Following the explosive AMBC Youth Continental Championships last month, the action resumes again in Ecuador with gifted boxers competing in the Pacific Cup in Guayaquil. This traditional event in the region has always brought together the best talent from Central and South America. Following the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games, this tournament becomes the first important elite level competition on the way to Rio 2016.
The host nation claimed seven gold medals last year while Puerto Rico took two top positions and the Dominican Republic took one as a total of nine countries competed for medals.
Ecuador was unable to secure any gold medals at the AMBC's Youth Continental Championships in Portoviejo three weeks ago however they are now ready to do great things in Guayaquil. Their elite boxers secured a record number of seven Olympic quotas for London but they are still waiting for their real breakthrough amongst the elite boxing powerhouses. That elusive gold is the target in Rio 2016.
23-year-old Carlos Gongora, a quarter-finalist at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and at the 2009 AIBA World Championships, is the country's big hope. The Light Heavyweight (81kg) star triumphed over Azerbaijan's Vatan Huseynli in the first preliminary round at the London 2012 Olympic Games however was then defeated by eventual silver medallist Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan.
There is a whole new generation coming through for Ecuador with London Olympian and South American Champion Anderson Rojas and 19-year-old Marlon Delgado both making their mark on the international stage. They are great hopes for the South American nation but their biggest talent is defending Panamerican Games winner, teenager Italo Perea, a member of the national elite squad since his 17th birthday, who won the AIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Event Rio 2012.
Strong boxing nations such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Peru and Venezuela with all be participating in the Pacific Cup while the host nation Ecuador will send two teams to Guayaquil. The competition will begin on October 4 with the finals scheduled for October 7. It promises to be a sensational tournament.
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