The action is underway in Rio! Here’s what we saw in the first session of the first day of the Olympics.
Men’s light flyweight (49kg)
Galal Yafai (Great Britain) def. Fotsala Simplice (Colombia)
- Scores: 29-26, 30-25, 30-25
Simplice had two points taken away in the third round. He gave Yafai a scrap, but Yafai was definitely the more polished fighter, and like his brothers Khalid and Gamal, has the look of a good pro prospect.
Yuberjen Martinez (Colombia) def. Patrick Lourenço (Brazil)
- Scores: 29-28, 30-27, 30-27
This was really one sided, and the judge who gave Lourenço the first round should be removed from the rest of the competition, because that wasn’t even a little bit arguable. In the end, the right guy won, and clearly so, and two of the judges had it exactly right. Lourenço got here on a home country pass, didn’t actually qualify, and it showed.
Samuel Carmona (Spain) def. Artur Hovhannisyan (Armenia)
- Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Really good performance all around for Carmona, 20, who was just too much for Hovhannisyan, also 20, and not the same person as pro boxer Art Hovhannisyan. Carmona now moves on to face Ireland’s Paddy Barnes, one of the medal favorites in this division, and a two-time bronze medalist from Beijing and London.
Men’s lightweight (60kg)
Carmine Tommasone (Italy) def. Lindolfo Delgado (México)
- Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28
Tommasone, 32, is one of the few pros actually competing in the Olympics, 15-0 (4 KO) as a professional, and his experience is what gave Delgado some problems. But Delgado fought well, and I think you might have been able to make an argument for him in two of these rounds. Not a robbery, though. The 21-year-old showed potential and boxed well, but just didn’t get the nod.
Daisuke Narimatsu (Japan) def. Luis Cabrera (Venezuela)
- Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 28-29
Narimatsu had to win the second and third rounds to get the decision here. Not a controversial call or a robbery by any means, but debatable enough, and could have gone to Cabrera, you could argue. Narimatsu has more of a pro style, walks forward and looks to land power shots.
Carlos Balderas (United States) def. Berik Adrakhmanov (Kazakhstan)
- Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Balderas took the first round to really get going, but once he did, he showed a lot of potential. It was down to the wire here. After the second round, one judge had Balderas up 2-0, and the other two had it even. The third round saw the judge that had Balderas up 2-0 go to Abdrakhmanov, and the other two lean to Balderas, giving him the unanimous win. We’ll see how far Balderas goes, but there’s pro potential in him. Fast hands, seems to have some pop, good skills.
Men’s light heavyweight (81kg)
Mehmet Nadir Ünal (Turkey) def. Hassan Saada (Morocco)
Saada was arrested on sexual assault allegations this week, and is out of the Olympics, obviously.
Hrvoje Sep (Croatia) def. Abdelrahman Salah Araby (Egypt)
- Scores: 30-27, 27-30, 29-8
Sep was one of the fighters I was most looking forward to seeing today, but he didn’t do as well as I expected. I thought he won the fight, and think the 3-0 Araby card is pretty terrible, but Sep definitely underperformed here.
Men’s heavyweight (91kg)
Juan Nogueira (Brazil) def. Jason Whateley (Australia)
- Scores: 30-26, 30-27, 30-27
Crowd was super into Nogueria, and he rewarded their enthusiasm by starting strong against Whateley and looking for an early stoppage. He didn’t get it, but he pretty much dominated the fight, and won all three rounds to move forward.