The World Olympic Qualification Event began on Thursday afternoon, with the preliminary rounds already throwing up some surprise results and blistering action in Baku as 375 boxers from 92 countries pursue the 39 Rio 2016 quota places available.
With the winners of the day’s lightweight and welterweight bouts advancing to the last 32, Thailand’s Pachanya Longchin began his campaign with a stirring win over Canada’s AIBA American Olympic Qualification Event bronze medallist David Gauthier. Trinidad & Tobago’s Michael Alexander was an unexpected winner against Bulgaria’s Elian Dimitrov, and Angola’s Francisco Manuel Gomes surprised Poland’s Mateusz Polski with a late rally to progress.
Australian National Champion Harry Garside caused another upset as he defeated the experienced German Kastriot Sopa, before Hungary’s Miklos Varga took a step closer to his third Olympic Games appearance with a unanimous win over Kyrgyzstan’s Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu. German welterwerweight Abass Baraou then inflicted the first KO of the event in the first round of his match with New Zealand’s Joshua Nyika.