Shields, Stevenson and Mayer all claim gold as US success continues at AIBA American Olympic Qualification Event
United States stars Claressa Shields and Shakur Stevenson completed a superb week with victories in their respective finals at the International Boxing Association (AIBA) American Olympic Qualification Event in Buenos Aires.
Shields, seeking a successful defence of her Olympic title at Rio 2016, beat fellow qualifier and two-time world champion Ariane Fortin in an engrossing under 75 kilograms final.
Rising star Shakur Stevenson beat Argentina’s Alberto Melian to victory in the men’s bantamweight under 56kg division.
Another impressive winner today who will now be targeting the Olympic podium was Canadian Mandy Bujold, who beat Colombian fellow qualifier Ingrit Valencia in their under 51kg final.
“It was challenging for me to pump myself up after all the emotion of qualifying in the semi-finals, but I felt very relaxed going into the bout so I really wanted to take the opportunity to keep my focus and make an impression in my weight division,” said the 28-year-old winner afterwards.
“I have fought Ingrid three times before and she’s a very game opponent and continues to improve, which in turn makes me push myself to be very creative in the ring.”
There was only one place available in the women’s under 60kg lightweight division, with a superb American week continuing as Mikaela Mayer defeated Mexico’s Victoria Torres to claim the spot.
It followed her victory over top seed Caroline Veyre of Canada in the quarter-finals.
Venezuela’s World Series of Boxing star Luis Angel Cabrera was another winner today after an impressive under 60kg victory over Honduras’ Teofimo Lopez.
Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias was one of two Cuban winners today, beating Venezuelan Gabriel Maestre in the under 69kg event, while Leinier Pero beat shock fellow qualifier Nigel Paul of Trinidad and Tobago in the over 91kg heavyweight final.
Morocco claimed all three women’s gold medals at the African Olympic Qualification Tournament in Yaoundé.
Zohra Ez-Zahraoui beat Nigeria’s Caroline Linus in the under 51kg division before Hasnaa Lachgar overcame Tunisia’s Hilimi Khouloud in an under 60kg final in which only one qualification spot was available.
Khadija Mardi then beat home hope Yannick Azangue Aubiege of Cameroon in the under 75kg final to seal a remarkable treble.
Nigeria’s All Africa Games winner Efe Ajagba won the men’s fight of the day against Mauritius’ Mohammed Arjaoui to win the over 91kg heavyweight gold and confirm his place at Rio 2016.
- By Nick Butler
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz