Ryan Gets Pan Am Boxing Medal

1. Antigua and Barbuda’s Alston Ryan (left) avoids a left-handed jab from Cuba’s Andy Cruz on Tuesday.

By Neto Baptiste

Boxer Alston Ryan has brought home the country’s first medal at this year’s Pan American Games currently underway in Lima, Peru.

This after the UK-based boxer won bronze in the men’s light welterweight division on Monday night despite defeat at the hands of Cuban phenom Andy Cruz on Tuesday night. Both Ryan and Cruz were awarded bronze by virtue of making it to the semifinal bout.

Speaking with the media following his fight, Ryan said he lost to a fighter who was simply better on the night in question.

“He’s the number one in the world. He’s the Olympic champion, world champion for a reason and I see that I am not far off. I just need to get back to the drawing board, tweak some things and we will get him for September and beyond but he was just the better man tonight [Tuesday], I have no excuse, he was just the better man tonight,” he said. 

The Antiguan added, however, that his preparation had not been the best leading into the Games.

“To tell the truth, this camp wasn’t the best for me because the gym that I train in was closed so we had to travel for hours to get to a place where I could train…so the preparation wasn’t all that good but we stuck to it and we persevered,” he said. 

His trainer, former world champion Maurice Hope, hailed Ryan’s performance, adding that it’s time to take a break and refocus.

“Well, we’re going to go home and have a rest for sure and the world championships is coming up in September and we hope we can get some of that. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Alston because he’s come a long way. I would like to say thanks to his mother and father for me having him because if they didn’t do that there wouldn’t be any Alston at all,” the former boxer said.

Ryan, on Monday, punched his way into the semifinal round of the light welterweight division.

Ryan defeated the host country’s Acosta German in the quarterfinal bout.