By Jake Donovan
Day two of Olympic boxing is officially underway.
Both USA fighters slated to appear on Sunday are both scheduled for the afternoon portion of the competition. Jose Ramirez takes on Rachid Azzedine of France in an opening round lightweight bout, while welterweight darkhorse Errol Spence faces three-time Olympic participant Myke Carvalho of Brazil, who came up short in 2004 and 2008.
Liu Qiang of China scored the most dominant win of the afternoon, in what also served as the final lightweight bout in his bracket as he pounded out a 20-7 win over Australia's Luke Jackson. Qiang was in control from the opening bell and put a cherry on top in the end in forcing a standing eight-count towards the tail end of the third and final round.
Qiang advances to the Round of 16, as he faces Yasniel Toledo of Cuba. The seeding is a tough draw for both fighters. Qiang is facing arguably the second best lightweight in the world, though Toledo inexplicably drew a four-seed despite his worldwide dominance over the past four years against any lightweight not named Vasyl Lomachenko.
Jai Bhagwan of India scored the first win of the day for any fighter from the "blue corner", dominating Andrique Allison of Seychelles in an 18-8 drubbing. The outcome was never in doubt as Bhagwan dominated in every round.
Kazkahstan's Gani Zhailauov overcame a bloody nose early and a late rally from Saylom Ardee of Thailand to advance to the Round of 16 after winning via countback.
Zhailauov was forced to visit the ringside doctor early in the fight, a sequence that lit a fire under the Kazakh lightweight. The rest of the fight was nip-and-tuck, with Zhailauov scoring upstairs while Ardee banged away at the body. A 12-12 tie went to countback, advancing Zhailauov to the Round of 16 against Bhagwan.
The matchup serves as a rematch to their thriller in the quarterfinals of the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships, which Zhailauov won 11-10 en route to an eventual third place finish. Bhagwan previously defeated Zhailauov in the 2009 Asian Senior Championships competition.
Ahmed Mejrl of Tunisia boxed his way to victory with a 16-9 victory over Benin's Shafiq Chitou. Mejrl outscored Chitou in every round to secure the win.
Next awaiting Mejrl in the Round of 16 is Felix Verdejo of Puerto Rico, who looked sharp in an 11-5 victory over Panama's Juan Huertas in a matchup of 18-year old boxers. Verdejo controlled the action in every round, punching with conviction while Huertas spent of most of the afternoon fighting off of his back foot.
Wellington Arias of the Dominican Republic was silky smooth in outboxing Colombia's Eduor Marriaga to the tune of a 17-8 victory. Arias outscored Marriaga in each of the three rounds to cruise to victory. Next up for the Dominican boxer in the Round of 16 is Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine, who captured Olympic Gold as a featherweight in the 2004 Games and is heavily favored to take the lightweight field.
Lightweights - Round of 32 Results (Sunday, July 29):
Wellington Arias (Dominican Republic) def. Eduor Marriaga (Colombia), 17-8
Ahmed Mejrl (Tunisia) def. Shafiq Chitou (Benin), 16-9
Felix Verdejo (Puerto Rico) def. Juan Huertas (Panama), 11-5
Gani Zhailauov (Kazakhstan) def. Saylom Ardee (Thailand), 12-12 (Zhailauov wins on countback)
Jai Bhagwan (India) def. Andrique Allison (Seychelles), 18-8
Liu Qiang (China) def. Luke Jackson (Australia), 20-7
R Conceição (Brazil) vs. Josh Taylor (Great Britain)
Evaldas Petrauskas (Lithuania) vs. Miklos Varga (Hungary)
Abdelkader Chadi (Algeria) vs. Fatih Keleş (Turkey)Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (Uzbekistan) vs. Yhyacinthe Mewoli (Cameroon)
Rachid Azzedine (France) vs. Jose Ramirez (USA)
Mohamed Eliwa (Egypt) vs. Soon-Chul Han (Korea)
Round of 16 Matchups (Thursday, August 2):
(16) Wellington Arias (Dominican Republic) vs. (1) Vasyl Lomachenko (Ukraine/Received 1st round bye)
Ahmed Mejrl (Tunisia) vs. Felix Verdejo (Puerto Rico)
Gani Zhailauov (Kazakhstan) vs. Jai Bhagwan (India)
Liq Qiang (China) vs. (4) Yasniel Toledo (Cuba/Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. (3) Domenico Valentino (Italy/Received 1st round bye)
TBA vs. (2) Vasgen Safaryanta (Belarus/Received 1st round bye)
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox