There were no fewer than 51 key bouts on Day Three of the World Olympic Qualification Event in Baku, and it was another day of impressive results for the new generation of elite boxers. As well as some exciting young talent, Italy’s experienced former World Champion Domenico Valentino was among the big names in action as Saturday’s sessions saw the winners of the light flyweight, lightweight, welterweight and heavyweight boxers advance to the last 16 and take a big step closer to Olympic qualification.
The afternoon session got underway with Puerto Rican 18 year-old Yankiel Rivera showing just why he is one of the brightest talents at light flyweight today with a superb performance against Australia’s Joshua English. Mexico’s Lindolfo Delgado had to be at his very best to overcome India’s Dheeraj Rangi and Australia’s Harry Garside again recovered from a slow start to beat South Korea’s Haeju Choi.
Trinidad & Tobago lightweight Michael Alexander continued his superb run with a win against Moldova’s Dorin Bucsa, before Italy’s three-time Olympian Domenico Valentino defeated his great Hungarian rival Miklos Varga. Germany’s Abass Baraou beat the Filipino welterweight top seed Eumir Felix with a brilliant final round, while USA’s Paul Kroll also progressed with a key win over Guatemala’s Lester Martinez and will now meet Hungary’s EUBC European Champion Balazs Bacskai in the next stage.
New Zealand’s powerful Commonwealth Games heavyweight champion David Nyika needed less than two rounds to bypass Togo’s Kevin Kuadjovi, and France’s Billal Bennama continued to impress in his first elite-level tournament, the 18 year-old flyweight defeating Germany’s Christos Cherakis to set up a mouthwatering tie against Mexico’s two-time Panamerican Games winner Joselito Velasquez on Monday.