Men’s light heavyweights
- Dilshod Ruzmetov (Uzbekistan) def. Emmet Brennan (Ireland), 5:0: Well, right after the fight below this, we closed out with this one, another ugly fight, but this one much more boring than Plantic vs Al-Hindawi. Brennan couldn’t do much with Ruzmetov at any range and got tagged plenty, but not so much because he was so quick to hold, over and over and over. Dull fight to watch, though Ruzmetov flashed some good skills. An opponent more inclined to hold a lot less might make him a lot more fun to watch.
- Luka Plantic (Croatia) def. Odai Al-Hindawi (Jordan), 3:2: Close fight, debatable outcome, but also more importantly, the ugliest, nastiest fight we’ve seen so far. These two guys both held, led with their skulls, both wound up cut, both lost a point in the second round (or at least that’s what the commentator said, I thought it was only Al-Hindawi but also I’ve been zoning in and out so who knows?). Not tidy, but not boring, either. At one point when Plantic was the only one cut, it felt like a guy flirting with a DQ (Al-Hindawi) trying to force a stoppage on a cut, so two weird, unsatisfying outcomes in play, and neither happened. The referee did constantly tell them to stop doing stuff and that really helped, it seemed. Very effective.
- Mohammed Houmri (Algeria) def. Nalek Korbaj (Venezuela), 3:2: Very close fight, I’d have given it to Korbaj but can be a sucker for activity, and Houmri probably edged the nod on more eye-catching shots. But he had to work very, very hard down the stretch especially. He moves on to face Cuba’s Arlen Lopez (the 2016 middleweight gold medalist), which will be very tough.
- Harry Garside (Australia) def. John Ume (Papua New Guinea), 5:0: Fun fight, clear win for Garside, who did get rocked on a good shot from Ume in the first round. Really he was hurt more than most of the standing eight counts we’ve seen so far, but didn’t get one against him. Not that they seem to matter to judges at all, really. Otherwise Garside got the better of the exchanges, but it was a good pace and more action than most.
- Daisuke Narimatsu (Japan) def. Fiston Mbaya (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 5:0: Home fighter got the sweep and earned it, he was better and sharper, but Mbaya did some fun work, too, and it was a good fight to watch. Mbaya gave it everything he could trying to force a fight here because Narimatsu moved around better, when Mbaya could cut off the ring for even a moment he let the hands go. But the Japanese fighter deserved the nod.
- Zakir Safiullin (Kazakhstan) def. Leodan Pezo (Peru), 5:0: Safiullin is a vet, 34 years old, and this is probably his last chance at the Olympics. This was closer than the 5:0 will make you think, Pezo pushed him hard in the last two rounds and Safiullin also got cut on a clash of heads.
- Wanderson de Oliveira (Brazil) def. Wessam Salamana (Refugee Olympic Team), 5:0: de Oliveira dominated this fight, 14 years younger than Salamana at age 21, and just too fast, too sharp, long and tall, too strong. He forced a standing eight about halfway into the third and dropped Salamana on a sweeping left hook right before the end. Referee let Salamana finish, any earlier and it might have gotten stopped there because the fight was very one-sided.
- Dzmitry Asanau (Belarus) def. Obada Al-Kasbeh (Jordan), 5:0: Al-Kasbeh gave this a good go but was out-classed by Asanau, a 2016 Olympian at bantamweight who won European gold as a lightweight in 2019 to get here. He was a tidy boxer, just very sound.
- Luke McCormack (Great Britain) def. Manish Kaushik (India), 4:1: Another very close fight, Kaushik came very close to having just enough to get past this, he gave McCormack a very solid test and had some good success. Good fight, too. McCormack probably did deserve it, I shaded it just barely his way, but it was a tight one throughout.
- Elnur Abduraimov (Uzbekistan) def. Chinzorig Baatarsukh (Mongolia), 4:1: A good, really close fight, could have gone the other way pretty easily. The Uzbeks have gotten a lot of respect for developing a top flight amateur system, but the Mongolians are underrated, too. They send a lot of very solid fighters, even those who get beaten early. This was one of the overall sharper fights of the tournaments so far, I think.
- Charley Davison (Great Britain) def. Rabab Cheddar (Morocco), 5:0: The big human interest story for Davison is she’s a mother of three, etc., but more interestingly from the boxing side, she was very good here, more or less dominating this fight. The Cuban judge did give Cheddar a 10-8 second round which is utterly bizarre, but it is the Olympics, so, you know.
- Stoyka Krasteva (Bulgaria) def. Thi Tam Nguyen (Vietnam), 3:2: I think Krasteva probably deserved it, but this was an incredibly close fight, could have gone either way. One of the very few so far where I’ve just had no strong opinion who deserved the win.
- Ginny Fuchs (United States) def. Svetlana Soluianova (Russian Olympic Committee), 3:2: Definitely not an easy fight for Fuchs, as Soluianova is much taller and at times was able to use that effectively, though mostly it was used to keep Fuchs from doing clean work herself. Still, Fuchs did the cleaner work overall, and deserved the win. Fuchs was very good in the first round, but then Soluianova started tying her up more, making it a little tougher.
- Tsukimi Namiki (Japan) def. Catherine Nanziri (Uganda), 5:0: Impressive win for the home fighter, as Namiki won this one clearly. Nanziri did her best to make this more physical, make a fight of it, but Namiki was too quick, too confidently slick on defense, and bounced and peppered her way into the round of 16.
- Mary Kom (India) def. Miguelina Hernandez Garcia (Dominican Republic), 4:1: Kom, a genuine amateur boxing legend, gets through the first round here, which is fair enough. Hernandez Garcia really tried to push the pace, but Kom probably landed the cleaner shots all in all. They started the pivotal third round just firing away, and the referee didn’t like that, too much fighting in the fight sport. Kom is 38, past her very best days, but was a six-time world champion before women’s boxing made it to the Olympics. She would have some Olympic golds if they’d gotten there before 2012, one figures. She did win bronze at London 2012, and most likely this will be her last Olympic trip. Most likely. I don’t want to say for sure. She’s still quite good.