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The second day of the AIBA World Boxing Championships saw 44 bouts of top-quality boxing and a very special guest at Doha’s Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, with the winners in five categories going through to the last 16.

As the total number of match-ups over the opening two days of competition reached 83, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees, was welcomed to ringside by AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu and Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee.

Emphatic flyweight performances by Kazakhstan’s Olzhas Sattibayev and Venezuela’s Yoel Finol were superseded by a pair of crowd-pleasing knockouts midway through the first session of the day.

Filipino welterweight Eumir Marcial had Walid Said Mohamed on the canvas in the very first round of their bout, and the Egyptian failed to get back up before the referee’s ten-count. Morroccco’s super heavyweight Mohammed Arjaoui then scored a technical knockout in the third round of their super heavyweight bout.

One of the day’s big surprises came late on, as US national champion Steve Nelson was defeated on points by Morrocco’s Hassan Saada, but the day belonged to Uzbekistan. The strong team secured three victories in total, including Elshod Rasulov’s amazing battle with Venezuela’s AMBC American Champion Albert Ramirez.

“I know it was only my first fight here in the championships, but I am happy to beat such a big rival as the Venezuelan. I’ve had some injuries in recent years but now I feel in top form. The atmosphere of the championships is excellent and I hope I can reach my goals in Doha,” said Rasulov after the bout.

Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Russia are the only countries to remain unbeaten after two days of competition, while hosts Qatar have now notched up two World Championship wins for the first time following Nuraydin’s victory over Bosnia’s Bosnjak.

Thursday sees the second preliminary round get underway, with all eyes on the big match-up between Cuba’s 2015 Panamerican Games winner Andy Cruz and Russia’s European Games gold medallist Bakhtovar Nazirov.