Debutant TKO's Joyce in round one
Hamza Beguerni of Algeria made his debut performance in a World Championships today, and what a debut it was. A quick combination left the former World Series of Boxing (WSB) star out on his feet and the arena stunned.
(Hamza Beguerni vs Joseph Joyce)
There was plenty more excitement today in the AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013 as the Light Flyweights (49kg), Bantamweights (56kg) and Super Heavyweights (91+kg) did their thing in the ring.
Bout of the session
With plenty of high drama and big names on display, this one might have easily slipped under the radar. However, Light Flyweights Patrick Lourenco of Brazil and Tanes Ongjunta of Thailand put on a good show for the crowd. The Thai athlete was extremely aggressive in pushing forward while the Brazilian would switch between standing and trading blows with his opponent, and attempting to use his foot work to outmanoeuvre him. For a while though it seemed that Ongjunta was getting the better of the exchanges, but the Brazilian hung in there to just about outpoint his opponent for a very tight win.
APB boxer of the session
Vladimir Nikitin from Russia met Road to Almaty Juan Donis from Guatemala who was responsible for our upset of the session on Thursday evening. The Guatemalan started strongly again, totally un-phased by the calibre of the man in front of him. Both boxers adopted a tactic of covering up and exploding from a tight guard. By halfway through the second round, this approach seemed to be favouring the Russian. Nikitin landed more blows with notably more power than Donis. In round three, the Guatemalan made something of a comeback and found his grove again. Nonetheless, the experience of Nikitin shone through and he took the win over an opponent who has proved himself capable of dethroning the stars.
WSB boxer of the session
Mohamed Flissi of the Algeria Desert Hawks squared off to Joselito Velazquez of the Mexico Guerreros at Light Flyweight. The two have never fought each other in the WSB so this was an interesting match-up. Flissi landed a really hard blow in round one but the Guerrero came back with a shot of his own that was even harder, leaving Flissi with a standing eight count. In general, Velazquez was taking the centre of the ring, looking to land hooks while Flissi boxed at distance when he could, trying to circle his opponent. Flissi's tactics worked well and he managed to out point and frustrate the Guerreros boxer from that point on. It was enough to see him take the win. "It was a difficult fight of course", said Flissi. "But my preparation was good and I found a way to win the bout thank heavens. He has a lot of experience but fortunately it was ok in the end".
Road to Almaty boxer of the session
Phub Sigyel of Bhutan was back at work today against the number 7 seed Veaceslav Gojan of Moldova. The Bantamweight bravely took to the centre of the ring again and tried to bring the fight to his opponent. Despite the Moldovan's seeding, Sigyel did not look out of place in the ring with him. Extremely focused and always operating from a high guard, the southpaw looked very good in the first round, and though he slowed slightly in the second, in round three he put his foot back on the gas. Gojan was very effective at picking him off with his left hook though. Sigyel had a scrappy but strong final thirty seconds but it was not enough to take the win today.
Surprise of the session
Super Heavyweight Hamza Beguerni of Algeria in his first ever World Championships totally nailed former British Lionhearts star Joseph Joyce of England. With a right hook that would have knocked the planet off its axis, the unknown Algerian stopped Joyce with 1:37 still remaining in the first round to send the Brit home early. "I prepared hard for this. It's my first World Championships and he is a good boxer so I am happy about that".
One to watch
Brian Gonzales of Mexico looked fantastic against Stefan Ivanov of Bulgaria. The young Bantamweight, who made his WSB debut in this summer's exhibition match between the Mexico Guerreros and the Cuba Domadores, looked very fit indeed and was able to pursue his man at supersonic pace for all three rounds. Like all Guerreros he was out looking for a scrap, and with his excellent aerobic capacity, he was able to force the issue to ensure he dominated to take another good win. "It's great to be moving forward again", said Gonzales. "Although I'll say again that there are no easy fights, it's getting harder for sure. But we are prepared for any situation that arises".
Quote of the session
"The training we did in Mexico was really hard. We did a lot of resistance training, and since we are preparing for a league with five rounds the WSB we are ready to fight for three at the World Championships. This is how you get results. You have to be able to continually pressurise your opponent until the final bell" - Brian Gonzales (Mexico)
Fact/Stat of the session
Italian Super Heavyweight icon Roberto Cammarelle took to the ring today with the young pretender, Youth Olympic Gold medallist Tony Yoka of France. Camarelle of course is a two time World Champion (2007/2009) and he also took a bronze in 2005. He claimed all three Olympic medals at different times from Athens 2004 through to London 2012 where he won the silver. Boxing fans were delighted to see him back and he looked good as he unanimously won the bout.