(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – The United States’ top ranked super heavyweight, Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas), will kick off Men’s Continental Championships competition for his United States squad today in Santiago, Chile. Awesome, who is undefeated in both national and international action in 2013, will aim to set a winning tone for Team USA in his first bout of the tournament against Puerto Rico’s Gerardo Bisbal at the Chile Olympic Committee Gymnasium. The bout will be a rematch from their showdown earlier this year, which Awesome won in Bisbal’s home nation.
The remainder of the United States squad will not compete on the opening day of action in Santiago, enjoying an extra day to prepare for their opening bouts. Flyweight Malik Jackson (Washington DC) will face a tough test in his first bout against continental foes as he battles 2012 Olympian Jantony Ortiz of Puerto Rico. Bantamweight Eduardo Martinez (Aurora, Ill.) will take on Guatemala’s Juan Reyes in opening round action. In the light welterweight class, Jose Alday (Odessa, Texas) received a first round bye and will await the winner of a match between Uruguay’s Eduardo Abreu and Ecuador’s Julio Cortez. Welterweight Jamontay Clark (Cincinnati, Ohio) will kick off his first Continental Championships in a contest with Trinidad’s Akiel Outram while middleweight LeShawn Rodriquez (Shirley, N.Y.) also faces a Caribbean foe, Jamaica’s Jonathan Hanson. Both light heavyweight Geremias Torres (Holyoke, Mass.) and heavyweight Michael Hilton (Trenton, N.J.) will battle Olympic boxing powerhouse Cuba in their opening round bouts, facing Ramon Luis and Leinier Pero respectively.
Men’s Continental Championships action will be contested nightly at 8 p.m. at the Chile Olympic Committee Gymnasium with preliminary round action running through August 31. Semifinal action will take place on Sunday, September 1 and the 2013 Men’s Continental Championships gold medalists will be crowned on Monday, September 2.
The event is the first international ranking tournament for the elite men as they begin their run toward the 2013 AIBA World Championships and beyond. Coaches Bienvenido “Benny” Roman (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Kenneth Sims, Sr. (Chicago, Ill.), Kevin Benford (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Edward "Mike" Murphy (Port Jeff Station, N.Y.) are leading the squad in Chile with Dr. Lucien Parrillo (Wallingford, Conn.) serving as the Team Physician.
The United States men are hoping to match the medal haul of their female counterparts after an eight medal performance at the Women’s Continental Championships earlier this year.