In the first Flyweight (52kg) contest, Australia’s Darren Woods impressed with his cool head against 22-year-old Algerian Samir Brahimi of the World Series of Boxing Paris United Franchise. In the first round, teenager Woods looked calm and composed as his opponent did most the chasing, landing several precise shots to give himself a three point lead going into the second. Brahimi came back strong though, tightening up his defences and moving inside to good effect as he clawed his way back into the fight and overturned his deficit over the final two rounds to triumph 14:12. Brahimi now faces top seed and reigning AIBA World Champion Misha Aloian from Russian.
Orthodox Brazilian Juliao Henriques Neto, a former Panamerican Champion, used his experience against DPR Korea’s AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event bronze medallist Pak Jong Chol in the day’s second bout. The North Korean fighter tried to use his height advantage but Neto’s efficient style saw the 31-year-old Brazilian Flyweight (52kg) safely into the next round of the competition with this composed 12:8 win.
Sporting a very unique haircut, Puerto Rican southpaw Jeyvier Cintron Ocasio, winner of the AIBA American Olympic Qualifying Event Rio 2012, dictated proceedings in the opening exchanges of his contest against Oteng Oteng but the 22-year-old from Botswana came back strong to ensure there was parity after the first round. This evenly matched battle continued at great pace in the second with punishing blows being traded as they ended the second once again level on points. With all to fight for, it was the 17-year-old rising star who made the difference with a couple of stinging one-twos to record a 14:12 victory over the All-Africa Games winner.
"I felt the pressure with the crowd behind my opponent, it was tough, we were throwing a lot of punches. I am just happy to have won the contest, now I can focus on my next opponent", declared Cintron Ocasio after moving into the next round of the competition.
It was quick and unrelenting between Egypt’s Hesham Abdelaal and Kenyan Benson Njangiru as these two fighters went toe-to-toe from the first bell. The crowd were really enjoying this one as both boxers threw caution to the wind. It was evenly matched in the first but 19-year-old Abdelaal made the breakthrough in the second with a piercing straight left to edge ahead on the judges’ scorecards. The Kenyan police officer could not overturn the deficit and was defeated 19:16 by 2010 Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Abdelaal, who now faces Uzbek fifth seed Jasurbek Latipov.
The much anticipated showdown between Mongolian superstar Tugstsogt Nyambayar and the rising star from Azerbaijan, 20-year-old Elvin Mamishzada, was a pulsating one. Both these technically proficient fighters were going for it, trading punches in the first but the young Azeri took the advantage after landing a solid right hook midway through. 2010 World University Games Champion Nyambayar then stepped up his work rate in the second and third to dominate his rival, connecting with some sublime combinations in each round to secure an emphatic 18:11 victory. Nyambayar will now meet Italy’s Vincenzo Picardi for a place in the last eight.
The Flyweights (52kg) then made way for the Light Heavyweights (81kg) as Jordan’s Ihab Almatbouli and Lukmon Lawal of Nigeria took centre stage. It was a great introduction to this category as a huge overhead and a hard right by the 26-year-old orthodox Almatbouli had the Nigerian in trouble in the first. Clearly buoyed by his early domination, Almatbouli moved further clear on points after showing good hand speed. Showboating in the third, the Jordanian was ducking and weaving before countering with some vicious punches to his rival’s body and head, as he claimed an impressive 19:7 win.
"I want to dedicate this victory to the people of Jordan and all my supporters", declared Almatbouli afterwards.