MEXICO CITY – Jordan Burroughs is regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound wrestler on the planet.
Cuba’s Livan Lopez is probably convinced of that now.
Burroughs came on strong late in the first period and carried it over into the second in crushing Lopez 13-2 in the finals of the Pan American Championships on Thursday night.
Burroughs put his immense skills on display in the much-anticipated freestyle finals bout at 74 kg/163 lbs. But Burroughs, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion, was too strong for Lopez, a 2013 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Burroughs was named Outstanding Wrestler.
Burroughs, now an amazing 88-1 in his career, will seek his third straight World title in September in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He is still unbeaten against foreign competition in his international career.
Burroughs was one of five Americans who earned titles on Thursday.
Zach Sanders (57 kg/125.5 lbs.), Andrew Hochstrasser (61 kg/134 lbs.), Hunter Stieber (70 kg/154 lbs.) and Zach Rey (125 kg/275 lbs.) also won titles for the U.S.
The U.S. rolled to the team title with 74 points. Canada was second with 50 points and Cuba third with 49 points. American wrestlers went a perfect 8-0 in the medal round.
"We wrestled extremely well," U.S. coach Joel Greenlee said. "We came here to win medals and we're going home with eight. Jordan Burroughs winning the OW by beating an Olympic bronze medalist and World silver medalist was a great way to end a good day for team USA."
Sanders rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Cuba’s Alfredo Cisnero 3-2 in the finals. Sanders trailed 2-1 before scoring the eventual winning takedown in the second period.
Hochstrasser followed by cradling and pinning Canada’s Michael Asseltine early in the second period to win gold.
Stieber scored takedowns in each period to down Puerto Rico’s Pedro Soto 4-1 in the finals.
Rey cruised past Jose Malaquia Encarnacion of the Dominican Republic by a 10-0 technical fall in the heavyweight finals.
Three American wrestlers captured bronze medals.
Frank Molinaro (65 kg/143 lbs.), Clayton Foster (86 kg/187 lbs.) and Deron Winn (97 kg/213 lbs.) earned bronze medals for the U.S.
Molinaro built an 8-0 lead before turning and pinning Abel Gerald Herrera of Peru in the bronze-medal match.
Foster earned a quick 10-0 technical fall over Adrian Antoine Jaoude of Brazil to earn a bronze medal.
Winn came back from a 4-2 deficit to defeat Ali Al-Rekabi of Canada 8-5 to win a bronze medal. Winn scored four points on a powerful double-leg attack with exposure to break a 4-4 tie early in the second period.
U.S. freestyle wrestlers went a combined 25-3 in the tournament.
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