Day two of the AIBA European Olympic Qualification Event in Samsun, Turkey, saw several shock results as 37 bouts kept the crowds on the edges of their seats across two sessions. Sunday saw the Men’s Lightweights (60kg), Welterweights (69kg), Middleweights (75kg), Light Heavyweights (81kg) and Heavyweights (91kg) start their quest for Olympic Games quota places, and the action came thick and fast.
It was the middleweights who were first in the ring in the afternoon, with Britain’s Anthony Fowler and Frenchman Christian Mbilli Assomo both easing through to the last sixteen. The young Dutch talent Max Van der Pas then showed why he is one of the best in his weight class with a stirring victory over Switzerland’s Davide Faraci.
“I controlled my opening contest, which is always a difficult one. I knew about his height so my plan was to put him under pressure and punch with my left hand to the body. I felt I took the advantage so I didn’t need to make any risky moves in the final round, but I know of course I can do better in my next contest,” said the 22-year-old Dutchman after the tie.
One of the day’s biggest surprises of the day came in the afternoon, as Belgium’s 22 year-old middleweight Lay Kalenga Mishika beat Sweden’s experienced Leon Chartoi, while Zoltan Harcsa, the Hungarian member of British Lionhearts WSB franchise, beat Dane Ritti Dayson to set up a quarter final against Armenia’s Arman Hovhikyan.
“I was a bit nervous in the opening round but luckily that didn’t affect the result. I was waiting for the first punch and moved back to launch my counter-attacks against my Danish opponent and my speed was enough to win the first contest in Samsun,” said the Hungarian number one Harcsa afterwards.
Wrapping up the middleweight preliminaries, Albania’s Golden Gong Tournament champion Arjon Kajoshi was the surprise winner against one of the outside bets for an Olympic quota place, Croatia’s 2014 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Luka Plantic.
Russia’s National Light Heavyweight Champion Georgii Kushitashvili controlled his bout against the Latvian Raitis Sinkevics, and Great Britain’s Rio Test Event winner Joshua Buatsi was in good form against Belarusian Siarhei Novikau as he looks to steer a path back to the Olympic city.
Italian Domenico Valentino was again the winner against Dutch rival Enrico La Cruz in their lightweight contest, before the Turkish crowd got behind home favourite Volkan Gokcek as he defeated Lithuanian Edgaras Skurdelis.
The Albanian team registered their second success of the day at welterweight as Alban Beqiri proved too smart for the promising Swede Oliver Flodin, before Hungary’s Balazs Bacskai did just enough to eliminate his Greek rival Dimitrios Tsagkrakos and the Bosnian Adem Fetahovic produced a big shock as he beat Ukraine’s Yaroslav Samofalov.
Great Britain’s WSB talent Lawrence Okolie was able to stop Moldovan 19-year-old Cristian Constantinov in the first round of their bout, but it was Finland’s Tomi Honka who delivered the biggest display at heavyweight, defeating Belarus’ AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Siarhei Karneyeu.