Mark Barriga of the Philippines and Yosbany Veitia of Cuba were the standouts in the first session of light flyweight boxing in London.
The light flyweights have completed their first session this morning, and the light welterweights are next, with Jamel Herring of Team USA in action at about 10:30 a.m. EDT. Our live coverage continues here, but here's the rundown from the light flyweight fights, with some very impressive performances.
Light Flyweight (108 lbs/49kg)
Yosbany Veitia (Cuba) def. Billy Ward (Australia), 26-4: Ward got a really tough assignment here, and was blown out. Veitia moved beautifully and just picked Ward apart with clean shots. Very good hands, good footwork. Ward was in way over his head, but he gave an effort. Veitia now has the high score for the games, and his 13-point third round is the highest single round score we've seen. Veitia faces top dog Zou Shiming of China in round two. That's going to be interesting.
Mark Barriga (Philippines) def. Manuel Cappai (Italy), 17-7: Barriga is the only boxer sent from the Philippines. They sent a pretty damn good one. 5'2" Barriga was a big crowd favorite and pretty much dominated the bigger Italian with superior speed and arguably the best counter-punching we've seen in four days. At 19, Barriga has a long way to go, but he showed nice skills in this one, and a lot of spirit.
Birzhan Zhakypov (Kazakhstan) def. Jeremy Beccu (France), 18-17: Really good fight. Beccu was all effort in the first two rounds, and led 11-10. But Zhakypov outscored him 8-6 in the third, controlling most of the round. Beccu closed big though. It could have gone either way.
Thomas Essomba (Cameroon) def Abdelali Daraa (Morocco), 13-10: Essomba scored an actual knockdown on a left hook, and I thought didn't get enough credit in the second round, or the third. Scores were actually tighter than I expected, but it was a competitive fight throughout. Essomba faces Ireland's Paddy Barnes next.
Devendro Singh Laishram (India) def. Bayron Molina (Honduras) via stoppage (round one): Total mismatch. Molina was just woefully outclassed here. He never had a chance and the referee made the right call to end it quickly.