Shakhobidin Zoirov's pro career remains on hold in pursuit of a second Olympic Gold medal.
A significant step was taken by the Uzbek boxer, who advanced to the round of 16 following a one-sided unanimous decision win over Turkey's Batuhan Ciftci.
Scores were 30-26 on three cards and 30-27 on the remaining two all for Zoirov, who scored an official knockdown in round two and outclassed Ciftci every step of the way.
Zoirov helped lead the charge for the 2016 Uzbekistan Olympic boxing team that collected more medals than any other nation during the Rio Games. The 2020 squad is favored to dominate the competition, with Zoirov once again taking the lead.
Ciftci did his best to make things uncomfortable for the gifted Uzbek, using every inch of the 20'x20' ring but unable to avoid the incoming. Zoirov was crisp with his combination punching, consistently landing his jab and left hand while masterfully cutting off the ring.
A leth hand froze Ciftci in his tracks in round two, prompting a standing eight count and putting himself in a deep hole through two rounds. The knockdown call mattered little, as Zoirov was just too dominant for the tall and lean Turk, who was unable to land anything of consequence.
Zoirov used lateral movement and crisp combos to keep Ciftci unsorted throughout the third and final round to secure the win. He will now move on to the Round of 16, where he faces Cape Verde's David Valera De Pina on Saturday.
The win makes it six in a row in Olympic competition for Zoirov, who went a perfect 5-0 in Rio to bring home one of three Gold medals for Uzbekistan.
Zoirov turned pro in 2019, posting a 3-0 record with two knockouts before returning to the amatuer stage. He is one of several pros on the Uzbekistan team, which is a heavy favorite as a whole to dominate the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox