Panamanian boxer Juan Huertas lost his opening contest but won experience in the London Olympics on Sunday, July 29, while calling on Panama’s authorities to give more support to amateur boxing.
Huertas lost to Puerto Rico's Felix Sanchez Verdejo, in the 60 kilos division but said on RPC Channel 4": In this fight I won experience and hope to continue improving said the 20 year old who marked the return of Panamanian boxing to the Olympic Games after 40 years.
Sanchez Verdejo (19 years) was a gold medalist at the Olympic qualifying Tournament of the Americas held in Brazil in May.
Huertas said “I will continue to prepare and to move forward.”
Huertas called on the Panamanian authorities to “support us in Olympic boxing. If amateur boxing had the support it could go further, but it does not.” Panama has an enviable record of professional world champions including “hands of stone” Roberto Duran, who held numerous titles and fought through three decades.
Before the opening ceremonies President Martinelli attended a lavish dinner for 200 guests at London’s prestigious Claridges, and presented the Panamanian flag to Irving Saladino, who won Panama’s first Olympic gold in the Beijing Olympics. Martinelli forecast medal opportunities for Panama.