Team USA clinches four more medals on day six of 2023 Santiago Pan American Games
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
The sixth day of boxing at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games saw Team USA go 4-1, guaranteeing the team four more medals, to bring their total to five so far in Santiago, with the potential to add three more tomorrow.
Morelle McCane (Cleveland, Ohio) began the day in dominating fashion in her opening bout of these Games. McCane, who is looking to become the fifth straight boxer from Cleveland and first female to qualify to an Olympic Games, landed multiple power shots to Nicole Vega Moya of Costa Rica in the first 90 seconds of her bout to see the referee give her opponent back-to-back standing eight counts before calling off the bout.
McCane will return to action on Thursday, where she will face Charlie Cavanagh of Canada, where a victory will advance the American to the finals, as well as punch her ticket to next summer’s Olympic Games.
Flyweight Roscoe Hill (Spring, Texas) grabbed Team USA’s second win of the day, securing the teams third medal of the tournament. Hill ended the first round behind, 3-2, Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez, however came back strong in the second round with numerous shots to the body and combinations to take the round, 4-1. Hill outperformed the 2016 Olympian in the final round, taking all five judges’ cards, including one 10-8 score, to solidify the win to move to the medal rounds.
Hill’s semifinal bout on Thursday will be against Dominican Republics Yunior Reyes, where an Olympic qualifying spot will be on the line.
Joshua Edwards (Houston, Texas) closed out the first session of the day in impressive fashion over Ecuador’s Gerlon Chala. The superheavy, who was making his Pan American Games debut, won all five judges’ cards to take a clean sweep of the bout to confirm his place in the medal rounds and be one step closer to qualifying to Paris.
Edwards will meet Fernando Arzola of Cuba, the 2023 Elite World Championships silver medalist, for a shot in the finals and a place in next summer’s Olympic Games.
The final victory of the day came during the second session with Jennifer Lozano (Laredo, Texas) taking the 3-2 decision over Tayonis Rojas of Venezuela.
The American flyweight saw Rojas take an early 4-1 lead after the first round, however, came back to take the final two rounds, 3-2, to take the overall 3-2 decision and secure herself a medal, as well as be one win away from punching her ticket to Paris.
Lozano will look to be victorious over Canada’s McKenzie Wright during Thursday’s semifinal bout.
Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) was the other member of Team USA to step into the ring during the day, however, saw her tournament run come to an end following a 5-0 defeat against Citlalli Ortiz of Mexico.
Three boxers will take to the ring during day seven in Santiago, including Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.), who could become USA Boxing’s first Olympian for next summer with a victory over Uruguay’s Camilo Pineiro Muino.
Joining Gonzalez today are Omari Jones (Orlando, Fla.) and Emilio Garcia (Laredo, Texas). Both boxers will look to be victorious to guarantee themselves a medal, as well as be one win away from Olympic qualification.
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Day 6 Result
50 kg: Jennifer Lozano, Laredo, Texas/USA, dec. over Tayonis Rojas/VEN, 3-2
51 kg: Roscoe Hill, Spring, Texas/USA, dec. over Rivas Yuberjen Herney Martinez/ COL, 4-1
66 kg: Morelle McCane, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, wins by RSC over Nicole De Los Angeles Vega Moya/ CRC, RSC-1
75 kg: Citlalli Vanessa Ortiz/ MEX dec. over Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, NC/USA, 5-0
92+ kg: Joshua Edwards, Houston, Texas/ USA, dec. over Gerlon Gilmar Congo Chala/ ECU, 5-0
Day 7 Schedule
60 kg: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif./USA, vs. Camilo Pineiro Muino/URU
63.5 kg: Emilio Garcia, Laredo, Texas/USA, vs. Alexy Baez/DOM
71 kg: Omari Jones, Orlando, Fla./USA, vs. Marco Alvarez/MEX