Brazil's 23-year-old Panamerican Champion and World Military Games winner Robson Conceicao thought he had become the hero of the hour at the 16th AIBA World Championships in Baku. The Brazilian Beijing Olympian lightweight boxer was on course to cause a huge upset in the competition when he eliminated Ukraine's Olympic Champion and defending AIBA World Champion Vasyl Lomachenko 20:19. The Ukrainian corner believed that many decisions had gone against their fighter with the Brazilian boxer tricking the referee on some debatable decisions. On review however, a protest was made and upheld, handing victory to the Ukrainian Lomachenko who will now meet Uzbekistan's Fazliddin Gaibnazarov who triumphed over Germany's Eugen Burhard in another frantic battle.
The ninth day of the AIBA World Championships was the most important in the event's schedule with 64 boxers from the 49kg to the 81kg weight categories securing their places at the forthcoming 2012 London Olympic Games. 28 nations gained at least one Olympic quota on the day when Russia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, India, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, England, Italy, Ireland, Brazil and the United States became the most successful nations.
In the day's opening contest, Azerbaijan's current European Champion and top seed Salman Alizada was completely dominated by thirteen years his senior Kaew Pongprayoon of Thailand. The Southeast Asian boxer dominated their fight in the light flyweight category and won by a large margin 23:8.
China's Beijing Olympic Games winner Zou Shiming can start preparing for his third Olympics after defeating Philippines' new 18-year-old sensation, Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament winner Mark Anthony Barriga who eliminated Ireland's European Champion Patrick Barnes in the previous round. Barriga will still have a chance to make the Olympic quota if Zou Shiming reaches the final at these championships.
Cuba's AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medallist, teenager Yosvany Veitia, secured his place as the first Caribbean boxer at the 2012 London Olympic Games after beating Japan's 18-year-old President's Cup winner Naoya Inoue, who had previously won against former European Champion Hovhannes Danielyan of Armenia.
Russia's European Champion Misha Aloyan had to fight Cuba's 17-year-old Youth Olympic Games winner Robeisy Ramirez to secure his place in the Top8. It was their second fight following Aloyan's win in the Bocskai Memorial Tournament and winning in Baku meant he qualified for the London Olympic Games.
Andrew Selby was the first Welshmen to win a European Championship gold medal. The 23-year-old flyweight star eliminated Thailand's Chatchai Butdee by an impressive 25:12 while other favourites of the division such as former AIBA World Champion and US boxer Rau'shee Warren as well as England's Khalid Yafai also advanced to the Top8.
Bulgaria's defending AIBA World Champion Detelin Dalakliev failed to reach the Beijing Olympic Games but booked his ticket to London after beating Kyrgyzstan's last competitor, Omurbek Malabekov. The Bulgarian bantamweight boxer had shown better form in Milan two years ago but an excellent final round in Baku was enough to defeat his Central Asian rival 16:14.
England's bantamweight gold medal contender, former European Champion Luke Campbell, fought Algeria's Mohamed Amine Oudahi in a tight contest. The English star had a four point advantage after the second round but the North African fighter almost turned the bout in the final three minutes. Campbell managed to secure his place at the Olympics by winning the contest 11:9 and will now meet Dalakliev for a medal.
Tajikistan's current Asian Champion and Beijing Olympic Games quarter-finalist, 24-year-old Anvar Yunusov quickly dispatched Turkey's Furkan Memis Ulas but his bout against Australia's Luke Boyd lasted until the final bell but he still won comfortably 17:7. Seven-time National Champion Yunusov has now qualified for his second Olympics and will now be battling Russia's Sergey Vodopyanov for a podium finish.
England's two-time European Championships silver medallist and Commonwealth Games winner Thomas Stalker moved one step closer to the gold medal. The experienced English boxer triumphed over 29-year-old European Championships bronze medallist Alexander Solyanikov of Russia 17:9 following a quality final round, he will now be fighting India's Manoj Kumar for a guaranteed medal position.
Two-time AIBA World Championships bronze medallist, 29-year-old Gyula Kate of Hungary will compete in his third Olympic Games following victory over Kazakhstan's Asian Games winner and gold medal contender Daniyar Yeleussinov. The veteran Hungarian used all his nous to beat the talented and speedy Kazakh boxer, finally winning the light welterweight contest 17:11.
US National Olympic Trials winner and Four Nations Tournament winner Errol Spence shocked Hungary's European Champion and top seeded Balazs Bacskai after taking the first round 7:3. The Hungarian tried hard to overturn this deficit but the US boxer raised his game to match his opponent and surprisingly won their contest. Spence will meet with two-time AIBA World Champion Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan in the next round.
Asian Championships bronze medallist Ryota Murata continued his winning streak, securing Japan's first Olympic quota in the middleweight category. He was trailing by a point deficit against Germany's Stefan Hartel after round one but boxed clever from there on in to finally win the bout 18:15.
Romania's former European Cadet Champion, powerful 21-year-old Bogdan Juratoni reached a career personal best in Baku when he caused a huge surprise. The young Romanian boxer eliminated Cuba's Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist Emilio Correa in a tightly fought contest 26:24, handing his nation a first quota position for London. His next opponent will be AIBA World Championships silver medallist boxer Andranik Hakobyan of Armenia.
As expected Russia's 27-year-old defending World Champion Egor Mekhontsev advanced to the quarter-final after beating US National Olympic Trials winner Marcus Browne 14:6 in the light heavyweight category and will now meet Ukraine's Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Iran's Asian Games quarter-finalist and Umakhanov Memorial Tournament silver medallist, the tough Ehsan Rouzbahani fought a talented opponent in Baku when he faced current European Champion and AIBA Youth World Champion Joseph Ward, the Irishman will be celebrating his 18th birthday only later this year. Multiple warnings were handed out during the bout which ended in an unexpected Iranian victory.
Russia's defending AIBA World Champion Artur Beterbiev and Tajikistan's Asian Games winner and Beijing Olympic Games quarter-finalist Dzhakon Qurbanov are both renown for being powerful fighters but it was the Russian boxer who came out in this bout. Beterbiev's next opponent will be Ukraine's European Champion and AIBA World Championships bronze medallist Oleksandr Usyk who shocked two-time European Championships silver medallist Tervel Pulev in Baku with the Bulgarian's corner throwing after seeing their fighter completely dominated.
Reigning AIBA Youth World Champion, 19-year-old Filip Hrgovic of Croatia produced a magnificent final round and defeated Romania's Mihai Nistor in the super heavyweight category. His next opponent will be Kazakhstan's Ivan Dychko who stopped China's Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist Zhang Zhilei, while Azerbaijan's WSB Individual Championships silver medalist Magomedrasul Medzhidov also advanced to the last eight.
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