- Patrick Chinyemba (Zambia) def. Alex Winwood (Australia), 4:1: I’m recapping in the order of the fights now. It was just habit to do it in reverse order but almost nobody is actually watching all this stuff, so probably best to let it flow that way. Anyway, good fight, some nice stuff on display from both. Chinyemba swept the opening round, but Winwood knew that and came out fighting hard in the second, taking four of the cards in that round, meaning it was all up for grabs in the third. Chinyemba took it by enough and moves on.
- Galal Yafai (Great Britain) def. Koryun Soghomonyan (Armenia), RSC: Soghomonyan landed some decent shots along the way in this fight, wasn’t a bad fighter at all, but Yafai was super switched on, terrifically accurate, one of the best performances we’ve seen so far. The 28-year-old Yafai also fought at Rio 2016, losing in the second round, and he’s looking to medal this time around. If he can fight like this, he’s got a good shot, because he looked fantastic in this one.
- Daniel Asenov (Bulgaria) def. Cosmin-Petre Girleanu (Romania), 5:0: Good effort here from both, but as much as Girleanu tried to match the tempo of Asenov, he just couldn’t quite get there. Asenov doesn’t land with a lot of thump, but he lets those hands go and doesn’t get sloppy about it, either. What you might describe as a pesky sort of fighter.
- Gabriel Escobar (Spain) def. Ramon Quiroga (Argentina): Escobar’s style is not my favorite. Lots of flashy movement and “ah-ah-ah!” shouting, a lack of effective punches landed. But he’s defensively slippery for sure, because Quiroga didn’t land a lot himself, and I can’t really argue with the decision. But Escobar’s defense is really going to have to hold, or he’s going to have to land more going forward, maybe Quiroga deserves credit defensively, too.
- Saken Bibossinov (Kazakhstan) def. Yankiel Rivera (Puerto Rico), 4:1: Rivera showed some real promise and some talent, you maybe could have argued him a win here — I might have — but Bibossinov getting the nod is no tragedy or anything, either, he did plenty of good work.
- Younes Nemouchi (Algeria) vs David Ssemujju (Uganda), 5:0: These two fought in qualifiers and a Ugandan report said Nemouchi won “controversially,” but based on this I’m not sure how controversial it could really be. Ssemujju had real spirit, really tried to do some damage, landed some decent body work, but Nemouchi the overall classier operator by a good bit, and took advantage of Ssemujju being sort of slow to react on defense with shots coming back.
- Erbieke Tuoheta (China) def. Ashish Kumar (India), 5:0: Kumar tried everything he could, every approach he could, and didn’t give up, winning the third round after dropping the first two, but Tuoheta was just better here. The Chinese fighter was good defensively, showed some nice offensive skills. I liked his style a lot, basic but not robotic, and effective in both sides of the game.
- Fanat Kakhramonov (Uzbekistan) vs Giorgi Kharabadze (Georgia), 5:0 - Injury: This was stopped late in the second on a cut on Kharabadze’s eyelid. He was trying, but he was definitely outclassed by Kakhramonov. I get that this isn’t pro boxing but sometimes watching this you feel like the fighters are being treated like toddlers. Someone lands two good punches and they stop the action for a count, a cut is always about 50/50 to end the fight, there’s basically no physicality allowed to keep going at all. If you’re going to do things like take away headgear for the men, let the women fight three minutes instead of two — I don’t know, it’s just a weird give-and-take. I get it, but at the same time end of the day this is the punching sport, you know?
- David Tshama (Democratic Republic of the Congo) def. Wilfried Seyi Ntsengue (Cameroon), 3:2: I haven’t been too down on the judging so far, but I did not agree with this one. Tshama had to rally from behind to get this, swept in the first round on the cards, then splitting it up in the second, and sweeping the third to secure the win. It’s debatable at the very least. This was the second Olympics for Seyi Ntsengue, and he comes up short again.
- Troy Isley (United States) def. Vitali Bandarenka (Belarus), 5:0: The 22-year-old Isley, another late add to Team USA, deserved the win here, but had some lapses in the second round in particular. Clearly the better athlete, more gears to go to than the 35-year-old Bandarenka, but it’s going to get a lot harder for Isley next round, as he’ll face Gleb Bakshi of the Russian Olympic Committee, the 2019 World Championships gold medalist.
- Karris Artingstall (Great Britain) def. Jucielen Romeu (Brazil), 5:0: Another rock solid performance from Artingstall, who eliminates the No. 3 seed in the tournament. Artingstall does not do anything spectacularly, really, but she just does not make mistakes, she’s very well schooled, and she’s been very sharp in two fights in Tokyo, looking good heading into the quarterfinals.
- Skye Nicolson (Australia) def. Aeji Im (Republic of Korea), 4:1: Nicolson moves on to the quarter. She’s got a compelling story, the sister of Jamie Nicolson, who represented Australia at the 1992 Olympics. Jamie, then 22, and 10-year-old brother Gavin died in a traffic collision in 1994, the year before Skye was born. And now here she is chasing Olympic glory all these years later. She deserved the win, good effort from Im but Nicolson did the better work in a crucial third round, which was open for either to win and thus win the fight.
- Maria Nechita (Romania) def. Ramla Ali (Somalia), 5:0: Ali, a 31-year-old who is also 3-0 as a pro fighting for Matchroom Boxing, was pretty well outclassed by the 27-year-old Nechita, who has been a solid if not hugely standout amateur for a while now. Nechita was better at pretty much everything here, Ali really couldn’t do much with her at all. Being honest, Nechita’s also better than anyone Matchroom will be lining up against Ali as a pro any time soon, if she continues on with her boxing career, and not being a great amateur doesn’t mean you can’t be a good pro, but it’s a bit of a reality check on any Ali hype Eddie Hearn might push (not that he’s gone nuts about it or anything).
- Sena Irie (Japan) def. Khouloud Hlimi (Tunisia), 5:0: Irie bounces the No. 2 seed, and did deserve the win, this wasn’t home country help. Irie is really energetic, at her best when she’s bouncing around at a distance, throwing off any attempt at rhythm her opponents try to build offensively. Hlimi had moments but just not enough of them.