Cuba's Lazaro Alvarez moves on to the bantamweight semifinals, following a win today over Brazil's Robenilson Vieira. (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
The men's bantamweights are into the medal rounds now in London, as the quarterfinals were completed this afternoon. All of today's winners will have at least bronze.
Lazaro Alvarez (Cuba) def. Robenilson Vieira (Brazil), 16-11: So the first guaranteed medal of the games goes to Alvarez of Cuba, the Worlds gold medalist last year and the top seed in London. Vieira started well, taking the first round 5-3, but rounds of 7-4 and 6-2 for Alvarez in the second and third brought it home, and rightly so. He was the clear winner here, and will be favored to win the gold at this point, I'd say.
John Joe Nevin (Ireland) def. Oscar Valdez (Mexico), 19-13: Nevin played the aggressive Valdez perfectly here, moving around the ring constantly and making the come-forward Valdez walk into shots, with Nevin just picking him off routinely. Valdez had no quit, and scored a body shot knockdown in the third round, but it wasn't enough. Nevin was a better total package in there, and he fought smart and fought well to keep gold hopes alive in Ireland. Valdez should go pro, as he's got the approach for it for sure. Everyone he's fought so far has been exhausted after three rounds because he just never relents.
Luke Campbell (Great Britain) def. Detelin Dalakliev (Bulgaria), 16-15: Really didn't think it should have been this close, as I question the 4-3 Dalakliev score in round one, as well as the 5-5 second round. I thought both should have been to Campbell, maybe by a point or two in the first, and by two at least in the second. But he clearly won the third, and got 8-6 credit from the judges, so he moves on. He deserved the win. The right guy got it.
Satoshi Shimizu (Japan) def. Mohamed Amine Ouadahi (Algeria), 17-15: The difference? A plus-two on a warning in the final round against Ouadahi. Ouadahi had some questionable tactics in the third, period, with a one-point lead and a warning against him, he didn't exactly "go for it." Shimizu really isn't particularly good, and I don't mean to be a jerk when I say that. But through the draw, his own grit, and some luck, he's at least a bronze.