CALI, COLOMBIA - Team USA finished the final day of the first ever Junior Pan American Games with five gold and three silver medals for a total of 12 medals, the most by any team competing in Cali, Colombia.
Julius Ballo (San Diego, Calif.) grabbed the first gold of the day with a dominating performance over Pablo Capistrano of Brazil. Ballo, who also won the Junior Pan American Games Qualifier earlier this year, defeated Lucas Arias of Uruguay and William Vazquez of Puerto Rico, both by unanimous decisions for a clean sweep of the tournament.
Welterweight Quincey Williams (Washington, D.C.) continued to make history for Team USA after defeating Jorge Mena of Cuba by a 4-1 decision. Williams, who entered this tournament unseeded, fought the most times about of any of the Americans, taking victories over Puerto Rico’s Angel Perez (5-0), Mexico’s Kevin Cantabrana (3-1) and Ecuador’s Piero Aguirre (5-0) on his way to the title and name in the history books.
Flyweight Kayla Gomez (El Paso, Texas) started the women of Team USA with a strong performance over Mexico’s Margarita Rodriguez. Gomez gave her opponent two standing eight counts in the final round to solidify her unanimous decision victory and gold medal. Gomez path to the top of the podium included
4-1 decision over Mara Fabian of Argentina and a 5-0 victory against Flor Rodriguez of Colombia in the semifinals.
Jewry Rodriguez (Houston, Texas) continued the Americans winning ways with her own unanimous decision win against Rosa Azuara of Mexico. Rodriguez opened the tournament by taking all five judges’ cards against Maria Henao of Colombia, followed by another unanimous decision win over Sol Medina of Argentina to advance to the finals.
Welterweight Jesikah Guerra (Victorville, Calif.) clinched USA Boxing’s final gold medal of these championships by way of a 3-2 decision over Mexico’s Maria Franco. Guerra’s other victories came by 5-0 against Jilary Del Orbe of Dominican Republic and 4-1 over Roxana Flores of Colombia.
Ali Feliz (Danbury, Conn.), Faith Mendez (Ocala, Fla.) and Steven Navarro (Los Angeles, Calif.) all put up impressive performances against their opponents, however, fell short of taking the victory, leaving Colombia with silver medals.
Ali Almajdi (Arlington, Texas), Santiago Franco (Portland, Ore.), Joel Iriarte (Bakersfield, Calif.), Donte Layne (Elmont, N.Y.) earned four bronze medals during Tuesday’s semifinal bouts, leaving their names in history books at the first medalists in their weight classes.
These Junior Pan American Games were the inaugural Games, bringing over 100 boxers from North, Central, South American and the Caribbean. The 13 members of Team USA were guided through these Championships by Chad Wigle (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Boxing National Developmental Coach, as well as assistant coaches Adonis Frazier (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Nora Trujillo (Rowlett, Texas).
51 kg: Kayla Gomez, El Paso, Texas/USA, dec. over Margarita Rodriguez/MEX, 5-0
52 kg: Ewart Hernandez/CUB dec. over Steven Navarro, Los Angeles, Calif./USA, 5-0
57 kg: Jewry Rodriguez, Houston, Texas/USA, dec. over Rosa Azuara/MEX,
57 kg: Julius Ballo, San Diego, Calif./USA, dec. over Pablo Capistrano/BRA, 5-0
60 kg: Camila Bravo/COL dec. over Faith Mendez, Ocala, Fla./USA, 5-0
69 kg: Quincey Williams, Washington, D.C./USA, dec. over Jorge Mena/CUB, 4-1
69 kg: Jesikah Guerra, Victorville, Calif./USA, dec. over Maria Franco/MEX, 3-2
91+ kg: Marlon Colorado/COL, dec. over Ali Feliz, Danbury, Conn./USA, 5-0