Men’s Super Heavyweights
- Mahammad Abdullayev (Azerbaijan) def. Danis Latypov (Bahrain), 3:1:1: Not to be confused with Uzbekistan’s Muhammad Abdullaev, who won light welterweight gold at Sydney 2000 and later lost to Miguel Cotto. This big fella and the other big fella had a solid fight to cap the day’s action, it was friendly but not lacking for aggression or anything. Abdullayev won three cards, Latypov won one, and the last one was even at 28-28, which doesn’t really make any sense but the judging and the random 10-8 rounds being scored are just weird as hell, even without MUCH controversy on day one there are red flags that plenty is going to come. Abdullayev now moves on to face top-seeded Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan so, you know, good luck!
- Stephen Zimba (Zambia) def. Marion Ah Tong (Samoa), 5:0: Really good performance and obvious win for Zimba, who won every round. Has a funky style but actually does something with it instead of just waving his arms around and shuffling his feet a bunch. Didn’t do anything huge, but just consistently in control of this fight, despite Ah Tong always trying to find a way in.
- Eskerkhan Madiev (Georgia) def. Lorenzo Sotomayor (Azerbaijan), RSC (injury - cut): Sotomayor, a Cuban-born fighter in Azerbaijan, won silver at light welterweight in 2016, but he goes one-and-done in Tokyo. I thought he lost both of the first two rounds, and he also had a cut or two, which wound up stopping the fight with 93 seconds left to go in the final round. It’s a big, big win for Madiev to advance, but the fight was winnable on the cards either way, and it stinks to have it cut short like that.
- Delante Johnson (United States) def. Brian Arregui (Argentina), 3:2: I’m not trying to get any of you Hacksaw Jim Duggans to come after me here, but the American got a gift in this one, in my view. Johnson was dropped and hurt in the second round, and he really didn’t want to engage much after. Amazingly, the Tunisian judge — please remember the Tunisian judge, whose performances thus far have been bizarrely questionable, and we’re one day in — gave Johnson a 10-9 in the second round. Incredible stuff. I thought Arregui won this fight. Johnson flashed talent for sure, I’m not saying he’s a bad fighter, I’m saying he lost this fight.
- Sewonrets Okazawa (Japan) def. Vikas Krishan (India), 5:0: This was the third Olympics for the 29-year-old Krishan, and he’s out in one, beaten cleanly and clearly by the younger, fresher, sharper Okazawa, who fights with a lot of spirit and character, fun to watch. Krishan’s always been a solid
- Alexy de la Cruz (Dominican Republic) def. Keevin Allicock (Guyana): Didn’t love de la Cruz’s style, but that’s my personal taste or whatever. He definitely won this fight, tried to bait Allicock a lot, but Allicock didn’t make a ton of mistakes, he just wasn’t the better fighter.
- Tsendbaatar Erdenebat (Mongolia) def. Nick Okoth (Kenya), 3:2: Very close fight, hard not to feel bad for Okoth, a 38-year-old who fought at Beijing 2008 and was back here for Tokyo and gave an excellent effort, but Erdenebat goes through to the next round. I thought Okoth just shaded it, but my card doesn’t count.
- Van Duong Nguyen (Vietnam) def. Tayfur Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 3:2: I think the right guy won this fight, but the scoring here was dumb and very “Olympics.” Nguyen dropped Aliyev at the end of the first round, but four of the judges scored it for Aliyev anyway. I get this isn’t the pros, but I really don’t see what the point of dropping an opponent or forcing a count is if judges just ignore it, which they often do. And to be clear, this was a knockdown, Aliyev got put on his butt, it wasn’t just a standing eight. OK, forget that part, right? But then the Tunisian judge — with a 10-9 Aliyev first round — gave Nguyen a 10-8 second round in a round that was nowhere near being a 10-8. It was a good fight and again, I thought Nguyen won because I’d have given him the first and second, and I did think Aliyev nicked the third, which three judges saw, but not the three judges he needed.
- Mirco Cuello (Argentina) def. Hamsat Shadalov (Germany), 3:2: A very good, extremely competitive fight. The outcome is controversial in that it could have gone either way, but this was no robbery or anything. I edged to Shadalov, but the first and third were both very close, and the second wasn’t a total no-brainer or anything, either, though Cuello got the better of that one, I’d say. They came out working at a really good pace and pretty much kept it up. Heartbreaker for Shadalov, obviously, a really tough loss, but one of the best fights we’ve seen so far, maybe the best.
- Chatchai Butdee (Thailand) def. Peter McGrail (Great Britain), 5:0: McGrail is nicknamed “The Scouse Lomachenko.” Don’t want to be rude, but — well, so I won’t, I guess. He has obvious talent but might be better suited for the pro ranks. Butdee, 36, is a veteran who fought at London 2012 and Rio 2016, was controversially “beaten” by Vladimir Nikitin in Rio, the round before Nikitin “beat” Michael Conlan. He was the better fighter here, pretty simple. He’s a very good amateur fighter, so that’s no huge knock on McGrail, who got a tough draw.
- Daniyal Shahbakhsh (Iran) def. Mohamed Hamout (Morocco): Sloppy fight, Shahbakhsh has a style that’s just going to make for sloppy fights sometimes, hands down, a lot of silly, pointless footwork and what have you. He also lunges a fair bit and got cut on a clash of heads in the third round. Hamout fought at Rio 2016 as a bantamweight, a division that no longer exists in the Olympics. Shahbakhsh deserved the win. The Iranian now moves on to face Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, who won bronze in 2012 and 2016 as a bantamweight and a lightweight, respectively, and now is hunting for Olympic gold.
- Sena Irie (Japan) def. Yamileth Solorzano (El Salvador), 5:0: 20-year-old Irie was the first Japanese boxer in action at the Games, and she definitely won this fight, lots of energy, good work rate, won every round. But if you’re wondering if we’ll have the same home cooking/favoritism shown to home country fighters that we see at basically every Olympics anymore, the answer appears to be “yeah, probably.” Not saying she didn’t win the rounds, but one judge gave her every round 10-8 and not one of these was near a 10-8 round. We also see all the cards on the broadcast and this hasn’t been consistent with other dominant showings or anything. It’s just blatant.
- Karris Artingstall (Great Britain) def. Keamogetse Kenosi (Botsawana), 5:0: Really liked Artingstall, who showed strong form, sat down on her punches nicely, landed some really nice shots in the fight, but Kenosi deserves credit here, too. She was out of her depth but very spirited, and she targeted the body well at times, something you don’t see a lot of in amateur boxing.
- Irma Testa (Italy) def. Liudmila Vorontsova (Russian Olympic Committee), 4:1: Tough draw for both, ultimately tougher draw for Vorontsova, a very good fighter who drew a fellow medal contender in the opening round. Four of the five judges had it 30-27 for Testa, who did deserve the win, but the Mongolian judge had it 29-28 for Vorontsova, making for the 4:1 result. Testa now moves on to face Ireland’s Michaela Walsh, another medal favorite.