A busy Sunday evening session of Olympic Boxing at Riocentro Pavilion 6 began with two more preliminaries in the Women’s Middleweight (75kg) competition, and Brazil’s Andreia Bandeira got the crowd going straight away with a tight victory over the athletic Panamanian Atheyna Bylon. Britain’s Savannah Marshall then recovered from a slow start against Sweden’s Anna Nash to set up a last 16 tie against Netherlands’ number two-seed Nouchka Fontijn.
A high-tempo bout between South Korean Ham Sangmyeong and China’s APB champion Jiawei Zhang then got the last of the Men’s Bantamweight (56kg) preliminaries under way. It was a draining match as the two traded heavy blows across the three rounds, but Zhang finally emerged with a unanimous victory. He will now meet London 2012 Flyweight gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez on Tuesday after the Cuban narrowly beat Mohamed Hamout of Morocco with a typically assured display.
Argentine Alberto Melian had put himself into a commanding position in the first round against Tunisia’s Bilel Mhamdi before the referee awarded him a second-round TKO win, and he now faces a tough Quarter-Final against Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev after his exciting, exhausting victory over Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev.
The second Men’s Lightweight (60kg) Semi-Final of the day followed, and it was France’s Sofiane Oumiha who booked a place in Tuesday’s final against Brazil’s Robson Conceição with a solid win over Mongolian Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu.
The last 16 of the Men’s Light Welterweight (64kg) was then completed, with German APB World Champion Artem Harutyunyan looking like a man in his Olympic rhythm as he found the target time and again to record an impressive win over Canada’s Arthur Biyarslanov. Turkey’s Batuhan Gozgec’s fierce combinations proved too strong for Brazil’s Joedison Teixeira, before the Azeri Lorenzo Sotomayor won an engaging bout by split decision against Amzil Hassan of France.
Britain’s Pat McCormack looked to come forward at every opportunity against the counter-attacking Cuban Yasnier Toledo in a balanced encounter that looked poised for a grandstand finish after two rounds. Toledo kept his composure throughout the final three minutes, fending off McCormack long enough to earn a split decision that saw him through to the last eight.
Britain’s Josh Buatsi came through the battle of the big hitters against Algeria’s Abdelhafid Benchabla with another assured display to reach the Light Heavyweight (81kg) Semi-Final. He was joined by Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov, who conjured a brilliant display against the imposing Azeri Teymur Mammadov to guarantee himself a podium finish.