By Cliff Rold
The evening session at Welterweight opened with the U.S. running their Olympic mark to 4-0, Errol Spence posting a 16-8 victory over Brazil’s Myke Ribeiro de Carvahlo. It was Ribeiro’s third try at Olympic glory.
In a bout showcasing the difference between ‘pro’ and ‘amateur’ style, Ireland’s Adam Nolan favored the latter to victorious effect. Building a five-point lead through two rounds, Nolan was left largely on the defensive against the pressuring Carlos Sanchez of Ecuador. Going to the body, Sanchez failed to score points even as he scored blows, Nolan winning 14-8. Sanchez received credit for only two blows in the final round, a bizarre dispute with reality.
Advancing to face Nolan after an awkward three rounds, Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy edged China’s Oiong Maimaitituersun by a nod of 16-11. Zamkovoy was ahead only two going into the final round but Maimaitituersun never really showed any signs of desperation and wore a mask of exasperation as the scores were announced.
South Africa’s Siphiwe Lusizi used long arms, wide shots, and his feet to outduel Iraq’s Abdulkareem Ahmed in a measured affair. The Iraqi pressed, but found his aggression ineffective. Lusizi advanced on a score of 17-13.
Slick and quick, Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre potshotted and moved to keep a step ahead of Iran’s Amin Ghasemi. Ghasemi did his best to find a saving power shot in the final round, his aggression working against him when he earned a final round caution for roughhousing. The crowd booed Maestre’s stall tactics late, dancing with a lead and skipping the punching part of the sport, but he ran his way into the round of 16 anyways at a score of 13-8.
In the final bout of the day, fans were given a tactical outing in the Welterweight competition. Japan’s Yasuhiro Suzuki used greater speed and length to set the tempo while Morocco’s Mehdi Khalsi, in his second Olympics, supplied the sort of pressure he needed to secure a win. Suzuki’s style was of the amatuer fencing variety, but in the Olympics it works. It worked notably well late in the third when the Japanese southpoaw landed a thudding straight left, a clear point. Down one heading into the final frame, that shot probably broke what had to be a tie in the late going. Suzuki would advance on a single point, 14-13.
Welterweights - Round of 32 Results (Sunday, July 29):
Vasiliji Belous (Moldova) def. Selemeni Kidunda (Tansinia), 20-7
Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia) def. Yannick Mitoumba (Gabon), 17-4
Alexis Vastine (France) def. Patrick Wojcicki (Germany), 16-12
Custio Clayton (Canada) def. Oscar Molina (Mexico), 12-8
Cameron Hammond (Australia) def. Moustopha Abdoulaye Hima (Niger), 13-6
Freddie Evans (Great Britain) def. Ilyas Abbadi (Algeria), 18-10
Errol Spence (USA) def. Myke Carvalho (Brazil), 16-8
Adam Nolan (Ireland) def. Carlos Sanchez (Ecuador), 14-8
Andrey Zamkovoy (Russia) def. Qiong Maimaitituersun (China), 16-11
Siphiwe Lusizi (South Africa) def. Abdulkareem Ahmed (Iraq), 17-13
Gabriel Maestre (Venezuela) def. Amin Ghasemi (Iran), 13-8
Yasuhiro Suzuki (Japan) def. Mehdi Khalsi (Morocco), 14-13
Round of 16 Matchups (Friday, August 3):
Vasiliji Belous (Moldova) vs. (1) Taras Shelestyuk (Ukraine/Received 1st round bye)
Tuvshinbat Byamba (Mongolia) vs. Alexis Vastine (France)
Custio Clayton (Canada) vs. Cameron Hammond (Australia)
Freddie Evans (Great Britain) vs. (4) Egidijus Kavaliauskas (Lithuania/Received 1st round bye)
Errol Spence (USA) vs. (3) Vikas Krishan Yadav (India/Received 1st round bye)
Yasuhiro Suzuki (Japan) vs. (2) Serik Sapiyev (Kazakhstan/Received 1st round bye)
Adam Nolan (Ireland) vs. Andrey Zamkovoy (Russia)
Siphiwe Lusizi (South Africa) vs. Gabriel Maestre (Venezuela)
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]