIBA World Champion, Jahmal Harvey, for the title. The US boxer is even younger than the Brazilian hopeful, but he was named as the main favourite of this weight class prior the competition. Harvey used his excellent footwork against Oliveira in the first round, but the Brazilian adopted the rhythm and surprised his US opponent. Oliveira had excellent physical condition to keep that world class level until the last seconds and defeated Harvey in one of the best contests of the last day. His top teammates, Wanderson Oliveira, Keno Machado, and Abner Junior Teixeira all won their weight categories on Day 8.

Colombia and Mexico won strong categories in Guayaquil.

Colombia’s Jose Manuel Viafara emerged into the top level of boxing at the Yekaterinburg 2019 AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships, and since then his progress was amazing. The Colombian boxer not only advance to the final of the light welterweight (63.5kg) division, but he had all of the skills and boxing knowledge to beat Ecuador’s Jhancarlo Anchico Mina. Another impressive performance was delivered by Mexico’s 20-year-old Marco Alonso Verde who reached his best ever result in Guayaquil, taking the title of the men’s light-middleweight (71kg). Verde proved excellent performance already in Kielce one year ago, and he defeated Ecuador’s Jose Rodriguez in the final with brilliant footwork.

List of the winners at the AMBC American Elite Boxing Championships:

Women’s 48kg: Aldana Florencia Lopez, Argentina

Women’s 50kg: Jennifer Lozano, United States

Women’s 52kg: Ingrit Lorena Valencia, Colombia

Women’s 54kg: Scarlett Delgado, Canada

Women’s 57kg: Ashley Ann Lozada, Puerto Rico

Women’s 60kg: Beatriz Ferreira, Brazil

Women’s 63kg: Jajaira Gonzalez, United States

Women’s 66kg: Beatriz Soares, Brazil

Women’s 70kg: Barbara Dos Santos, Brazil

Women’s 75kg: Tammara Thibeault, Canada

Women’s +81kg: Diana Romero, Colombia

Men’s 48kg: Billy Rodriguez, Cuba

Men’s 51kg: Roscoe Hill, United States

Men’s 54kg: Rodrigo Marte, Dominican Republic

Men’s 57kg: Luiz Gabriel Do Nascimento Oliveira, Brazil

Men’s 60kg: Alexys Miguel De La Cruz, Dominican Republic

Men’s 63.5kg: Jose Manuel Viafara, Colombia

Men’s 67kg: Wanderson Oliveira, Brazil

Men’s 71kg: Marco Alonso Verde, Mexico

Men’s 75kg: Oved Emmanuel Bartee-El, United States

Men’s 80kg: Robby Gonzales, United States

Men’s 86kg: Keno Machado, Brazil

Men’s 92kg: Jamar Talley, United States

Men’s +92kg: Abner Junior Teixeira, Brazil

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.

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.

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