Pavilion 4 at the RioCentro complex of Olympic venues in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, hosted the opening day of boxing action at the Rio 2016 boxing Test Event yesterday, offering a glimpse of the talent set to perform on sport’s biggest stage next year.
The Great Britain team had a successful day, with AIBA Women’s World silver medalist Lisa Whiteside leading the way after edging through against Morocco’s Zohra Ez-Zahraoui in their flyweight bout.
“I really enjoyed getting in there today and it was a fantastic experience. She was an awkward opponent so I had to keep my shots straight and my guard tight and I finished strongly with a good last round. I look forward to boxing in the semi-finals tomorrow and am fit and ready to go,” said the experienced British boxer afterwards, who will be joined by team-mate Chantelle Cameron in the next round.
India’s five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Mary Kom was too strong for Venezuela’s former AMBC American Women’s Champion Karlha Magliocco and advanced to the semi-finals of the flyweight along with Estelle Mossely of France, after the lightweight defeated Mexico’s AMBC American Women’s Champion Victoria Torres.
In the men’s competition, Morocco’s current AIBA World Champion and WSB star Mohammed Rabii dug deep to beat his closest rival Araik Marutjan of Germany in an explosive welterweight match.
Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov dominated his bout with Venezuela’s Angelino Cordova in the flyweight category and Wuttichai Masuk – Thailand’s great hope for boxing gold having already qualified for Rio 2016 – was equally convincing against Swaziland’s Thabiso Dlamini.
Great Britain’s Galal Yafai and Luke McCormack both progressed, while the Netherlands’ Peter Mullenberg looked in good form against another unlucky Venezuelan, Argenis Espana.
“I won each round in my opening bout and felt I dominated the contest without any trouble. I boxed from my own distance and tried to land clear punches, so I am still fresh, injury-free and looking forward my next contest,” said the Netherlands’ EUBC silver medalist afterwards.