The welterweights have set up two quarterfinal bouts after the round of 16 results this morning in London, and Great Britain's Freddie Evans has moved forward, thrilling the home crowd.
[ Morning Results: Flyweight Round of 16 ]
Taras Shelestyuk (Ukraine) def. Vasilii Belous (Moldova), 15-7: Fairly easy work for Shelestyuk in his London debut. The top-seeded Ukrainian can't be described as exciting, but he's good. He's the exact sort of fighter that I think American boxing fans like the least, in part because it can be maddening that he's as good and effective as he is without taking risks or putting on a show. I think American fans would have to like someone like Vasyl Lomachenko, because he's excellent and it's fun to watch, but Shelestyuk just wins and has no concern about his entertainment level. We get told all the time by people who need a sport to be The Entertainment Business that boxing is The Entertainment Business, but sometimes it's not. For guys like Shelestyuk, it's a sport where you play to win, period. But then this is a whole big discussion that can be taken up some other time.
Alexis Vastine (France) def. Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia), 13-12: Vastine had a really annoying third round here, running and trying to cruise his way to victory, but really he probably deserved to be up by more than three entering the round anyway. Vastine is solid, but I have a hard time seeing him giving Shelestyuk a serious challenge.
Custio Clayton (Canada) def. Cameron Hammond (Australia), 14-11: Clayton definitely won the third round, taking it by three after 2-2 and 3-3 rounds to start the bout. I do think Hammond got shorted in the first, but if he'd won it by two points, he'd have still lost by one, and you could probably argue Clayton won the third by more than three, too. All in all, probably fair enough. The second round really was even.
Freddie Evans (Great Britain) def. Egidijus Kavaliauskas (Lithuania), 11-7: No controversy in this one, as it was level after two, and Evans took it home with a big third round, winning the frame 6-2. Evans has been very sharp in his first two contests, and you can see why he was considered a top hope to medal. I even think he's got a chance to beat Shelestyuk if they both make it into the semifinals. A chance, mind you -- not that I'd favor him.