Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes knocked out Vasiliy Levit in the Tokyo Olympic Games28 July 2021
Twenty-nine preliminary bouts were held in the fourth competition day at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan today. The winners of the women’s welterweight (69kg) and men’s heavyweight (91kg) advanced to the quarter-finals in the Games. Spain’s Emmanuel Reyes is the first boxer in Tokyo who knocked out a favourite Kazakh rival and Finland’s Mira Potkonen also opened her campaign with a success.
Altogether 24 European nations could send boxers to the Olympic Games to Japan where the continent have got 92 tough boxers including 33 women. Many of the European female and male boxers are among the medal and title favourites and title contenders in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The bout of the day
Finland’s Mira Potkonen achieved bronze medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and won almost all of her international championships and tournaments in the recent five years. The Finnish veteran met with France’s Maiva Hamadouche which was the repeat match of the final of the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships. Potkonen knew how to handle her rival in the first round and stopped the French attacks effectively with left-handed jabs. Hamadouche was never stopped attacking but Potkonen’s technical skills decided their lightweight (60kg) contest in Tokyo.
The surprise of the day
Emmanuel Reyes was born in Cuba but he represents Spain since 2019 and he reached the level of the top boxers at the heavyweight (91kg) in the previous years. Reyes claimed silver in the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event, and proved his amazing skills in all of the preparation tournaments. The 29-year-old Spaniard tried to land a lot of jabs in the first round against Kazakhstan’s star Vasiliy Levit who claimed silver in Rio five years ago. Reyes caught the Kazakh boxer with a lethal punch in the second round and delivered the first classical knockout success of the Olympic Games.
Great Britain’s Pat McCormack won the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event following his silver medal at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships. The British No.1 at the welterweight (69kg) delivered sensational performance in the first round against Belarus’ Aliaksandr Radzionau who opened his campaign in Tokyo well on Day1. McCormack controlled all of the three rounds against his Belarusian rival and advanced to the quarter-finals of the weight class.
Ireland’s Aidan Walsh qualified for the Olympic Games through the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event where he performed strongly. The Irish welterweight (69kg) boxer met with Cameroon’s African Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event winner Albert Mengue Ayissi who stopped his first opponent. Walsh used his distance and operated from counter-attacking range and jumped in to land his jabs. The 24-year-old Irish boxer moved to all directions in their contest and found the best positions to reach the African youngster. Mengue received two warnings in the bout and he could perform strongly only in the third round therefore Walsh joined to the Top8.
Russian Olympic Committee’s Muslim Gadzhimagomedov is the defending AIBA World Champion and European Games winner at the heavyweight (91kg) therefore his expectations are high in Tokyo. The 24-year-old Russian opened his campaign in the Olympic Games and met with Algeria’s three-times All Africa Games winner Abdelhafid Benchabla who eliminated Uzbekistan’s Sanjar Tursunov in the first preliminary round. The Algerian competes in his fourth Olympic Games but the veteran boxer was unable to stop the Russian attacks. Gadzhimagomedov caught the Algerian with a heavy blow in the second round and secured his place in the quarter-finals.
Germany’s Ammar Abduljabbar joined to the elite national in 2018 and following his medals at the Cologne Boxing World Cup and other international tournaments, he qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The German heavyweight (91kg) boxer is smaller than many of his opponents but he uses aggressive style to win his contests. Abduljabbar met with Peru’s Panamerican Games bronze medallist Jose Maria Lucar and pressurized his rival from the first seconds. The German controlled all of the three rounds and advanced to the last eight of the weight class.
Belarus’ European Games silver medallist Uladzislau Smiahlikau is member of their elite national team since 2017 and spent the recent four years in tournaments and training camps. The Belarusian heavyweight (91kg) boxer had difficulties against Samoa’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Ato Plodzicki Faoagali in the first round. The Australian-based Samoan surprised Smiahlikau but the Belarusian ringside changed the strategy in the beginning of the second round in time to turn back their tight contest.
Italy’s Rebecca Nicoli proved good performance first at the 2017 AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships. The currently 22-year-old Italian continued her career with gold at the EUBC U22 European Boxing Championships. Nicoli had only a few years of experiences in our sport but qualified for the Olympic Games and used his attacking style against Mexico’s Esmeralda Falcon. The Italian lightweight (60kg) boxer controlled the first and second rounds and despite of Falcon’s strong finish, Nicoli secured his place in the last 16.
Great Britain’s Caroline Dubois is one of the biggest talents in the whole world who achieved gold medals in all of the major youth events in 2018 and 2019. The 20-year-old super talented lightweight (60kg) boxer was faster than Kosovo’s lone hope in the Olympic Games, Donjeta Sadiku. Her Kosovan opponent was EUBC European Youth Champion in 2017 but she could not catch the quick British star. Dubois used her counter-attacking style well enough and she was untouchable for Sadiku in her opening Olympic bout.
Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli is the seed No.1 at the women’s welterweight (69kg) following her title at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Turkish boxer is only 23 but she won dozens of big events during her career and she is aiming her nation’s first ever Olympic title in Tokyo. Surmeneli opened her campaign against Poland’s European Games winner tall Karolina Koszewska who has done her debut still on Day1. The Polish boxer tried to use her longer reach but Surmeneli’s attacks destroyed her defence and her Olympic dreams on Day4.
Oumayma Bel Ahbib was the flag bearer of Team Morocco at the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games but she had to meet with a technician rival, Ukraine’s Anna Lysenko. The All Africa Games winner North African was nervous in their contest and Lysenko caught her with tough jabs already in the first round. The experienced Ukrainian is in top shape this year and controlled all of the three rounds against the Moroccan which means that after Surmeneli, she advanced also to the quarter-finals of the welterweight (69kg).
Georgia’s Eskerkhan Madiev was amazing in his opening contest at the men’s welterweight (69kg) and after three days, he had to return to the boxing venue to meet with Uganda’s Musa Shadiri Bwogi who is their team captain. The EUBC European U22 Champion Georgian found his best rhythm still in the first round and took the lead on the scorecards. The Ugandan Black Bomber moved forward more in the second and third rounds but Madiev worked well to beat the strong African. Another strong European of this category, Russian Olympic Committee’s Andrei Zamkovoy had to do also his very best against Africa’s No.1, 20-year-old Stephen Zimba of Zambia but he managed all of the tactical issues.