Evans into last eight
Welshman one win away from a guaranteed bronze in London
Last Updated: 03/08/12 11:22pm
Fred Evans: Upped his game in the final round to win comfortably
British boxer Fred Evans booked his place in the quarter-finals of the 69kg weight class with victory over old rival Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
The Lithuanian had stopped the Welshman at the World Championships last year but 21-year-old Evans had clearly learned from the experience.
After falling behind 2-1 in the opening round, Evans pulled the scores level at 5-5 after the next as he stepped up the workrate.
The final round was all Evans as Kavaliauskas started to tire, the southpaw landing shots at will with the lead right hook proving particularly effective.
Evans was confident he had done enough at the final bell and so it proved, the score of 11-7 reflecting a 6-2 scoreline in the third session.
"This was the main fight I wanted to get away but I didn't really think about what happened before," he said of their World Championship fight. "I knew I had the beating of him and that kind of pressure has never been an issue with me.
"Sunday was a big shock in terms of the atmosphere but I knew what to expect this time. If anything maybe I boxed too cagey in the first two rounds. Then I told myself I had to switch on and do what I had to do.
"Winning an Olympic medal has always been a dream of mine and now I'm one fight away from achieving it. I'm the youngest on our team and younger than most of my opponents too, and it just shows me how much talent I've got."
Suddenly Evans, who came to the Games relatively under the radar, finds himself one of the hottest boxing tickets in town.
He will also have to get used to being a big medal favourite when he takes on Canada's Custio Clayton with a guaranteed medal at stake on Tuesday.
Fellow Welshman Andrew Selby survived a scare as he followed Evans through to the last eight, in his case in the flyweight division, thanks to a sharp 19-15 victory over Kazakh Ilyas Suleimenov.
Selby struggled to cope with his rugged opponent in the first round but nudged ahead and enjoyed an excellent second, in which he moved away from his opponent's crude swings and flicked straight scoring shots from either hand.
Going into the final round with a four-point cushion, Selby suddenly found himself in a fight when the referee handed him a two-point warning, apparently for use of the head.
But cool Selby, the reigning European champion and world silver medallist, stuck admirably to his game plan despite the Kazakh's increasingly desperate attacks.
While Britain enjoyed more success in the ring it was a different story for the USA, who have been left with no competitors left in the men's categories after a remarkable run of nine straight defeats.