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Saturday, July 20, 2024
St. Davids boxer loses semifinal bout, waits on Pan Am decision
From left, National coach Vincent Auclair, Mckenzie Wright, national coach Samir El Mais and support coach Jordan Mathieu in the warm-up area before the match. (Kraig Devlin)
Niagara-on-the-Lake boxer Mckenzie Wright, in red, connects with a punch against Gomez in their Sunday evening semifinal bout. (KRAIG DEVLIN)
St. Davids boxer Mckenzie Wright is a three-time national champion. (Somer Slobodian)
St. Davids boxer Mckenzie Wright is a three-time national champion. (Somer Slobodian)

Next stop? Hopefully Santiago, Chile.

St. Davids champion amateur boxer Mckenzie Wright entered the ring Monday night at the Pan American qualifications in Cali, Colombia, to compete against Mexican fighter Ingrid Alexa Gomez Galcia in the elite women’s 48- to 50-kilogram semifinals.

Wright drew a bye last week which automatically advanced her to the semifinals.

She gave it her all during three rounds, but in a unanimous decision from the five judges, she lost her bout to Gomez Galcia.

Wright now has to wait to see if her name is on the tournament’s list of Pan Am qualifiers. 

Prior to Cali, Boxing Canada said the top four fighters in each division would qualify for the Pan Ams. As a semifinalist, Wright was in the top four, but the Pan Am participants’ list is not yet official.

“I knew I had a tough opponent in front of me who played a great game of chess,” Wright wrote in an Instagram post after the match. 

“These challenges internationally against quality fighters are the only way for me to improve, so I take the L as a lesson and continue to strive,” she added. 

The Pan Am Games will be held in Santiago, Chile, in October. Those games are a direct qualifier to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the top two fighters in each wait class earn a trip to the Games.

The list of Pan Am qualifiers is supposed to be sent to the Canadian Olympic Committee by Aug. 21, according to Kraig Devlin, technical director of Boxing Canada.

Wright is a three-time Canadian national champion and trains at City Boxing Club in Niagara Falls with her coach, Jesse Sallows, a two-time Golden Glove champion. 

She was tops in Canada in the 50-kilogram weight class at the 2023 Pan American Games Domestic Qualification Competition in Montreal in June.

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