Petrauskas opens with victory in London
AIBA Road to London boxers continued to impress at the ExCeL, and none more so that Lithuania's Youth Olympic Games winner and AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships silver medallist Evaldas Petrauskas who showed his aggressive side against Hungary's Miklos Varga to claim the win.
European Championships bronze medallist Varga, of the Dolce & Gabbana Milano WSB Franchise, could not handle the power and determination of Petrauskas who won the first two rounds 6:4 before stepping up another gear in the final third to record a resounding 20:12 victory. The promising young Lithuanian was invited by AIBA to train as part of the Road to London Program international camp and he looked in great shape in his opening contest in the British capital.
Colombia's Panamerican Youth Championships bronze medallist Eduar Antonio Marriaga Campo, who turns 20 only later this year, met Dominican Republic's AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Wellington Arias Romero in the first preliminary round. But unfortunately the AIBA Road to London participant could not get to grips with the experienced Dominican who recorded a 17:8 victory. The young Colombian will now be looking towards Rio 2016.
Benin's Shafiq Chitou was also at the training camp in Cardiff and made his Olympic debut in an all-African affair against Tunisia's All Africa Games winner Ahmed Mejri. Chitou was involved in the AIBA Road to Milan Program three years ago and showed great heart in his fight in London but unfortunately was defeated 16:9 in his Lightweight (60kg) contest.
Talented Juan Antonio Huertas Garcia became the first boxer from Panama to participate in the Olympic Games since 1992. Influenced by his compatriot, Irving Saladino, who claimed Panama's first ever Olympic gold medal by winning the long jump in Beijing, Huertas has been dreaming of London for the last four years. After the three-week Road to London training camp in Cardiff (Wales), he felt ready to take on the World but Puerto Rico's Panamerican Youth Champion Felix Verdejo Sanchez was in sublime form and won their contest 11:5.
Seychelles' Indian Ocean Islands Games winner Andrique Allisop celebrated his 19th birthday just before the Games and was delighted to be involved in the AIBA Road to London Program. Despite just having moved up to Lightweight, Allisop was proud of his performance against Jai Bhagwan. Despite the loss, he had learnt a great deal and was looking forward to coming back stronger in four years.
Gabon National Champion Yannick Audry Mitoumba Mbemy was also in the Welsh capital in preparation for London 2012. He stood no realistic chance of progressing against Mongolia's experienced Asian Championships bronze medallist Byamba Tuvshinbat but he was delighted with the whole experience.
Cameroon's African Championships silver medallist and All Africa Games bronze medallist Hyacinthe Abdon Mewoli was a real handful for Uzbekistan's world class AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov, and made his country proud.
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