Light heavyweight Jonathan Esquivel (Anaheim, Calif.) won his WSB/APB Olympic Qualifying Event debut on Monday afternoon at the final qualifier in Vargas, Venezuela. He is the only American boxer remaining in contention at the event as super heavyweightBrandon Lynch (Albany, N.Y.) dropped his opener on Sunday in his first major international bout and welterweight Paul Kroll (Philadelphia, Pa.) and heavyweight Cam F. Awesome (Lenexa, Kansas) fell in heart breakers on Monday.
Esquivel took on Bulgaria’s Spas Genov in first round competition on Monday afternoon and celebrated Independence Day with a split decision win in the light heavyweight contest. The 21-year-old Olympic Trials champion will face veteran professional boxer Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam of Cameroon in his second bout tomorrow afternoon in Venezuela. Esquivel needs two more victories to clinch his berth in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Awesome drew a rematch with Ecuador’s Julio Cesar Castillo Torres in his first bout of the final qualifying event. He lost a 3-0 decision to his Ecuadorian foe in the match-up, eliminating him from the tournament and 2016 Olympic Games contention. Awesome is a two-time Olympic Trials champion and multi-time USA Boxing National Championships gold medalist in both the heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions.
Kroll boxed well in his WSB/APB Qualifying Event debut against Germany’s Arajik Marutjan, looking to be first and land a stiff jab to control the contest. Despite his strong effort, Kroll lost a 3-0 decision to Marutjan in the welterweight contest. The defeat ends Kroll’s run at the 2016 Olympic Games. The Philadelphia native boxed his way out of the challengers’ bracket to win the 2016 Olympic Trials in December and defeated a former world champion in World Series of Boxing competition earlier this year as a member of the USA Knockouts.
Lynch faced Ukraine’s Rostyslav Arkhypenko on a short opening night for the tournament. The American boxer lost a unanimous decision to his Ukrainian opponent in his first Olympic qualifier. He is the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials silver medalist.
The United States currently has eight boxers qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games. Male light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas), male flyweight Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.), male bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.), female lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.), male lightweight Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.), male light welterweight Gary Antuanne Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.), female middleweight Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.), and male middleweight Charles Conwell (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) have all clinched their spots in Brazil. Women’s Head Coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Associate Men’s Coach Kay Koroma (Alexandria, Va.) and Assistant Coach Augie Sanchez (Las Vegas, Nev.) will accompany the American squad in Rio de Janeiro.
For more information on the WSB/APB Qualifying Event, click here.
U.S. Opening Bout Results
152 lbs/69 kg: Arajik Marutjan, GER, dec. Paul Kroll, Philadelphia, Pa./USA, 3-0.
178 lbs/81 kg: Jonathan Esquivel, Anaheim, Calif./USA dec. Spas Genov, BUL, 2-1
201 lbs/91 kg: Julio Cesar Castillo Torres, ECU dec. Cam F. Awesome, Lenexa, Kansas/USA, 3-0
201+ lbs/91+ lbs: Rostyslav Arkhypenko, UKR, dec. Brandon Lynch, Albany, N.Y./USA, 3-0