By Jake Donovan
Two of the top four seeds have been eliminated in the incredibly deep light flyweight division. Five hours after 2008 Olympic Silver medalist Purevdorjiin Serdamba was eliminated, number two-seed Jong-Hun Shin was shown the exit after dropping a 15-14 heartbreaker to Aleksander Aleksandrov of Bulgaria in the final light flyweight bout in the Round of 16.
Shin was the more aggressive fighter early on, though perhaps to a fault as his roughhouse tactics didn't reflect well on the scorecards. Aleksandrov never showed signs of intimidation, even when trailing after two rounds.
A recurring theme in this year's competition has been the judges' apparent disdain for comebacks. Aleksandrov bucked that trend in a big way, riding a third round rally all the way to the finish line, with his three-point margin in the frame erasing the earlier deficit to score a big upset.
Aleksandrov's win now makes it an impressive 5-0 for the Bulgaria Olympic boxing squad, with all three of its members now in the quarterfinals. Aleksandrov will face Kaeo Pongprayoon of Thailand, who advanced with a 10-6 win over Carlos Quipo of Ecuador.
The evening session opened with a terrific display of skill between David Aryapetyan of Russia and Puerto Rico's Jantony Ortiz. Both fighters offered displays of brilliance throughout, but Aryapetyan mounted an early lead that proved insurmountable in taking a 15-13 win.
Aryapetyan provided serious separation between the two in a dominant second round. Ortiz fought his heart out in the final round, but could fare no better than level on the scorecards for the frame, which left him coming up short in the end.
Russia is now 8-1 in 2012 Olympic male boxing competition, with an astonishing six of its seven team members alive in the quarterfinals.
Four years after bowing out in the opening round of the 2008 Beijing Games, Aryapetyan is in prime position to pick up a medal, even in a loaded light flyweight division. His next opponent will be Ferhat Pehlivan of Turkey, who cruised to a 20-6 blowout of Egypt's Ramy El Awadi.
Light flyweight quarterfinal action takes place on Wednesday, August 8.
Round of 16 Results (Saturday, August 4):
Shiming Zou (China) def. Yosbany Veitia (Cuba), 14-11
Birzhan Zhakypov (Kazakhstan) def. Mark Barriga (Philippines), 17-16
Paddy Barnes (Ireland) def. Thomas Essomaba (Cameroon), 15-10
Devendro Singh (India) def. Purevdorjiin Serdamba (Mongolia), 16-11
David Ayrapetyan (Russia) def. Jantony Ortiz (Puerto Rico), 15-13
Ferhat Pehlivan (Turkey) def. Ramy El Awadi (Egypt), 20-6
Kaeo Pongprayoon (Thailand) def. Carlos Quipo (Ecuador), 10-6
Aleksander Aleksandrov (Bulgaria) def. Jong-Hun Shin (South Korea), 15-14
Light Flyweight Quarterfinals (Wednesday, August 8)
Zou Shiming (China) vs. Birzhan Zhakypov (Kazakhstan)
Paddy Barnes (Ireland) vs. Devendro Singh (India)
David Aryapetyan vs. Ferhat Pehlivan (Turkey)
Kaeo Pongprayoon (Thailand) vs. Aleksander Aleksandrov (Bulgaria)
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) def. Bayron Molina (Honduras), RSC-1 (2:24)
Jantony Ortiz (Puerto Rico) vs. Tetteh Sulemanu (Ghana), 20-6
Ferhat Pehlivan (Turkey) def. Carlos Suarez (Trinidad & Tobago), 16-6
Carlos Quipo (Ecuador) def. Jose Kelvin de la Nieve (Spain) , 14-11
Kaeo Pongprayoon (Thailand) def. Mohamed Flissi (Algeria), 19-11
Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Bulgaria) def. Juliano Maquina (Mozambique), 22-7
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: