Canada’s Biyarslanov to fight for gold, Lally and El Mais win bronze
There was plenty of boxing potential for Canada on Wednesday night at the Oshawa Sports Centre. The final bell brought two bronze and a chance for gold.
Men’s bantamweight semifinal (56 kg)
BC native Kenny Lally went three rounds with Cuban fighter Andy Cruz, ultimately losing the fight by a unanimous decision. Boxing gives out two bronze, so Lally gets one.
“He’s very slick,” said Lally. “I just couldn’t find the target with him and even when I did, he knew how to move very well.”
Cruz is arguably one of the favourites to win the entire tournament and will take part in the gold medal bout Friday night. Lally will have to settle for bronze. “When we talk about the elite, he’s the elite of the elite,” said Lally.
Cruz only had positive things to say about the fight. “I knew the Canadian was a good fighter,” said Cruz. “He was also in front of his public so he was going to go at his best, but it went my way and I won thankfully.”
Lally had won his quarterfinal bout against Ecuadorian fighter Segundo Padilla Monday night, advancing him to tonight’s bantamweight semifinal. “It’s the first fight,” said Lally. “I worked all my life to get to this big of a stage. And a fight like that you earn your way to the next round and I have,” he said afterwards.
Men’s light welterweight (64 kg)
Canadian fighter Arthur Biyarslanov still hasn’t lost a round at the Pan Am Games after winning a light welterweight semifinal in order to advance to Friday’s gold medal bout.
Biyarslanov won his first fight on Tuesday, beating Argentinian Lucas Gimenez in a unanimous decision. “It was the right hook that did it,” said Biyarslanov. “That’s my favourite punch. He ate that very well.”
In Wednesday’s semifinal Biyarslanov stepped into the ring with Venezuelan fighter Luis Arcon Diaz.
The energy in the fight completely changed when Arcon Diaz administered two low blows to Biyarslanov, the first of which forced him to step back for a few seconds.
“The first one the ref didn’t see,” said Biyarslanov. “The second one was even lower which kind of hurt, so I was a bit angry there and that’s why I picked it up. You let your anger out on your opponent and that’s what I did.”
The second low hit to Biyarslanov came in the third round where he took complete control. “I reached my limit in the third round but I kept pushing because I knew it was a close fight and I gave it all I could.”
Biyarslanov will fight for the light welterweight gold medal Friday night against Cuba’s Yasnier Toledo.
Men’s heavyweight 91 kg
Canada’s Sammy El Mais withdrew from his semifinal, therefore winning a bronze and sending Colombian Deivis Julio Blanco straight to the final.