(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team
USA endured a rough opening day of action at the 2011 Pan
American Games on a historic Friday night in Guadalajara. Female
flyweight Christina Cruz (New York, N.Y.) became the first
female American boxer to compete in the Pan Am Games, but lost a
heartbreaking tiebreaker in her quarterfinal contest. Male
middleweight Damarius Russell (Camp Lejeune, N.C.) suffered a
loss in the first bout of the tournament for his U.S. squad.
Cruz boxed in the second female bout of the tournament in a
flyweight contest against Ingrid Valencia of Colombia, and the
boxers traded rounds throughout the low scoring affair. Valencia
held a 1-0 lead after one but it was Cruz enjoying the momentum
in the middle rounds. T
he American held a slim 4-2 lead
with one round remaining, but Valencia won the final stanza to
push the bout to a 4-4 tie at the final bell. Valencia won the
contest on her 29-27 total punch count edge to eliminate Cruz
from the Pan American Games. Despite her disappointment, Cruz
appreciated the place in history she earned in the first-ever
Pan American Games for women’s boxing. “It (being the first U.S.
woman to compete in the Pan Am Games) felt good. Tonight was
back and forth. I'm very upset right now,” Cruz said.
Head Coach Gloria Peek added, "It is very important in the grand
scheme of things because it is profiling women and what they are
capable of. You can tell the skill is there. We just fell down
on some basic things tonight."
Russell faced an internationally seasoned foe in his first bout
of the tournament. He battled 2008 Olympic silver medalist and
reigning Pan American Games champion Emilio Correa of Cuba in
Friday’s preliminary round action. Correa held a 7-2 lead after
the first and blew it open in the second. Russell faced a 20-3
deficit as the final round began, and Correa went on to win a
27-4 decision over the American boxer. The loss eliminates
Russell from Pan American Games contention. "I learned one thing
tonight. I have to get my hands up. I've got a lot to learn,”
Russell said. “This was my mid-40th fight. I learned that this
is really a point system game.”
2010 Women’s World Championships bronze medalist Queen Underwood
(Seattle, Wash.) will be the lone U.S. boxer to compete in
Saturday’s action. She will battle Puerto Rico’s Kiria Tapia in
lightweight quarterfinal competition.
Terra is showing a live stream of the full duration of the Pan
American Games and fans can watch live action at
Report is for: October 21, 2011
112 lbs/female: Ingrid Valencia, COL, dec. Christina Cruz, New
York, N.Y./USA, 4-4 (29-27)
165 lbs/male: Emilio Correa, CUB, dec. Damarius Russell, Camp
Lejeune, N.C./USA, 27-4.