By Jake Donovan
Jamel Herring entered the 2012 London Games as the first fighter from Long Island in 36 years to make the U.S. Olympic squad. The last was Howard Davis Jr., who was recognized as the standout boxer of the 1976 Olympics.
History would never come close to repeating itself, as the 26-year old Herring was eliminated in the opening round of light welterweight competition. The fighting Marine was dominated by
Daniyar Yeleussinov to the tune of a 19-9 whitewash.
Herring - who is also the first active Marine to make the U.S. squad since Sergio Reyes' tour on the 1992 team - held his own in the opening round, but might have been the victim of poor corner advice. Yeleussinov was winning the battle on the inside, with Herring suffering a cut lip towards the end of the round courtesy of a right hook.
The U.S. corner advised Herring to not stand and trade, asking for more movement. Herring obliged, but the difference in skill level soon became evident as Yeleussinov put on a boxing clinic. Herring was faced with an insurmountable 15-8 deficit heading into the final round, with things only getting worse in the final three minutes.
Yeleussinov advances to the Round of 16, while Herring joins fellow New York boxer Marcus Browne on the sidelines in giving Team USA its second straight loss after winning its first four bouts of the 2012 Games.
The U.S. squad will have to wait until round two of competition to attempt to resume its winning ways. Herring was the last American scheduled to fight in the Round of 32, as seven teammates remain in the Olympic hunt.
Awaiting Yeseussinov in the Round of 16 is Mehdi Toluitibandpi of Iran, who scored a 16-12 win over Jonathan Alonso of Spain.
Tolutibandpi grew more aggressive as the fight developed, stunning Alonso on several occasions in the final round in grinding out a hard-fought victory. The official announcement declaring him the winner prompted the Iranian boxer to drop to his knees and kiss the canvas in an emotional celebration.
The final bout of the afternoon portion (UK time) of light welterweight competition saw Gyula Kate of Hungary grind out a 16-10 win over Egypt's Eslam Mohamed. It was a tactical affair early on, but Kate's greater aggression and cleaner punching would eventually get the job done.
Kate posts his first win in Olympic competition, after having been eliminated in the opening round of the Summer Games in 2004 and 2008. The 30-year old Hungarian hopes the third time's a charm. Awaiting him in the Round of 16 is
Vincenzo Mangiacapre of Italy, the last of the top four seeds to receive a first-round bye.
Uktemjan Rahmonov of Uzbekistan powered his way to 16-10 win over Ecuador's Anderson Rojas in a fight that was not quite as close as the final score suggested. Rojas was given two points in the second round after absorbing a low blow, but was also issued a standing eight count in the third to help seal his fate.
Rahmonov moves on to the Round of 16. He will face Yakop Sener of Turkey, who scored a 19-10 win over the far more aggressive (though less accurate) Serge Aambomo of Cameroon.
Kicking things off in the light welterweight division is Roniel Iglesias of Cuba, who captured Olympic bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games. The 24-year old returns for greater glory, proven in his 20-9 beatdown of Cesar Villarraga of Colombia. Iglesias dominated Villarraga from the opening bell, fighting with a far more aggressive style than normally practiced in the Cuban amateur program.
Despite his past Olympic glory, Iglesias received a tough draw in the 2012 London Games. His next opponent is top seeded Everton Lopes of Brazil, who received a bye.
On the local front, Tom Stalker of Great Britain received an opening round bye. His Round of 16 opponent will be determined later in the evening when Serdar Hudayberdiyev of Turkmenistan faces Manoj Kumar of India.
Light Flyweight - Round of 32 Results (Tuesday, July 31):
Roniel Iglesias (Cuba) def. Cesar Villarraga (Colombia), 20-9
Uktemjan Rahmonov (Uzbekistan) def.
Anderson Rojas (Ecuador)
Yakop Sener (Turkey) def.
Serge Aambomo (Cameroon)
Daniyar Yeleussinov (Kazakhstan) def.
Jamel Herrring (USA)
Mehdi Toluitibandpi (Iran) def.
Jonathan Alonso (Spain), 16-12
Gyula Kate (Hungary) def. Eslam Mohamed (Egypt), 16-10
Serdar Hudayberdiyev (Turkmenistan) vs. Manoj Kumar (India)
Abedelhak Aatakni (Morocco) vs. Richarno Colin (Mauritius)
Zdenek Chladek (Czech Republic) vs. Uranchimegiin Monke-Erdene (Mongolia)
Jeff Horn (Australia) vs. Gilbert Choombe (Zambia)
Abderzarrak Houya (Tunisia) vs. Gaybatulia Gadzhialiyev (Azerbaijan)
Anthony Yigit (Sweden) vs. Francisco Vargas (Puerto Rico)
Round of 16 Matchups (Saturday, August 4):
Roniel Iglesias (Cuba) vs. Everton Lopes (Brazil/Received 1st round bye)
Uktemjan Rahmonov (Uzbekistan) vs
Anderson Rojas (Ecuador)
Daniyar Yeleussinov (Kazakhstan)
Mehdi Toluitibandpi (Iran)
Gyula Kate (Hungary)
vs. Vincenzo Mangiacapre (Italy/ Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. Tom Stalker (Great Britain/Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. TBA
TBA vs. TBA
TBA vs. Denys Berinchyk (Ukraine/Received 1st round bye)
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: