By Jake Donovan
Day Four of Olympic boxing competition gets underway, with the light flyweight division featuring five bouts in the afternoon portion (London time) and five more in the evening. None will feature an American fighter, as light flyweight is the only division among the mens 10 weight classes in which Team USA will not have representation.
Among the field of 26 includes Shiming Zou of China, who thrilled his countrymen with a Gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Games after having won a bronze medal in Athens four years prior. The 31-year old Zou - the most accomplished amateur ever from China -earned the number one seed and an opening round bye and is a considerable favorite to repeat in the 2012 Games.
Zous first appearance will come on Saturday, August 4. He faces Yosbany Veitia of Cuba, who had his way with Australia's Billy Ward to the tune of a 26-4 rout.
The 19-year old Ward was as brave as they come, but was schooled every step of the way by Veitia, perhaps the least accomplished member of Team Cuba. A standing eight count at the very end of the fight only added insult to injury for Ward, as the 20-year old Veitia moves on in the competition.
Devendro Singh of India ended the afternoon session for light flyweights with a bang, scoring a 1st round stoppage of Bayron Molina of Honduras. Singh was throwing bombs from the moment he flew off his stool, a tactic to which Molina could never adjust. Three official knockdowns followed, prompting the stoppage at 2:24 of round one.
Singh has a far more daunting task ahead of him, as he faces Purevdorjiin Serdamba of Mongolia. Serdamba, who had an opening round bye, captured Olympic Silver in the '08 Beijing Games.
Thomas Essomaba of Cameroon advances to the Round of 16 after taking a 13-10 win over Morocco's Abdelali Daraa. The fight was nowhere near as close as the scores suggested, but Essomaba was in control throughout, including a standing eight count in round two when a right hand shook Daraa.
Essomaba next faces Ireland's Paddy Barnes, the returing '08 Olympic bronze medalist, who was granted a first round bye.
Mark Barriga has been burdened with the responsibility of serving as a one-man boxing team for the Philippines. The 19-year old came up aces in his first try, scoring a 1st round standing eight count to pave the way for a 17-7 win over Manuel Cappai of Italy.
Barriga moves on to the Round of 16, where he faces Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan. Zhakypov showed heart and smarts, overcoming a slight deficit to edge Jeremy Beccu of France by a score of 18-17. Zhakypov was down by one point heading into the final round, but managed to outscore Beccu 8-6 in the third to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a nip-and-tuck affair every step of the way.
Light Flyweight - Round of 32 Results (Tuesday, July 31):
Yosbany Veitia (Cuba) def. Billy Ward (Australia), 26-4
Mark Barriga (Philippines) def. Manuel Cappai (Italy), 17-7
Birzhan Zhakypov (Kazakhstan) def. Jeremy Beccu (France), 18-17
Thomas Essomaba (Cameroon) def. Abdelali Daraa (Morocco), 13-10
Devendro Singh (India) vs. Bayron Molina (Honduras)
Jantony Ortiz (Puerto Rico) vs. Tetteh Sulemanu (Ghana)
Ferhat Pehlivan (Turkey) vs. Carlos Suarez (Trinidad & Tobago)
Jose Kelvin de la Nieve (Spain) vs. Carlos Quipo (Ecuador)
Mohamed Flissi (Algeria) vs. Kaeo Pongprayoon (Thailand)
Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Bulgaria) vs. Juliano Maquina (Mozambique)
Round of 16 Matchups (Saturday, August 4):
Yosbany Veitia (Cuba) vs. Shiming Zou (China/Received 1st round bye)
Mark Barriga (Philippines) vs.
Birzhan Zhakypov (Kazakhstan)
Thomas Essomaba (Cameroon) vs. Paddy Barnes (Ireland/ Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. Purevdorjiin Serdamba (Mongolia/Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. David Ayrapetyan (Russia /Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. Ramy El Awadi (Egypt/Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. TBA
TBA vs. Jong-Hun Shin (South Korea/Received 1st round bye)
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: