In Sofia, Bulgaria, Albuquerque’s Abraham Perez defeated Ukraine’s Dmytro Zamotayev by split (3-2) decision Tuesday in a 114-pound first-round bout at the Strandja international amateur boxing tournament.
The victory brings Perez, a 2019 Golden Gloves national champion and winner of the USA Boxing Olympic Trials in December, at least a bit closer to a berth in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Perez is scheduled for his second-round bout on Thursday against either Gabriel Escobar of Spain or Kumar Deepak of India.
Los Angeles’ Anthony Herrera, Perez’s U.S. competition for an Olympic berth at 114, also advanced in Sofia on Tuesday with a victory by unanimous (5-0) decision over Belarus’ Yauheni Kamilchyk.
Perez would appear to have the advantage over Herrera, whom he defeated not once but twice at the Olympic Trials. But, apparently, USA Boxing is leaving it open.
“(Herrera and Perez) showed they both want the one spot to advance to the Olympic Qualification tournaments,” USA Boxing wrote in a news release.
The U.S. male and female representatives in their respective weight classes will compete in an Olympic qualifier in Buenos Aires, scheduled for March 26-April 3.