The first women’s bouts of the Rio 2016 Boxing Tournament got underway on Friday morning in Riocentro Pavilion 6, with two bouts at Flyweight (51kg) and two at Lightweight (60kg). In the first of two men’s Light Flyweight (49kg) Semi-Finals, Yurberjen Martinez made history as the first Colombian to reach an Olympic Boxing Final, before two Lightweight (60kg) Quarter-Finals and three bouts from the last 16 of the Middleweight (75kg) competition.
The strength of the field in the Women’s Flyweight competition was highlighted from the very first bout, as Ukraine’s Tetyana Kob defeated former World Champion Stanimra Petrova, taking advantage of rare gaps in the Bulgarian’s defences to establish an early lead that she refused to give up.
Kob will now face London 2012 gold medalist Nicola Adams in Tuesday’s first Quarter-Final, while Canada’s Mandy Bujold also progressed, defeating Yodgoroy Mirzaeva. A big left from Bujold had the Uzbek on the canvas in the second round, and from that point there looked to be only one outcome, the Canadian winning all four rounds to set up a Quarter-Final match with China’s London 2012 silver medalist Ren Cancan.
The Women’s Lightweight (60kg) competition got underway with Finland’s experienced Mira Potkonen edging a close encounter with Brazil’s London 2012 bronze medalist Adriana Araujo, before China’s 2014 Asian Games champion Yin Junhua defeated Morocco’s Hasnaa Lachgar to join Potkonen in the last eight.
The Colombian fans were out in full force for the first Semi-Final of the Rio 2016 Boxing Tournament, as Yurberjen Martinez looked to find a way past the flamboyant Cuban Johanys Argilagos. Martinez took the tie to the 19 year-old who, for the first time in the Games, struggled to find his rhythm. After a strong finish, Martinez became the first Colombian ever to reach an Olympic gold-medal match, in which he will meet Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov after the Uzbek beat American Nico Hernandez.
Triple World Champion Lazaro Alvarez came up against another in-form American Carlos Balderas in an engaging first Lightweight (60kg) Quarter-Final. The match swung both ways before Alvarez used his all of experience to establish a narrow lead that had become a unanimous judges’ decision by the end of the third round.
A battle between two great APB rivals followed, with the crowd getting behind Brazil’s Robson Conceição as he pushed for a podium finish against Uzbek Hurshid Tojibaev. It was the Brazilian who started brightest, landing some big rights before continuing to exploit Tojibaev’s defences to earn a crucial win.
Arlen Lopez then powered into the Middleweight (75kg) Quarter-Finals with a huge left that put Hungary’s Zoltan Harcsa on the canvas at the end of the first round, leaving the referee no choice but to stop the match. The Cuban will now face France’s Christian Mbilli after he blasted past Ecuador’s Marlo Delgado with some big left crosses to seal a place in the last eight. Kazakh Zhanibek Alimkhanuly’s victory over Algeria’s Ilyas Abbadi wrapped up a superb Day Seven morning session of Olympic boxing.