Team USA’s elite men recorded four victories on day one of the AMBC championships in Maiquetia, Venezuela on Monday. Flyweight Brent Venegas (Sacramento, Calif.), welterweight Brian Ceballo (Brooklyn, N.Y.), light heavyweight Steven Nelson (Omaha, Neb.) and Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) each took victories in their tournament openers while lightweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) dropped his opening contest.
Nelson and Awesome closed out the first session of the tournament at the Polideportivo Jose Maria Vargas with first round bouts in the light heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions. Nelson won a unanimous decision victory Julio Alamos of Chile to advance on in the light heavyweight bracket. Awesome has consistently enjoyed success in continental competition and he continued his winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Ecuador’s Jean Carlos Mina in super heavyweight first round action.
Two more American boxers added victories in the evening session. Venegas was competing in his first major international competition outside of the World Series of Boxing but that didn’t show in his flyweight bout with 2011 AMBC Continental Championships gold medalist Juliao de Miranda Henriques Neto of Brazil. Venegas won a 2-1 decision over the more experienced Brazilian to move on to the next round of the tournament. Ceballo closed the day on a winning note for his American team with a unanimous decision victory over Canada’s Sason Joo-Haghight in welterweight action.
Three U.S. boxers will compete in Tuesday’s preliminary round competition in Venezuela with bantamweight Francisco Martinez (Dallas, Texas), middleweight Anthony Campbell (Covington, Tenn.) and heavyweight Joshua Temple (St. Louis, Mo.) boxing today. Martinez will face off with Venezuela’s own Jose Vicente Diaz Azocar in his first bout of the tournament. Campbell will battle Argentina’s Christian Zarate and Temple will take on Nicaragua’s Alvaro Mendoza.
Tournament action will run through August 22 at the Polideportivo Jose Maria Vargas with an off day on August 20 and can be viewed via live stream at http://ambcvargas2015.org.ve/281-2/.
Coaches Pat Barry (Las Vegas, Nev.), Augie Sanchez (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Rosario Solis (Irving, Texas) are leading the U.S. team at the American Boxing Confederation championships.
114 lbs: Brent Venegas, Sacramento, Calif./USA dec. Juliao de Miranda Henriques Neto, BRA, 2-1
132 lbs: Luis Cabrera, VEN, dec. Carlos Balderas, Santa Maria, Calif./USA, 3-0
152 lbs: Brian Ceballo, Brooklyn, N.Y./USA dec. Sason Joo-Haghight, 3-0
178 lbs: Steven Nelson, Omaha, Neb./USA dec. Julio Alamos, CHI, 3-0
201+ lbs: Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas/USA dec. Jean Carlos Mina, 3-0