Team Canada Looks to Fight Back at Boxing Championships

By Bob Peters
April 5, 2012

Mary SpencerTen bouts are in the books following the first night of competition at the 2012 Women's Elite Continental Boxing Championships at Cornwall's NAV CENTRE, and Canada is looking to improve its standing in the wins column as matches resume tonight.

In opening night action, Mary Spencer of Windsor, Ontario, the current World and Pan American champion, defeated Mexico's Alma Rivera by a score of 12-2, and was the only Canadian to win of the four that boxed.

Alexandra Love from the United States defeated Canadian National Champion Kim Klavel in the 48 kg division. It was a tight match with the American coming from behind to take it.  In other matches, Canada's Melissa Redmond fought a spirited bout against Mikaela Mayer from the USA, while American Christina Cruz had her hands full in stopping Vicky Pelletier from Team Canada.

Team USA won all five of its bouts, with Brazil and Argentina each winning two matches. Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica were winless during the first round of competition.

The Canadian Team comes into this tournament with an inexperienced squad with only three of the ten boxers having international competition experience.

Tonight's competition sees Canadian Mandy Bujold, Pan American Champion, squaring off against Zaida Enriquez from Mexico in the 51 kg division. Another very strong match-up will be the match between Marlen Esparza (USA) and Pamela Benavidez (Argentina).

Mandy Bujold has expressed how excited she is to be at the Championships in front of a hometown crowd.

“I’m not used to this short travel for International competition! I can get used to this!”

A total of 53 boxers in ten weight divisions will compete at the Championships. There will be 43 bouts throughout the tournament with ten finals on Saturday. You can tune-in and watch all the action over the Internet at

"We had a very balanced draw where practically no favourites face in the early rounds. This time preliminary bouts could end be finals for the quality of the boxers," said American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) President Domingo Solano.

Every boxer competing in Cornwall has been training hard to get ready for the competition. The Continental Championships will serve as a good gauge of the boxers preparation as they get ready to compete for a spot in the 2012 London Olympics next month in China.

"Boxers will use this tournament to build momentum for the World Championships and Olympic Games." Said Dr. Christy Halbert, President of the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Women's Commission

Bouts will take place nightly beginning at 7 p.m, with the finals on April 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available from Boxing Canada at the NAV CENTER at 1950 Montreal Road. Cost is $25 for the week or $15 for a daily pass.

The Continental Championships feature a strong field of boxers from the Americas vying for spots to the 2012 London Olympics at the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateure (AIBA) Women's World Championships from May 9-20, 2012 in Qinhuangdao, China. Twenty-four spots in three weight categories will be contested. The 2012 London Olympics will mark the first time female boxers will compete at an Olympic Games.

Nightly schedules and results can be found at

Photos from the opening night can be found at

CBC story written by Mary Spencer can be found here:

Information on NAV CENTRE can be found at

Category: Sports