Great Britain's Anthony Joshua was fortunate to fight in front of a home audience in London today, winning a controversial decision over Cuba's Erislandy Savon. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The super heavyweights closed out their opening round of 16, and we had a great fight and some scoring controversy in the main bout of the afternoon.
Ivan Dychko (Kazakhstan) vs Erik Pfeifer (Germany), 14-4: Very dominant showing from Dychko, whose name rhymes with Klitschko, and he didn't box far off of that level, relatively. Pfeifer was just never in it. Dychko cruised and barely broke a sweat showing his superiority.
Simon Kean (Canada) def. Tony Yoka (France), 16-16 on countback: A really good, competitive, spirited fight, and Kean showed a lot coming back from a 6-3 deficit after one. Kean took the second round, 7-3, and Yoka won the third, 7-6. Kean got it on the countback. No trouble with the scores.
Zhang Zhilei (China) def. Johan Linde (Australia) via stoppage-2: Dominant performance by Zhang, the 2008 silver medalist. Zhang led 7-2 after the first round, and then floored Linde on a crunching blow in the second. Referee made the decision to stop what was frankly a pretty big mismatch.
Anthony Joshua (Great Britain) def. Erislandy Savon (Cuba), 17-16: It was a great fight, surpassing expectations. The crowd was thunderous, shaking the camera as Joshua was introduced. But quite frankly, I don't think that I saw anyone who believed Joshua deserved the win in this fight. Let's be really clear here: It's not that Anthony Joshua fought poorly or was blown out. That is not the case. It's simply that there were two men in the fight, and Joshua was the second-best of them. Ben Dirs of BBC said this after the fight on Twitter:
"The crowd love it - most of them anyway, they are a few boos - but Anthony Joshua was very lucky to win that won, and I think he knows it. Everyone in the press seats knows it as well - lots of raised eyebrows and crooked smiles."
Joshua got the benefit of fighting in front of a roaring, passionate home crowd. Savon did not have that advantage. I don't think this was even worthy of a debate, really. Again, Joshua fought well. He's very good. But Savon was better. He deserved to move on. Joshua will now face Zhang Zhilei of China, and that's not going to be easy either.
Super Heavyweight (201+ lbs/91+kg)
Magomedrasul Medzhidov (Azerbaijan) vs Magomed Omarov (Russia)
Mohammed Arjaoui (Morocco) vs Roberto Cammarelle (Italy)
Ivan Dychko (Kazakhstan) vs Simon Kean (Canada)
Zhang Zhilei (China) vs Anthony Joshua (Great Britain)