Jun 13, 2024

When we think of Puerto Rican boxing, the list is so long and full of successes that we could write several chronicles full of glorious history for the sport in Puerto Rico, both professional and amateur.

Six medals of the ten Olympic medals won since the first participation in 1948 have been boxing achievements.

The story continues on the road to Paris 2024 with an innovation, the female debut of Puerto Rico in the Olympic Games with Ashleyann Lozada Motta, who will compete in the Parisian rings in the women’s -57 kilograms category representing the Isla del Encanto.

The boxer, a native of the Palmarito neighborhood of Corozal, earned the honors by obtaining her qualifying pass during the Pan American Games, Santiago 2023.

Although the Olympic record of Puerto Rican boxing is robust, the discipline is currently in a long pause in the sum of Olympic medals, since the last one achieved in this sport was in Atlanta 1996, achieved by the fists of Daniel Santos in welterweight. It is now, the moment of inflection to resume the path of medals for Puerto Rican boxing, which would also be a double triumph if Lozada achieves the feat and inscribe the name of another woman in the history of Puerto Rican Olympics and especially would have the honor of doing so in the discipline with the largest number of medals won for her country.

The athlete, born in 1991, began her boxing career in 2009, three years before the debut of women’s boxing in the London Olympic Games in 2012. Since then she aspired and waited to achieve the Olympic dream, preparing hard for it, for four Olympic cycles later and two years disconnected from boxing during that interim, is presented as a powerful option to stand on the podium in the finals of the Paris Olympic boxing, thanks to her perseverance, discipline and talent, along with a great heart of warrior, this athlete who has declared to be very proud to be Puerto Rican.

Ashleyann Lozada won gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games, Barranquilla 2018, and like so many, with the arrival of the pandemic, opportunities changed and she was left out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, postponed until 2021. It took a second wind, being able to revalidate the title in San Salvador 2023, to go to the Pan American Games in Santiago 2023 and obtain its long-awaited Olympic quota.

It will be possible that this first boxer from Puerto Rico in the Olympic Games will be able to increase the Puerto Rican medal tally, in what will be her debut and farewell in the Olympics, if she keeps what she has stated before to the media, that she will be entering professional boxing once her Olympic participation in Paris is over.

Puerto Rico has participated in all the summer Olympic Games since 1948 (19 editions), with 10 medals in its trophy cabinet, with two gold, two silver and six bronze medals, while boxing has won one silver and five bronze medals.

As of today, Puerto Rican boxing has two boxers who have qualified for Paris 2024. They are Ashleyann Lozada and Juanma López, Jr.

Juan Evangelista Venegas, Puerto Rican boxer, was the first to win an Olympic medal for the Island, with a bronze medal in the 54 kilograms. This happened in the 1948 London Games, the first Olympic Games in which Puerto Rico participated.

Written by Salvador Almea


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