The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Boxing Tournament continues today, with Sessions #7 and #8 taking place at the Kokugikan Arena and twenty-seven bouts scheduled in four weight classes: Men’s Welter (63-69kg), Men’s Heavy (81-91kg), Women’s Light (57-60kg) and Women’s Welter (64-69kg).
Round of 16 in the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) started off with the 2019 World Championships silver medalist Pat McCORMACK (GBR) pulling off a massive upset in the Tokyo 2020 Boxing Olympic Tournament as he stunned Aliaksandr RADZIONAU (BLR).
After his victory in his opening bout, he had said: “It was a good one to get out of the way. He is a decent fighter, messy, but I just hit, turned him. I had to be careful as he was being a bit devious with his head but I’m through to the next round.”
The top seed owing to today’s unanimous decision victory smoothly lands to the quarterfinals. To join him here the 2019 Asian Games Champion Bobo-Usmon BATUROV of Uzbekistan who earned a three-round hard-fought but well-deserved split decision win over Rohan POLANCO EMILIANO (DOM).
McCORMACK, watching his next opponent on television after his bout, commented: “Yeah, I saw him just win the first round. He is a good fighter but if I’m on my game then I will beat him.”
The British boxer, who will turn professional after the Games also added: “Winning the Olympic gold medal, I don’t think there is a bigger prize in sport. I have dreamed of that since I watched Anthony JOSHUA and Luke CAMPBELL winning and I thought, if I get there then I can do that. After this, it’s the end of the amateurs and onto the pros and the next chapter. Can’t wait.”
Later on, Aidan WALSH (IRL) made his Olympic debut, taking on Cameroon’s Albert MENGUE AYISSI in the last 16 of the Men’s Welter (63-69kg) weight class. The Belfast’s boxer marched on with a unanimous points victory. Therefore, the Walsh family still have the chance for a medal, after yesterday’s defeat of Aidan elder sister Michaela. Next up for him will be Merven CLAIR (MRI), who earned a marvellous split decision win over #4 seeded Zeyad Eishaih Hussein EASHASH (JOR).
The boxer from Mauritius, who is one win away from an Olympic medal, said: “Winning an Olympic medal would mean everything to me, but also having had the chance to represent my country here is a great accomplishment. That’s what I have been dreaming about and thinking about for so long. When the pandemic hit, we still trained hard and that’s the reason I’m here today. I’m really enjoying this experience. I feel really good.”
The first Men’s Heavy (81-91kg) bout of the day saw #1 seeded Muslim GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (ROC) outstanding Algeria’s Abdelhafid BENCHABLA with a clear, unanimous decision win. On Friday 30 July, the Russian Olympic Committee’s boxer will have to deal with Ammar Riad ABDULJABBAR of Germany who came out on top from his contest against Jose Maria LUCAR JAIMES (PER).
In the same weight category, Uladzislau SMIAHLIKAU (BLR) advances in the tournament after clinching a split decision win over Ato Leau PLODZICKI-FAOAGALI of Samoa. Coming up next for him it’s seed #4 David NYIKA from New Zealand, who fully comfortably controlled his match today, beating the 2019 Africa Games silver medalist Youness BAALLA (MAR) by 5:0.
Speaking after the match, NYIKA said: “I did everything that I was hoping to do. The execution was up to par so I’m happy with that. I know that the game plan we put together was exactly what it needed to be. I’m pretty confident in my abilities and it’s great to use some of the fight analysis stuff we’ve done, getting an idea of who I’m fighting, so I can prepare for the fight.”
Later in the session, Women’s Light (57-60kg) Rebecca NICOLI (ITA) sealed her first victory in the Olympic tournament at the end of a fierce duel against the Mexican Esmeralda FALCON REYES. The Italian athlete came out on top with a close-call 3:2 split decision in the third round. She secured a spot in the next round where seed #1 Kellie Anne HARRINGTON (IRL) is waiting for her.
Today’s turned into a successful Olympic debut also for the 2018 Youth Olympic Champion Caroline DUBOIS (GBR) who ruled her preliminary round against Donjeta SADIKU of Kosovo. The British boxer, awarded by the BBC as Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2019, moves on in the brackets and will face USA’s Rashida ELLIS on Friday 30 July.
“The fight went as planned. We knew she was a tough opponent and she would try and make it as messy and scrappy as possible. She is older and has more experience than me and has fought at a major level. She has been to worlds, Europeans, so she has fought the best. I knew she was going to be tough and she wanted it just as bad as me and it was going to be a battle of wills.” – DUBOIS said.
Later in the morning, the Women’s Welter (64-69kg) event, top seed Busenaz SURMENELI (TUR) shutout winning (5:0) pushes her into the last eight, where she will face Ukraine’s Anna LYSENKO on Friday.
There was a disappointment, instead, for Nadine APETZ (GER) as she was beaten by unanimous decision by India’s Lovlina BORGOHAIN in her last-16 Women’s Welter (64-69kg) bout.
BORGOHAIN next opponent emerged from the last bout of the session, won by seed #4 Nien-Chin CHEN (TPE), who disappointed Angela CARINI (ITA) with a close-call 3-2 split decision after a tight match.
Thirteen additional bouts will light up the afternoon at the Kokugikan Arena. Action will start at 5:00 pm with four weight divisions on the ring: Men’s Welter (63-69kg), Men’s Heavy (81-91kg), Women’s Light (57-60kg) and Women’s Welter (64-69kg).
Event schedule and results
Find the event schedule and the results here.