Boxing in the US might have been back for about a week or so but for the first time we saw Asian fighters in action on a televised US show since the ongoing global situation became such a big issue. That was thanks to Top Rank, who held two bouts featuring Asian fighters on their latest card from the MGM Grand.
The first of those two bouts saw unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Bobirzhan Mominov (11-0, 8) [Моминов Бобиржан] take a clear decision over Filipino-American Cameron Krael (17-16-3, 4) in a 6 rounder. Through out the bout Mominov looked the much stronger, better and more polished fighter, with some very hurtful shots thrown through out. Krael however showed his gameness throughout and did enough to deserve a round or two on each scorecard.
In round 6 Mominov had a point deducted, but was still comfortable, taking the win with scores of 58-55, twice, and 57-56 to maintain his perfect record.
The second bout saw a mild upset with under-rated Filipino Mike Plania (24-1, 12) take a career best win as he secured a 10 round majority decision over WBO #1 ranked Bantamweight Joshua Greer Jr (22-2-1, 12). Plania, who entered as the under-dog, dropped Greer in the opening round, and again in round 6 to establish a huge lead on the cards in the first 6 rounds. That lead was established not just from the knockdowns but also the incredibly negative tactics of Greer, who did very, very little in the first 7 rounds.
Surprisingly Greer managed to put his foot on the gas in round 8, and showed that he had heart, and determination, as he tried to turn things around. By then it was too little too late, and his inability to cut the ring off and make a tiring Plania pay, and Plania managed to see out the bell, boxing incredibly well off the back foot in the final round.
After 10 rounds we had the obligatory "crap score card", of 94-94, a totally repulsive score from the action we had seen, followed by scores of 96-92 and 97-91 in favour of Plania.
Whilst we may have all missed boxing recently, none of us have missed the terrible scorecards the sport gives us, and it's fair to say they too are back. Thankfully they didn't deny the rightful winner of a bout, but did still manage to leave a bad taste in the mouth.
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
The 9th and last day of action in the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier saw all 13 finals and a number of Olympic box offs take place.
Kicking things off were 2 women’s flyweight (51kg) box offs as Tursunoy Rakhimova of Uzbekistan vied with Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong. Jitpong pressed forward in round 1 but was countered effectively by Rakhimova. The Thai had more success in the second and her front foot pressure seemed to be paying dividends. Jitpong went for it in the third but left too many gaps in her defence which Rakhimova exploited and the Uzbek prevailed via split decision and grabbed the Olympic place in the process.
In the other box off Sumaiya Qosimova of Tajikistan took on Irish Magno of the Philippines. Magno was far too strong as she imposed herself on Qosimova in the opening stanza. Qosimova was backed up repeatedly in round 2 and Magno was in total control. Early on in round 3 Magno went for the stoppage but was then content to box off the back foot and the Filipino won the unanimous decision and now marches onto Tokyo.
It was then time for the men’s flyweight (52kg) box offs and Carlo Paalam of the Philippines went up against Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan. A skilful opening stanza was just shaded by Bibossinov. Paalam had more success in round 2 but the Kazak again just edged proceedings. Paalam landed a couple of big shots and checked the chin of his opponent in the third but it was Bibossinov who got the split verdict to progress to Tokyo.
Alex Windwood of Australia and Iran’s Omid Ahmadisafa battled it out in the other box off. The first 2 rounds were keenly contest with both men enjoying success at various points. Ahmadisafa made a bright start in the final round but a strong finish from Windwood saw him eke out a tight split decision an seal his Olympic place.
The men’s featherweight (57kg) was next up as Hong Kong’s Rex Tso took on Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh. Shahbakhsh was back to his dazzling best in round 1, scoring with sizzling counters. Tso started aggressive in the second but was met punch for punch by the Iranian teenager. Tso needed a knockout in the final 3 minutes but Shahbakhsh stayed out of trouble and scored the unanimous point’s victory to book his Olympic berth.
The cagy Chatchai Butdee of Thailand was up against the aggressive Ham Samgyeong of South Korea. Ham was comprehensively outboxed in the Thai in the opening stanza. Butdee was really letting his hands go in the second with the combinations flowing beautifully and a standing 8 count was indicative of his total dominance. Chatchai breezed through the final stanza and sealed his place in Tokyo via unanimous decision.
In the men’s lightweight (63kg) box offs Tajikistan’s Bakhodur Usmonov squared off against Ashkan Rezaei of Iran. Usmonov was content to box his way through the opening stanza. Rezaei landed the occasional big right hand but it wasn’t enough to unsettle Usmonov in round 2. Rezaei pushed for the KO in round 3 but Usmonov took the unanimous decision and his Olympic spot in the process.
India’s Manish Kaushik and Australia’s Harry Garside were involved in the other box off. Both were cautious in a close first 1 with Kaushik just getting his nose in front. Garside made an aggressive start in the second before Kaushik came on strong as the round progressed. Garside produced a sensational last round hurting Kaushik to both body and head but it was the India who won the split verdict to take his place at his first Olympics.
In a final men’s welterweight (69kg) box off it was China’s Maimaititu Ersun Qiong versus Sewon Okazawa of Japan. Okazawa smoothly boxed his way through round 1 with Maimaititu unable to lay a glove on his opponent. The man from Japan was really in his groove and he scored with more accurate single shot in round 2. Okazawa breezed through the final stanza and the unanimous verdict means he becomes the first male boxer from his homeland to book Olympic qualification
The men’s middleweight (75kg) boxers then entered the ring for their box off as Mongolia’s Otgonbaatar Byamba-Erdene tangled with Seyedshahin Mousavi of Iran. Otgonbaatar landed the cleaner shots in the opening round. Mousavi turned the tables in round 2, with the left hand scoring repeatedly. Round 3 was hard-fought before a cut from a clash of heads on the Mongolia brought a halt to the contest with just 29 seconds left. We went to the cards and it was Mousavi who got the split decision to earn his spot in Tokyo.
The final bout in the penultimate session saw Shabbos Negmatulloev of Tajikistan face Sachin Kumar of India in the men’s light heavyweight (81kg) box off. After an even beginning Negmatulloev started to take over as round 1 drew to a close. Kumar was given a complete working over by Negmatulloev in round 2. The Tajik boxer piled on the pressure once again in the final 3 minutes and Kumar was exhausted and unable to cope and Negmatulloev romped to a unanimous point’s verdict to seal his trip to Tokyo.
The final session of boxing began with the best 2 women flyweights (51kg) squaring off as Japan’s Tsukimi Namiki clashed with Chang Yuan of China. Chang began to find her timing in the later stages of round 1 but for a large proportion she was out worked by Namiki. Chang lost a point for hitting on the break in the second and again the eye catching shots came from Namiki. Round 3 was competitive and Namiki was docked a point which proved to be crutial as Chang won the split decision.
The women’s featherweight (57kg) final saw Japan’s Sena Irie up against Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei. Lin went through her full array of abilities, dominating Irie at range and at close quarters in the first round. Lin hammered home more punishment in round 2 in a comprehensive display. The ramrod jab and hard shots to head and body eventually forced a standing 8 count in the third and Lin put out a real statement, romping to the unanimous win and it will take an exceptional fighter to prevent the woman from Chinese Taipei from winning Olympic gold.
Up in the women’s lightweight (60kg) final South Korea’s Oh Yeonji took on Simranjit Kaur of India. Oh’s poking and pecking jab disrupted Simranjit in round 1. Simranjit had more success in the second but the Korean was proving to be a difficult boxer to pin. The South Korean played keep away in the last 3 minutes and she prevailed via unanimous decision.
It was then onto the women’s welterweight (69kg) final as Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei vied for the gold medal with Gu Homg of China. There was much thinking and fainting but very few punches landed in the opening stanza. Gu edge ahead in round 2 with again little of note happening. The last round was symptomatic of a bout where neither were willing to take many risks which lead to a tepid affair but it was Gu who was awarded the split verdict.
The last women’s final came in the middleweight (75kg) division as Li Qian of China faced Australia’s Kaitlin Parker. Li got the better of things in the first. Parker landed with a handful of right hands in round 2 but it wasn’t enough for her to win the round. The Aussie failed to make the necessary adjustments and it was Li who won the unanimous decision.
It was then time for the men’s finals, beginning in the flyweight (52kg) bracket as China’s Hu Jianguan took on Thitisan Panmod of Thailand. In a really unsatisfactory ending a forearm to the neck floored Panmod and left in disorientating and in no position to continue giving Hu the dubious victory.
Up in the men’s featherweight (57kg) weight class Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan tussled with Jordan’s Mohamm Abdelaziz Mohammad Alwadi. Mirzakhalilov started like a freight train as is his way and scored with hurtful punches in round 1. To his full credit Alwadi managed to nullify the Uzbek somewhat in the second but not enough to take the round. The home man proved elusive at times but Mirzakhalilov dug in more solid combinations when he trapped his opponent and the Uzbek claimed the unanimous verdict.
It was a Kazakhstan Uzbekistan clash at lightweight (63kg) as Zakir Safiullin battled Elnur Abduraimov. Safiullin picked his punches brilliantly in the first setting the pace for what was to come. Abduraimov brought his southpaw left hand into play as the pair went to war in a fabulous 3 minutes of action. The sensational ring action carried on in the third as both men went at it hammer and tongs but it was Abduraimov who edged the split verdict in what was a pulsating encounter.
Sadly the welterweight (69kg) final wasn’t contested in the ring and Jordan’s Hussein Eishaih Zeyad Eashash won with India’s Vikas Krishan unable to box due to a cut.
In a salivating middleweight (75kg) final Filipino Eumir Marcial squared off against Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan. The pair exchanged heavy leather in a high calibre opening stanza. Marcial scored with a wicked body shot and Amankul scored with good right hooks in a fight that was too close to call. The 2-way action continued in the final 3 minutes and it was Eumir Marcial who got the split decision in a cracker of a contest.
The light heavyweight (81kg) final was between Bekzad Nurdauletov of Kazakhstan and Paolo Aokuso of Australia. Nurdauletov made the quicker start before Aokuso adapted as round 1 progressed. Aokuso’s jab was effective but he stayed in range too often in round 2. Nurdauletov closed the distance and landed big shots of Aokuso, who visibly slowed down in the third and a standing 8 count sealed the unanimous win for the Kazak.
The penultimate contest was in the heavyweight (91kg) category with Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan versus David Nyika of New Zealand. Nyika’s sharp left jab was enough for him to win round 1. Levit responded well in the second and a right hand briefly backed up Nyika. Levit went up a gear in the final stanza before Nyika landed a cracking right hand but it was the Kazak who got the split decision in another excellent contest.
The final bout of the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier saw the super heavyweights (+91kg) enter the ring as Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan took on Australian Justis Huni. The power of Jalolov was too much for Huni in round 1 and the Uzbek should have been awarded a standing 8 count. Huni was a bit more positive in the second but Jalolov was still in full control. The current world champion cruised through the final 3 minutes and Jalolov eased to a unanimous point’s victory.
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
It was semi-final time + 2 men’s light heavyweight (81kg) box offs on day 8 of the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier in Amman, Jordan.
Opening up the action in the women’s featherweight (57kg) division Japan’s Sena Irie took on Im Aeji of South Korea. Irie flew out of the blocks landing solid shots and pressuring Im in round 1. Im responded well, measuring Irie fairly successfully off the back foot in the second. The woman from Japan reasserted her command in the third and Irie won the unanimous decision.
The other semi was between Australia’s Skye Nicolson and Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei. Lin stamped her authority on the bout in round 1 and made the most of her physical and height advantages. Nicolson scored with a combination early on in round 2 but Lin took back control and a single shot forced a standing 8 count against the Aussie leaving her well behind. Not much of note landed in round 3 but the result was a formality as Lit took the unanimous decision.
Up in the women’s welterweight (69kg) weight class Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei was up against Thailand’s Baison Manikon. Manikon managed to back her opponent up early on in round 1 before Chen produced some smart clever counter punching. Chen continued to pick her punches extremely well in round 2 and she was now in a sizable lead. Manikon was boxing well herself but Chen was simply too good and the boxer from Chinese Taipei won via unanimous decision.
Gu Homg of China and Lovlina Borgohain contested the other semi-final. There was little to split them in the opening stanza. The styles weren’t gelling in terms of entertainment but Gu was just landing enough to pick up the points. Borgohain never let her hands go enough to try and turn things around and Gu walk away with the unanimous victory.
In the men’s flyweight (52kg) bracket India’s Amit Panghal faced China’s Hu Jianguan. Amit came forward in the opening stanza with Hu happy to sit back. Amit mixed up his attacks in round 2 but it really was a case of what you preferred after 2 rounds. The final 3 minutes were once again closely fought but it was Hu who got the split decision.
In a battle of youth versus experience Thailand’s Thitisan Panmod went up against Shakhobidin Zoirov from Uzbekistan. Panmod fought confidently and wasn’t overawed against Zoirov despite the Olympic and world champion being on the front foot in round 1. The Thai produced a supreme display of counter punching in round 2 and a big upset was well and truly on. Panmod remained cool as ice and the right hand was a profitable punch and the youngster pulled off the split verdict in a quite sensational performance.
The men’s lightweights (63kg) then entered the arena as Mustafa Mohammad Obada Alkasbeh of Jordan tussled with Zakir Safiullin of Kazakhstan. Alkasbeh made the quick start in a lively first round. Both upped the tempo as we had an all-out war in the second with neither man willing to give ground. More heavy leather was exchanged in a frantic final 3 minutes but it was Safiullin who took the split decision in what was a cracking bout.
Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh was up against Uzbek Elnur Abduraimov. Abduraimov made the brighter start before Baatarsukh came back in the later stages of round 1. Despite an absurd standing 8 count going against him Baatarsukh scored with solid rights in round 2 and it was all up for grabs going into the last round. A cut from a clash of heads left Abduraimov in a spot of bother at the start of the final stanza and despite Baatarsukh pressing forward and looking the stronger the Uzbek escaped with the split verdict.
It was then onto the men’s welterweight (69kg) semis as Bobo-Usmon Baturov of Uzbekistan went up against local man Hussein Eishaih Zeyad Eashash. Round 1 had plenty of rough and tumble with minimal quality punches landed. The messy action continue I the second and a standing 8 count against Baturov gave Eashash the advantage. Round 3 was as physical as the previous 2 but it was Eashash who ground out the split verdict.
Vikas Krishan of India took on Ablaikhan Zhussupov of Kazakhstan. This was a clash of 2 top notch southpaw technicians and they exchanges jabs in a high calibre first stanza. Krishan quickened up the pace early on in round 2 before the Indian suffered a cut from a clash of heads which brought Zhussupov slightly back into things. The Kazak needed to chase the bout but Krishan remained coo and calm to take the split verdict.
It was then onto the men’s heavyweight (91kg) boxers with Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit squaring off against Jordan’s Hussein Eishaish Hussein Iashaish. Iashaish poured forward in round 1 whilst Levit confidently boxed off the back foot. The effort from the home man still there in the second but Levit picked him apart and was showing his class. Iashaish visibly wilted in the last 3 minutes and the Kazak sauntered to a split decision win.
The other last 4 contest was between Sanjar Tursunov of Uzbekistan and David Nyika of New Zealand. This was another battle of 2 technically proficient boxers in a tight opening round. Nyika took command in round 2 building the foundation from a terrific left jab and Tursunov was also being backed up. Nyika produced another brilliant round of all round boxing in the final 3 minutes to claim the unanimous verdict.
The last 2 bouts of the morning session were men’s light heavyweight box offs as Tajikistan’s Shabbos Negmatulloev tangled with Jakkapong Yomkhot of Thailand. Round 1 was one way traffic for Negmatulloev and hammered away on Yomkhot and a standing 8 count put a seal on the Tajik’s dominance. Yomkhot was showing insane toughness as he took yet more and more punches in the second. The Thai did well to survive until the final bell as Negmatulloev romped to a wide point’s victory and move a step close to Tokyo.
The final contest of the morning session saw India’s Sachin Kumar clashed with Nguyen Man Cuong of Vietnam. Kumar was in control for most of the opening stanza but both men received a standing 8 count. The right hook and southpaw left were working well for Kumar who had built up a handy lead after 2 rounds. Nguyen had some brief success with the right hand to the body but it was too little too late and Kumar prevailed via split decision to take on Negmatulloev for a place in the Olympics.
The evening session commenced in the women’s flyweight (51kg) bracket as Huang Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei faced Japan’s Tsukimi Namiki. Very few punches were landed in in the opening round before in a real strange turn of events Huang’s corner threw in the towel gifting Namiki the win. Huang showed no signs of any injury or discomfort so who knows the real behind the corners action.
Chang Yuan of China then took on India’s Mary Kom. There was a lot of thinking going on in the first 3 minutes with Chang’s greater activity just shading proceedings. The activity increased from both women in round 2 with the left hand of Chang proving effective whilst Kom managed to close the distance. Kom tried to chase the bout in the final 3 minutes but it was Chang who took the split decision.
Next up in the women’s lightweight (60kg) category South Korea’s Oh Yeonji was up against Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee. Oh boxed cleverly on the back foot in round 1. There wasn’t much activity in the second but Oh again did just about enough. Seesondee landed the occasional left hand in the third but Oh came away with the unanimous verdict.
Wu Shih-Yi of Chinese Taipei tangle with the fan friendly Simranjit Kaur of India. The left hook proved a useful weapon for Simranjit in round 1 whilst Wu also used her left hand effectively. There was plenty of activity and punches landed in an exciting second stanza with Simranjit finding success to the body. A 3 punch combination briefly stunned Wu in the third and the pressure of the Indian was relentless and was enough for her to get the split points win.
Up in the women’s middleweight (75kg) category China’s Li Qian tussled with India’s Pooja Rani. Li edged the opening round using her range well. Li upped the tempo and completely dominated round 2 and Rani had a mountain to climb. Li never let go of her grip on the bout and at the final bell she was declared the winner via wide points.
Nadezhda Ryabets of Kazakhstan and Australia’s Kaitlin Parker contested the other semi. Parker boxed and moved to sweep the opening stanza. Ryabets caught Parker early on in round 2 and had a lot more success a close quarters before the Aussie regained her composure. The Kazak continued her forward charge in the final 3 minutes but it was Parker who won the split decision.
The men’s featherweights (57kg) were up next as Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan clashed with Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan. Mirzakhalilov made his usual brisk start but Temirzhanov kept his cool and outboxed his Uzbek opponent and equalled him in the inside clinches in the first. Temirzhanov lost his shape somewhat in round 2 which allowed Mirzakhalilov to get his way back into the contest. The Kazak visibly tired and was being worn down by the incessant pressure of Mirzakhalilov and a standing 8 count against Temirzhanov left no doubt as the Uzbek snatched the unanimous verdict.
Puncher Nguyen Van Duong of Vietnam faced Mohamm Abdelaziz Mohammad Alwadi of Jordan. Given the power of Nguyen Alwadi was understandably cautious in the opening stanza. Nguyen showed another string to his bow as he boxed on the back foot with Alwadi coming forwards. Both let their hands go in an absorbing final 3 minutes but it was Alwadi who claimed the split decision.
We then moved onto the men’s middleweights (75kg) as Eumir Marcial of the Philippines tangled with India’s Ashish Kumar. Kumar held his own in what was a competitive first stanza. Both landed big shots on each other in round 2 with Marcial coming on strong in the later stages. To his credit Kumar kept on coming in the final 3 minutes and a strange standing 8 counter went against Marcial but the Filipino did enough to take the split decision.
Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan and China’s Tuoheta Erbieke Tanglatihan were in the other semi-final contest. Amankul seem to edge a fairly quiet first 1. The Kazak quickened the pace in the second, setting up his attacks with a solid southpaw jab. Tanglatihan did have his success in the third but the harder punches came from Amankul and the Kazak won via split decision.
The men’s light heavyweight (81kg) semi were next in the ring as Bekzad Nurdauletov of Kazakhstan took on Adel Riyad Odai Alhindawi of Jordan. Nurdauletov assumed command from the off measuring his man at distance in round 1. The slow tempo suited the Kazak who was in cruise control after 2 rounds. Alhindawi tried to make a quick start in round 3 but was shaken up by a flashing shot from Nurdauletov and the Kazak romped to a unanimous points win.
Chen Daxaing of China next faced Paolo Aokuso of Australia. The blistering speed and reflexes of Aokuso were evident once again in the opening stanza. Round 2 was pretty quiet with Chen struggling to solve the puzzle in front of him? The Aussie floated through the last 3 minutes and picked up the unanimous verdict.
In what turned out to be the last bout of the day in the men’s super heavyweight (+91kg) division Uzbek Bakhodir Jalolov squared off against India’s Satish Kumar. Jalolov used his southpaw jab to dictate terms in the opening round although he went back to his corner not particularly happy. Jalolov had more success in the second as he began to find his groove. Kumar landed a couple of right hands at the start of round 3 but that was the only real success and a big shot from the Uzbek caused a standing 8 count just before the final bell and Jalolov took the wide points victory.
Jalolov will meet Australian Justis Huni who won via walk over as Kazak Kanshybek Kunkabayev was unfit to box.
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
Day 7 was another hectic day of action in the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier with the women’s flyweight (51kg), featherweight (57kg), lightweight (60kg), men’s flyweight (52kg), featherweight (57kg), lightweight (63kg) and box offs in the men’s welterweight (69kg) and middleweight (75kg) weight classes.
First up were 2 familiar rivals in the women’s featherweight (57kg) division, as Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines faced Japan’s Sena Irie. Petecio made the quicker start before Irie responded in a close first round. Irie landed with some nice left hands in the second and the Filipino lost a point for excessive holding which put her at a real disadvantage. Petecio really went for it in what became a rather messy last round but it was Irie who got the split verdict and she was the first boxer from her homeland to seal Olympic qualification in Tokyo.
Next up Im Aeji of South Korea took on India’s Sakshi. The opening round was extremely tense with neither woman wanting to make any mistakes with Im just about the more active. Im decisively won round 2 as she beat Sakshi to the punch. Im evaded any of Sakshi’s attack in the third and the South Korea prevailed via unanimous decision to book her place in Tokyo.
It was then Australia’s Skye Nicolson versus Bolortuul Tumurkhuyag of Mongolia. Nicolson boxed brilliant off the back foot to sweep the opening round. The supreme skills of Nicolson were on display yet again in round 2 and Tumurkhuyag simply had no answers. The Aussie wisely took no risks in the final stanza and safely sealed her berth in Tokyo via unanimous decision.
The final women’s featherweight (57kg) contest was between Yin Junhua of China and Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei. Lin landed a good body shot and some decent straight punches in the first. Yin was unable to get inside of the long reach of Lin and a point deduction left the Chinese boxer needing a knockout. Yin attempted to pull off a major comeback and the pair exchanged big shots at the end of the fight but it was Lin who claimed the unanimous decision to progress to Tokyo in what was a competitive bout.
It was then onto the men’s flyweights (52kg) as India’s Amit Panghal faced Carlo Paalam of the Philippines. Paalam made a bright start before Amit began to find success with the left hand in a close opening round. Paalam seem to outwork Amit in the second and it was all on the line as we headed into round 3. Paalam went onto the front foot in the final 3 minutes but it was Amit who got the split point’s verdict to secure his spot in his first Olympics
Hu Jianguan of China was then up against Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan. Bibossinov made a quick start before Hu found his groove in round 1. Hu’s movement and counter punching made Bibossinov hesitant to let his hands go in round 2. The Kazak tried to turn the tide in the final stanza but it was Hu who won the unanimous points victory and secured his trip to Tokyo.
Thitisan Panmod of Thailand was up against Alex Windwood of Australia. There was very little to separate the pair in round 1. Panmod produced a superb second round, nailing Windwood with solid shots and backing up the Aussie as well. The Thai dazzled in round 3, forcing a standing 8 count to put the cherry on top of what was a magnificent performance to progress to his first Olympics via unanimous verdict.
Finally at the men’s flyweight (52kg) Omid Ahmadisafa of Iraq tussled with Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov. There was plenty of movement from Zoirov in the opening stanza and he landed just enough to take it. The speedy left hands from Zoirov were more apparent in the second and Ahmadisafa was left punching thin air more often than not. Zoirov floated through the last 3 minutes, taking the unanimous points win and he’ll aim to defend his Olympic title.
We then moved up to the men’s lightweight (63kg) category and Bakhodur Usmonov from Tajikistan clashed with Mustafa Mohammad Abada Alkasbeh of Jordan. Alkasbeh made a blazing start and simply overwhelmed Usmonov in round 1. The volume and pressure from Alkasbeh continued in round 2 and the Tajik boxer just couldn’t get going. Usmonov came forward as he had to in round 3 but it was far too late and Alkasbeh claimed the unanimous points win and had produced an inspired performance to seal his berth in Tokyo.
Ashkan Rezaei of Iran tangled with Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin. Rezaei was picked off at will by the accurate Safiullin in the first. Safiullin upped the tempo in round 2 and a stoppage looked possible. The Kazak boxed his way through the final 3 minutes and recorded the unanimous verdict to take his place in Tokyo.
Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh squared off against Manish Kaushik from India. Baatarsukh landed some cracking right hands early on before Kaushik responded with some terrific left hands in an exciting first round. Round 2 was again high quality stuff with Baatarsukh digging in shot to the body whilst Kaushik had success with his left hand. Baatarsukh continued to invest in body shots which proved fruitful in the last round and the Mongolian was declared the split decision victor and he heads to his second Olympic games.
The final men’s lightweight (63kg) fight saw Elnur Abduraimov of Uzbekistan take on Australia’s Harry Garside. Garside was dropped just seconds in and he spent the rest of the first round trying to regain his senses. Abduraimov allowed Garside to get back into things in round 2. The Aussie picked his shots well in the third but the aggression of Abduraimov saw him get the split decision and seal his Olympic spot.
We then had 2 box offs in the men’s welterweight (69kg) with China’s Maimaititu Ersun Qiong up against Samoa’s Faustino Marion Ah Tong. Maimaititu was allowed to fight at his own pace in round 1. The man from China once again dictated proceedings in the second in a bout that lacked any tempo. Ah Tong showed no real urgency and Maimaititu cruised to a unanimous decision and moved 1 step closer to Tokyo.
The final fight of the morning session saw Sewon Okazawa of Japan pitting his wits again Thailand’s Wuttichai Masukh. Okazawa boxed intelligently on the back foot whilst Masukh scored with hard singles in a nip and tuck opening stanza. Masukh was somehow deducted a point in round 2 and that left him chasing things. The Thai scored with some hard left hands but Okazawa was comfortable counter in the final 3 minutes and the man from Japan won the unanimous decision and he’ll be up against Maimaititu for a winner takes all chance at the Olympics.
The women’s flyweights (52kg) kicked off the evening session with Huang Hsaio-Wen of Chinese Taipei versus Tursunoy Rakhimova of Uzbekistan first up. Rakhimova managed to get inside the long reach and Huang and land repeatedly before darting out of range. Huang settled down in round 2, landing with single point scoring shots to keep Rakhimova off balanced. Rakhimova continued to pursue Huang in round 3 but it was the boxer from Chinese Taipei who won the split decision to advance to this summer’s Olympics.
Jutamas Jitpong of Thailand was up against Tsukimi Namiki of Japan. There was little in the first 2 minutes of round 1 before Namiki landed some eye catching shots to shade proceedings. Jitpong responded well in the second and the right hand was a profitable punch for the Thai. Namiki got back to centre ring and scored with the better shots in the last round and the woman from Japan will be appearing at her home Olympics as she claimed the unanimous decision in an excellent bout.
Chang Yuan of China faced Sumaiya Qosimova of Tajikistan. Chang was sharp as a razor in the opening stanza and scores with sharp shots to both body and head. Chang eased off a touch in the second but Qosimova wasn’t able to take advantage. Round 3 saw Chang again rattle off some quality combinations and she deservedly prevailed via unanimous decision to take her place in Tokyo.
Finally in the women’s flyweight (51kg) category Irish Magno of the Philippines was up against India’s Mary Kom. Magno managed to dig in some nice body shots in a close first round. Kom used all her experience and went up a gear to outbox her Filipino opponent in the second. Magno was left chasing her contest in the third which suited the Indian down to the ground and Kom won a unanimous point’s verdict to seal her Olympic spot and she’ll be aiming to win yet another medal.
It was then time for the women’s lightweight (60kg) boxers as Australian Anja Stridsman took on Oh Yeonji of South Korea. Stridsman came forward in the opening stanza but didn’t land much. The Australia then failed to let her hands go in round 2 and Oh countered effectively. Stridsman looked pretty rusty having not fought in the tournament so far and it was Oh to won via unanimous decision to progress to the Olympic Games.
Raykhona Kodirova of Uzbekistan was up against Sudaporn Seesondee from Thailand. Seesondee’s sharper punches especially with the southpaw left saw her shade the opening stanza. Kodirova had brief moments of success in round 2 but was countered every time by the Thai who was in full command. Kodirova needed a miracle in the last 3 minutes but it never looked like materialising and Seesondee will be appearing in Tokyo as she claimed the unanimous points win.
Chinese Taipei’s Wu Shih-Yi took on Filipino Riza Pasuit. Wu attempted to maintain distance whilst Pasuit tried to make it an inside brawl in round 1. Wu’s longer straight shots payed dividends in the second and she had gained control of the contest. A right hand from Pasuit in the final few second of the fight was the best success but it was nowhere near enough and Wu was declared the victor via unanimous decision and she had booked her place in Tokyo in the process.
Lastly in the women’s lightweight (60kg) division Simranjit Kaur of India battle Mongolia’s Manuum Monkhor. Both women got to work quickly in an action packed opening round. Monkhor scored with some solid right hands to begin round 2 before Simranjit roared back and took full control pinging in her own right hands. Simranjit began quickly in the third before Monkhor responded but it was the India who will appear at her first Olympics as she took the unanimous verdict in a fabulous encounter.
The men’s featherweights (57kg) then entered the ring as Uzbek Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov squared off against Hong Kong’s Rex Tso. Mirzakhalilov dominated round 1, forcing Tso back repeatedly. The Uzbek showed little regard for what was coming back at him even when Tso did land. The hooks and uppercuts continued to rain in from Mirzakhalilov in the final 3 minutes and the Uzbek ran away with the unanimous points win to advance onto Tokyo in a thoroughly entertaining 9 minutes.
In an intriguing clash Kazakhstan’s Serik Temirzanov was up against Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh. Both had their fair share of success in a keenly contested opening stanza. The styles of both men cancelled each other out somewhat in round 2 as both wanted to fight at long range. Shahbakhsh suffered a cut from a clash of heads in round 3 and in a rather strange conclusion the Iranian’s corner threw in the towel, possibly to save him for the box off and Temirzanov won and sealed his trip to Tokyo.
The canny Chatchai Butdee of Thailand faced Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Duong. In an extraordinary turn of events Chatchai was floored within seconds with a shot to the top of the head and the Thai was down again and Nguyen had scored a sensational stoppage win over a highly experienced operator to seal his Olympic berth in style.
The last men’s featherweight (57kg) bout saw Mohamm Abdelaziz Mohammad Alwadi of Jordan up against South Korean Ham Sangnyieong. The drama continued as Alwadi was dropped early on in round 1 and Ham worked his man over to head and body. Alwadi managed to box and moved effectively in the second to neutralise the dangerous Ham. The Jordanian persisted with the hit and move tactics that served him so well in round 2 and Alwadi earned the unanimous verdict in a brilliant come from behind performance to seal his Olympic spot.
It was then time for 2 men’s middleweight (75kg) box offs as Byamba-Erdene Otgonbaatar of Mongolia clashed with Indonesia’s Maikhel Muskita. Otgonbaatar found the range to take round 1. Muskita tried to press the action in the second and had his fair share of success to leave things in the balance. Otgonbaatar was shaken early on in round 3 but the Indonesian couldn’t build on that success and it was the Mongolian who got the unanimous decision.
The final fight of the day was between Fanat Kakhramonov of Uzbekistan and Iran’s Seyedshahin Mousavi. Mousavi poured forward as is his way and did enough to win round 1. Kakhramonov seemed to be struggling and summoned the energy from somewhere to push forwards in round 2. Quality punching was lacking in the final 3 minutes despite the effort from both men but it was Mousavi who was awarded the split decision and will vie for an Olympic place with Otgonbaatar.
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
In a jam packed day 6 from the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier from Amman, Jordan there was action in the women’s welterweight (69kg), middleweight (75kg), men’s welterweight (69kg), middleweight (75kg), light heavyweight (81kg), heavyweight (91kg) and super heavyweight (+91kg) weight classes with Olympic spots up for grabs.
The day began in the women’s middleweight (75kg) division as Li Qian of China was up against Munkhbat Myagnarjargal of Mongolia. Li used the space of the ring expertly to easily outbox her Mongolian opponent in round 1. Munkhbat tried to get close and land punches of her own but she was met with beautiful combination for her trouble and going into the last round she needed a knockout. The Chinese boxer remained in complete control during the last 3 minutes and Li became the first from the Asia/Oceania tournament to gain Olympic qualification as he won via unanimous decision.
Pornnipa Chutee of Thailand versus Pooja Rani of India was next up. Rani had no problem finding the target in round 1 scoring repeatedly with southpaw left hands. Chutee showed plenty of heart and kept coming forward but was coming off second best to Rani who was in full control. The experienced Indian sailed through the last round and her unanimous points win made her the first boxer from her nation to seal Olympic qualification.
It was then time for the men’s welter weight (69kg) boxers as Bobo-Usmon Baturov of Uzbekistan faced Maimaititu Ersun Qiong from China. The right hand proved a fruitful punch for Baturov in round 1 but at times he was rather lax which allowed Maimaititu to counter effectively. Baturov massively increased his output in the second, forcing Maimaititu backwards. Baturov swarmed all over Maimaititu and it wasn’t pretty to watch but it proved to be effective as the Uzbek won a unanimous points victory sealing his ticket to Tokyo in the process.
The first local fighter entered the arena as Faustino Marion Ah Tong of Samoa took on Hussein Eishaih Zeyad Eashash of Jordan. A rather bizarre standing 8 count went against Ah Tong in the opening stanza and Eashash used his physical strength to outhustle his younger opponent. Another debatable standing count in the second made it virtually impossible for Ah Tong and Eashash navigated through round 3 to secure the unanimous verdict and grab his spot in Tokyo.
It was then a battle between Japan and India as Newon Okazawa was up against Vikas Krishan. Okazawa’s poking and pecking jab proved a useful weapon in round 1 as he seemed to outwork Krishan. Krishan had a lot more success in the second but Okazawa was still proving to be an elusive target. The man from Japan really went for it in the third which allowed Krishan to pick him off and it was he who booked his Olympic place in Tokyo via unanimous decision.
Thailand’s Wuttichai Masukh then took on Ablaikhan Zhussupov of Kazakhstan. Zhussupov was just the busier in a close and tactical opening stanza. The southpaw jab of Zhussupov simply prevented Masukh from setting himself in round 2. The volume and activity of the Kazak was simply too much for Masukh and it was Zhussupov who took the unanimous verdict to qualify for Tokyo.
We then moved up to the men’s light heavyweight (81kg) division as Bekzad Nurdauletov of Kazakhstan faced Shabbos Megnatulloev of Tajikistan. Nurdauletov used a quality jab and excellent foot work to win round 1. The second was more competitive but Megnatulloev didn’t do enough to win it. Nurdauletov suffered a cut from a clash of heads but managed to keep out of trouble and the Kazak prevailed via unanimous decision to claim his Olympic spot.
Jakkapong Yomkhot then had the task of overcoming home man Adel Riyad Odai Alhindawi. Alhindawi’s straight punches proved more than enough for him to sweep the first round. Yomkhot missed repeatedly in round 2 as Alhindawi continued with the same game plan that was working to perfection. The Jordanian negotiated the last 3 minutes with aplomb and his Olympic qualification via unanimous verdict delighted the locals in attendance.
Chen Daxaing from China was up against Sachin Kumar of India. Kumar had the better of the opening round as Chen struggled to find the range. Barely anything of note happened in the second and the fight was in the balance. Kumar failed to let his hands go enough in the final stanza and allowed Chen to nick the split decision and an Olympic berth in the process.
The final men’s light heavyweight (81kg) contest was between Vietnam’s Nguyen Man Cuong and Australia’s Paulo Aokuso. The speed of Aokuso was too much for Nguyen to handle in round 1 and the Aussie glided through the second as the man from Vietnam had no answers. Nguyen tried his best to make a grandstand comeback but to no avail and Aokuso booked his place at the Olympics via unanimous decision.
We then moved onto the men’s heavyweight (91kg) bracket with the decorated Vassiliy Levit from Kazakhstan up against Davlat Boltayev of Tajikistan. Levit didn’t have things all his own way but still did enough to win the opening round. After a quick start from Boltayev in round 2, Levit reasserted his authority on proceedings. The third saw Levit land some hard shots as if there was any doubt and the Kazak claimed a wide point’s victory to seal his Olympic place without real breaking a sweat.
The atmosphere lifted once again as Leau Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali from Samoa squared off against Hussein Eishaish Hussein Iashaish. Iashaish came out guns blazing and a left hook opened up an existed cut on Faoagali and 2 standing 8 counts gave the Samoan an uphill task after just the first round. Iashaish piled on the pressure and another standing 8 count saw the bout called off in round 2 and the Jordanian marched through to grab his Olympic spot.
The penultimate contest saw Uzbekistan’s Sanjar Tursunov clash with Iran’s Toufan Sharifi. Tursunov used some slick skills to avoid any attacks from his opponent and score with effective counters. Sharifi had an unenviable task of trying to find the target in round 2 and he rarely did. Tursunov continued to bob and weave in the final 3 minutes and the Uzbek cruised to a unanimous point’s victory and can now look forward to participating in the Olympics.
The final fight of the morning session was between Aldin Alaa Ghousoon of Syria and David Nyika of New Zealand. Nyika kept Ghousoon on the end of the jab in the early stages of the opening stanza and landed some quality straight shots as the round progressed. In a dramatic second round, Ghousoon suffered a cut from a punch then Nyika was dropped from a left hook but the Syrian was then deducted a point for hitting Nyika whilst he was down. The Kiwi completely took over in the last round, flooring his man for a standing 8 count and he was awarded the unanimous verdict and can now look forward to the Olympics.
The evening session started with the women’s welterweights (69kg) as Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin clashed with Mongolia’s Shinetsetseg Urambileg. Chen made an assured beginning, out boxing Urambileg with ease in the opening stanza. Chen continued to glide around the ring and Urambileg was left chasing shadows. Chen strolled through the final 3 minutes and booked her place in Tokyo via unanimous decision.
Baison Manikon from Thailand then clashed with Kaye Scott of Australia. Both tried to find the range in a competitive first round. Round 2 was also keenly contested with Scott digging in some solid right hands. Manikon landed with some lovely southpaw left hand in the last round and it was the Thai who prevailed via split decision and gains a spot in her first Olympics.
Next in the ring were China’s GU Homg and Valentina Khalzova of Kazakhstan. There was a lot of fainting in the first but very few punches landed. Khalzova was the aggressor in round 2 but Gu did enough to pinch the round. Khalzova was unable to turn things around and Gu won the unanimous decision to advance to the Olympics.
The final women’s welterweight (69kg) bout was between Maftunakhon Melieva of Uzbekistan and India’s Lovlina Borgohain. Borgohain used the height and reach advantages expertly in round 1. Melieva attempted to close the distance in the second, but couldn’t land consistently enough. The third round was rather messy but Borgohain had done more than enough and she claimed the unanimous verdict to take her place in Tokyo.
Back to the women’s middleweights (75kg) and Nguyen Thi Huong of Vietnam tangled with Nadezhda Ryabets of Kazakhstan. The extra activity of Ryabets saw her win the opening stanza. Again the Kazak’s greater volume proved enough in round 2 although landed punches were at a premium. Nguyen was unable to turn things around and it was the 19-year-old Ryabets who won the unanimous decision and claimed her place in Tokyo.
South Korea’s Seong Suyeon was then up against Kaitlin Parker of Australia. Even though it was her first bout here on the 6th day, Parker showed no signs of ring rust and was sharp from the off. Parker’s domination continued through the rest of the contest and the Aussie produced a sparkling display to seal her Olympic place via unanimous decision.
It was then the turn of the men’s middleweights (75kg) as Filipino Eumir Marcial was up against Mongolia’s Byamba-Erdene Otgonbaatar. In a back and forth first stanza Otgonbaatar landed with some solid body shots whilst Marcial used his southpaw left to good effect. The Filipino did a bit of everything in round 2, he boxed, moved and nailed the Mongolian with a quality jab and left hand. Marcial upped the tempo stunning Otgonbaatar with a right hook but was then ridiculously docked a point however, more crunching right hooks left the Mongolian in no fit state to continue and Marcial secured his Olympic spot in magnificent style.
Indonesian Maikhel Muskita faced Ashish Kumar of India. Muskita seem to take round 1 boxing really well. Kumar put his punches together a lot better in the second and was growing in confidence. Kumar built on his success in round 2 in the final 3 minutes to earn his Olympic birth scoring a unanimous points victory.
In what looked a cracking matchup Fanat Kakhramonov of Uzbekistan tangled with Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan. Kakhramonov scored with some terrific body shots whilst Amankul landed hard single shots in an exciting round 1. Amankul went up a level in the second and buzzed Kakhramonov and left him on unsteady legs. The hard shot from Amankul had taken their toll and Kakhramonov’s condition was what was keeping in there and the Kazak took the unanimous decision to storm through to the Olympics.
The final middleweight (75kg) contest saw Tuoheta Erbieke Tanglatihan of China up against Seyedshahin Blue Mousabi of Iran. Mousabi’s rough physical style made it hard for any clean blows to be scored. The bout was marred by messy grappling and mauling but what scoring punches did land came from Tanglatihan and it was he who won the split decision to book his spot in Tokyo in what an awful spectacle.
We then moved up to the super heavyweight (+91kg) bracket and Uzbek Bakhodir Jalolov squared off with Bahrain’s Danis Latipov. Latipov acquitted himself admirable and wasn’t overawed by the formidable reputation of Jalolov. The Uzbek used his jab to good effect and brought his southpaw left hand in where he could and a point off for Latipov in round 2 left him with an uphill task. To be fair to Latipov he gave it a real go in the last 3 minutes and the Uzbek didn’t have things all his own way but Jalolov did enough to win the unanimous verdict and it will be his second time at the Olympics.
Otgonbayar Daivi of Mongolia tussled with India’s Satish Kumar. Daivi showed he had a decent chin but was picked apart in round 1. Kumar boxed superbly to catch Daivi with straight shots in the second. The Mongolian desperately tried to score the knockout but Kumar maintained his composure to record a unanimous point’s victory and claim his Olympic berth in the process.
In a Tasman derby Justis Huni of Australia met Leuila Mau’u of New Zealand. Huni was a level above and he boxed rings around Mau’u in the first 2 rounds. Mau’u was often just following his Aussie opponent around the ring and although his effort couldn’t be questioned the Kiwis was just outclassed by Huni who was declared the winner via unanimous decision and he can now prepare for the Olympics in July.
In the final fight of the day, Aihemaiti Maimaiti of China was up against Kazakhstan’s Kanshybek Kunkabayev. Kunkabayev fought well within himself and used his southpaw jab to keep Maimaiti occupied in the first 2 stanzas. The Kazak was nowhere near his best and never got out of first gear but he got the job done, scoring a unanimous points victory and he’ll be appearing in Tokyo in a few months’ time.
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