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Canadian boxer, nabs gold at Pan Am Games
Canadian boxer Mary Spencer had to wait until the championship bout before she was really tested at the Pan American Games. When faced with an opponent who was truly in her class, she came through with flying colours.
Spencer became the first Canadian to win a Pan Am gold medal in women’s boxing Friday night when she defeated Yenebier Guillen of the Dominican Republic 15-11 at the Expo Guadalajara Arena.
“It’s just a reminder that I know how to win,” Spencer said. “A lot of people know how to box and they know how to throw punches well and move well and do all that stuff right.
“But what I know how to do and what I’ve become almost an expert at over the last 10 years is winning. It’s pulling off a win.“ Women’s boxing is making its debut at the Pan Am Games and will be held at the Olympics for the first time next year in London.
Spencer’s win in the 75-kilogram category was Canada’s second gold medal of the day. Earlier, Steven Jorens and Richard Dober Jr. also reached the top of the podium, winning the men’s K2 1,000-metre race.
Canada also won five silver and seven bronze medals on Friday to boost its overall total to 110 medals (26 gold, 35 silver, 49 bronze). Canada sits fifth overall behind the United States (220), Brazil (128), Cuba (124) and Mexico (120).
Spencer, from Windsor, Ont., breezed through her first two fights and started off strong against Guillen, opening with a flurry of punishing body shots that left her opponent stunned.
The five-foot-11 Canadian used her height and reach advantage to connect with jabs and gain the early upper hand, taking the opening round 5-3. She continued with her aggressive style for a 4-2 edge in the second round.
‘Skills to win‘. Guillen came out gunning in the third round and stunned Spencer with a sweeping right hand that brought the indifferent crowd to life in the 1,576-seat venue. The Dominican took the third round 2-1 before Spencer fought back to take the final round 5-4.
“I knew that I had the skills to win,” Spencer said. “I just had to bring it out of me.”
The packed house was lively and energetic throughout the evening although they didn’t really have a favourite in the Spencer fight, the last bout on the six-fight card.
Many fans took photos with the Canadian champ after her victory. Spencer also left one young girl beaming when she gave her the plush toy mascot that she received during the medal ceremony.
Spencer has become the face of women’s boxing in Canada. She has won national titles each year since 2004 and won her third world title in 2010 after moving up from the 66-kilo weight class.
Her ultimate goal is to win Canada’s first Olympic boxing gold since Lennox Lewis in 1988. Next up is the national championships in January followed by the world championships — which serve as an Olympic qualifier — in March.
“I feel like when the time comes, I’ll definitely be ready,” Spencer said.
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