Five weight divisions were in action on the last day of the quarter-finals at the AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event; however it was only the Flyweight boxers who would learn their Olympic fate, the others would have to wait to the latter stages of the competition. With so much at stake for each fighter, both the level of intensity and quality was delighting the fans at the packed Daulet Sports Complex in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Light Flyweights opened proceedings with the crowds out in force to support local hero Birzhan Zhakypov. The 27-year-old 2008 Olympian and Asian Games silver medallist put in a clinic against Pakistan's Muhammad Nisar as he triumphed in resounding style 25:5. His next opponent will now be Uzbekistan's talented 18-year-old Shahobiddin Zoirov.
Day 5, session 9 - Full results
Day 5, session 10 - Full results
2011 revelation and last year's Best Junior boxer, 16-year-old Tajik Asror Vohidov, once again demonstrated his immense talent with a polished display against Iran's 19-year-old Hasan Ali-Naser that saw him prevail 13:11 after dominating the first two round. Vohidov showed composure beyond his tender years as he dominated from the centre of the ring, unleashing several four up to five punch combinations along the way.
President's Cup winner Inoue Naoya was another who showcased his growing credentials at international level with a thunderous opening against Kyrgyzstan's Asylbek Nazaraliev, the Japanese teenager was awarded the victory after he rocked his opponent in the first round and the referee intervened to stop the contest as he led 6:4. Only the winner of the Light Flyweight tournament will get a quota place for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The competition was fierce in the Bantamweight category as Beijing Olympian Satoshi Shimizu continued his winning ways with a convincing display against the People's Republic of Korea's Myong Il Kim. The tall Japanese 26-year-old made his height count as he dispatched his rival 23:10.
The much anticipated clash between two of the most talented fighters in the division saw up-and-coming AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Shiva Thapa pit his wits against the experienced Athens Olympic Games silver medallist and 2010 Asian Champion, 30-year-old Worapoj Petchkoon. Thapa's speed told in the early exchanges as the 18-year-old scored vital points, giving him the confidence to stamp his authority in the fight. He continued undaunted and having gained a comfortable advantage after the first two rounds, he exhibit good defences to see out the final moments and take a 16:10 victory.
After finding himself two points down after the first round, Syria's Asiana Games bronze medallist Wessam Salamana staged a spirited fight back to overturn that deficit by four points in the second against 18-year-old Armin Amjadian from Iran. Salamana sensed the win against his younger rival and ensured his progression to the semi-finals after taking the third, there were joyous celebrations as he was declared the victor. 18-year-old Ammar Hasan of Iraq completed the Bantamweight semi-final line-up after sensationally dominating each of the three rounds in his bout against Asian Games silver medallist China's Jiawei Zhang to triumph 14:9.
Man Mountain Mirojidin Karimov of Tajikistan is an imposing figure at 218cm, and at only 18 years of age, this southpaw is still learning his trade, however his size has had many of his opponents struggle against him. In Chinese 28-year-old Zhilei Zhang, he faced an experience and ring savvy opponent and during the first round Karimov was outclassed by the Asian Champion. Although he mounted a sterling come back in the second to draw level, in the third he received a couple of hard punches to the face and with the ringside doctor unable to stem the blood stemming from his nose, the referee was forced to stop the contest in favour of Zhang.
Closing the afternoon session was the second Super Heavyweight contest between 20-year-old Uzbek newcomer Izzatulla Ergashev and Abdolmajid Sepahvandi. The Iranian started off brightly, using he jab to good effect as he took the first round with a two point advantage, Ergashev however it back in a devastating second to go four points clear. 25-year-old Sepahvandi worked tirelessly in the final round but could not claw his way back as he conceded defeat 15:13.
In the evening session, eight Flyweights took to the ring knowing that if they won their bouts they would qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games. First up was 27-year-old Pak Jong Chol from the People's Republic of Korea against the experienced Indonesian Southeast Asian Games winner Julio Bria. Chol was simply outstanding throughout, winning each round to record an impressive 19:11 victory that guarantees him a place on the podium at this tournament. The crowd went wild when local product Ilyas Suleimenov stepped through the ropes and onto the canvas as he faced China's Chang Yong. The young Uzbek Asian Championships silver medallist was brilliant from the onset against his taller opponent, dominating proceedings as he claimed a well-earned 19:12 win to send his fans into raptures.
Japan's Katsuaki Susa turned on the style in the third Flyweight contest as he dominated Adel Almatbouli. The 17-year-old Jordanian had no answer to the poise of his rival, ten years his senior. Two-time Asian Games bronze medallist Susa was clinical as he took an unassailable lead in the first round and from there he had the confidence to close out the match and progress to the semi-finals after inflicting a 21:10 defeat on his opponent.
Although Tugstsogt Nyambar from Mongolia seems to have been around forever, the young man is still to turn 20. The 2009 AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist stylishly dealt with the threat posed by Pakistan's Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Muhammad Wassem as he outmanoeuvred his rival to great effect to ensure a stunning 22:9 victory and a place at this summer's Olympic Games.
Mongolia's Asian Games silver medallist and Beijing Olympian Enkhzorig Zorigtbaatar could not find his rhythm against Asian Championships silver medallist Liu Qiang in their Lightweight contest. Both southpaw boxers received a warning during the fight which saw the Chinese edge to victory after taking each round by a single point to record a total score of 15:12. Liu Qiang's next opponent in the semi-final will be Iraq's Arab Games winner Suraka Mahdi Al-Waaily who was quality against Iran's Faroutan Golara as he ensured his progression to the semi-finals with a 17:11 win.
In the last contest of the day Kyrgyzstan's Asian Championships bronze medallist Abdylai Anarbay Ulu was defeated by Philippines' tough World Series of Boxing fighter Charlie Suarez, a two-time Southeast Asian Games winner. The Filipino boxer found the perfect fighting distance in the first three minutes and continued with great enthusiasm as he overpowered his rival to triumph 14:5. Suarez will now face Japan's two-time National Champion Daisuke Narimatsu, who defeated Turkmen Myrat Pazzyyev 17:13, to decide who makes it to the final. Only the Lightweight gold medallist from Astana will ensure his place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Tomorrow marks the rest day for the boxers before the action resumes on Wednesday for the semi-finals which will be broadcast LIVE on aibaboxingtv.com.
Copyright © 2012 AIBA http://www.aiba.org