After taking first place at the European Qualification Event in Turkey back in April, France’s Sofiane Oumiha arrived in Rio well-prepared to challenge the biggest names at Lightweight (60kg), and his Olympic campaign got off to a great start against the solid Honduran Teofimo Lopez Rivera on Sunday evening. Oumiha evaded several waves of Rivera attacks and launched efficient counters of his own to earn a unanimous decision and a second-round tie with veteran lightweight Amnat Ruenrog, winner over Argentina’s Ignacio Perrin.
Ireland’s David Joyce is finally realising his Olympic dream at the third attempt, and will have been delighted to get off to a winning start against Seychelles’ Andrique Allisop. Despite some lightening-fast exchanges between the two fully focussed boxers, Joyce was able to win all three rounds and advance to what is set to be a tricky second-round match-up against Azeri Albert Selimov.
In the evening’s first Welterweight (69kg) bout, Spanish 24 year-old Youba Sissokho threw his all at Shakhram Giyasov, but the Uzbek was in masterful form as he bobbed and swayed himself past Sissokho’s long left arm and in to the second round. Armenia’s Vladimir Margaryan will also box again on 11 August after a comprehensive win over Fiji’s sole boxer at Rio 2016, Winston Hill.
Souleymane Cissokho halted Balazs Bacskai’s Olympic bid as the Frenchman found his way through the Hungarian’s defences early on and never looked like losing his advantage. Ardee Saylom then recorded Thailand’s second win of the session as he edged past the more attack-minded Belarusian Pavel Kastramin in a cagey but fascinating encounter that swung both ways before the judges’ awarded their split decision.
The second-round line-up of the men’s Light Heavyweight (81kg) category was then completed with three top-level bouts of boxing. First to go toe-to-toe were the well-matched and highly experienced Peter Mullenberg and Iran’s Ehsan Rouzbahani, with Netherlands’ Mullenberg narrowly winning thanks to a brilliantly composed performance. His next opponent will be Teymur Mammadov, the Azeri Flagbearer who had a 17cm height advantage over Ukrainian Denys Solenenko that he used to full effect, his opponent’s occasionally fierce attacks returned with interest as he won all three rounds.
The final bout of the day was another tight affair, as Italy’s Valentino Manfredonia and Belarusian Mikhail Dahaliavets battled their way through three gruelling rounds. Dahaliavets eventually took the split decision and will now meet Kazakhstan second-seed Adilbek Niyazymbetov on 11 August.