By Scott Christ
Half of the men’s lightweight quarterfinals are set, and the first super heavyweight fight went down this morning in Rio.
Day four of the boxing in Rio has completed its morning session. Here’s what we saw from the lightweights, middleweights, and super heavyweights on the men’s side this morning.
Men’s lightweight (60kg) (Round of 16)
Lázaro Álvarez (Cuba) def. Carmine Tommasone (Italy)
- Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
The first appearance in Rio for Álvarez, who won bronze in London as a bantamweight, then gold at the 2013 and 2015 World Amateur Championships as a lightweight. And it was a class performance, too, as he pretty much dominated. Tommasone might have landed one punch of any significance, and it came fairly late in the fight. Other than that, Álvarez took him to school.
Carlos Balderas (United States) def. Daisuke Narimatsu (Japan)
- Scores: 29-28, 30-27, 30-27
Balderas wins his second fight in Rio, and advances to the quarterfinals, where Alvarez awaits him. That’s going to be a much tougher challenge than Berik Adrakhmanov or Daisuke Narimatsu, but Balderas has a lot of talent. Narimatsu didn’t have the speed or skills to run with Balderas, though there were some good exchanges, and both landed shots. Balderas was just a bit better. Álvarez will be a different kettle of fish.
Hurshid Tojibaev (Uzbekistan) def. Joe Cordina (Great Britain)
- Scores: 28-28, 29-27, 29-27
Watching this fight, I couldn’t but think that if this were four years ago in London, Cordina would have received the sort of favorable judging that helped Anthonys Joshua and Ogogo medal. But Tojibaev was the right winner here, just landing the better punches, particularly in the second and third rounds.
Robson Conceiçāo (Brazil) def. Anvar Yunusov (Tajikistan)
Yunusov injured his right arm in his first round win, which caused him to retire from this fight after a dominant first round from Conceiçāo, who’s tough to fight even if you’ve got both arms working. He tried, but it wasn’t there, and he made the understandable call to concede defeat.
Men’s middleweight (75kg) (Round of 32)
Ilyas Abbadi (Algeria) def. Anauel Ngamissengue (Congo)
- Scores: 30-27, 29-28, 29-28
Abbadi was slick and skilled, Ngamissengue just couldn’t get to him much at all. That said, Abbadi did wind up cut in the third round, outside of his left eye. Ngamissengue did fight hard until it was over, really trying to do something special and big in the third round. That led to Abbadi holding some, in part trying to protect that cut and not make it worse to go forward.
Kamran Shakhsuvarly (AZE) def. Zhao Minggang (CHN)
- Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Fairly easy work for Shakhsuvarly, who swept all three cards, and rightly so. He’ll face Russia’s Artem Chebotarev in the round 16. Chebotarev received a bye, and won gold at the European Championships last year and bronze at the 2013 World Amateur Championships.
Misael Rodríguez (México) def. Waheed Karaawi (Iraq)
- Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
This is my pick for best fight we’ve seen thus far in Rio. Really a hell of a battle between these guys, who went all out for all nine minutes. I mean, if you watch it, it probably won’t remind you of a classic pro slugfest or anything, but these two really put it all on the line. Karaawi swept the first round, and Rodríguez did the same for the second and third frames. It was a debatable decision, but hard to get too bent out of shape about it, either. It’s just a shame someone had to lose. Rodríguez moves automatically to the quarterfinals, too, as he’ll get a walkover win against Michael O’Reilly of Ireland, who has been disqualified from competition after failing a drug test.
Wilfried Ntsengue (Cameroon) def. Jorge Vivas (Colombia)
- 29-28, 29-28, 27-30
Another very competitive and debatable fight. This was a true split decision after two rounds; Ntsengue led 20-18 on one card, Vivas 20-18 on another, and the third was tied 19-19. That means that two judges Vivas the third round, but the key judge, the judge who had it even, gave it to Ntsengue, and he moves on to the round of 16.
Men’s super heavyweight (91+kg)
Clayton Laurent (Virgin Islands) def. Erik Pfeifer (Germany)
- Scores: (split decision)
Pfeifer was the favorite here, and also competed at London 2012, but Laurent deserved this victory. Laurent is the stepson of Julian Jackson, and the stepbrother of pro fighters Julius and John Jackson. His reward for winning this fight, which he did in relative style, is a chance to knock off top-seeded Tony Yoka of France in the round of 16. The broadcast cut out before the scores were shown on the screen, but it was announced as a split decision.
Source:: Bad Left Hook