The opening day of competition saw all nations in the ring, and the bouts streaming online for supporters at home across the PanAmericas to follow the action.
Elisa Salinas, head of the Mexican muaythai federation and executive board member with IFMA said she was excited to see how far the standard had come in just one year. This is the first Pan-American tournament under IFMA as an IOC-recognised federation.
In May 2018 Mexico will host the IFMA World Championships so all eyes are on Mexico City for this exciting event.
The first day saw only male bouts with the women’s competitions starting on Day 2. First up was Marco Canto, Peru – well known to IFMA fans for his exciting bouts at the IFMA Youth tournament in August – winning against Brazil’s Marco Amaral. His team-mate Ian Escuza, an IFMA medalist also won his bout at 71kg.
Host team Mexico won five of their six bouts, which drew great applause from the home crowd and support for the loss against Chile’s Juan Santibanez. Among their successes was a close bout between Ivan Valenzuela who fought for Mexico at The World Games in July against American Wes Argrow.
But America did put three athletes through to the next round. Other highlights included an exciting win for Michael Garcia from the tiny nation of Costa Rica against Canada’s Rob Xoumphonphakdy.