Evans into last 16
Welshman battles through against a tough opponent
Last Updated: 29/07/12 9:22pm
Evans: Reached the last 16
British boxer Fred Evans came through an entertaining battle with Algerian Ilyas Abbadi to book his place in the last 16 of the Olympic welterweight competition.
The 21-year-old Welshman did not have things his own way against a gutsy opponent at ExCel but extended his lead throughout the contest to triumph 18-10, to the delight of another excited capacity crowd.
Evans said: "The atmosphere was unbelievable - like nothing I've experienced before. I felt the buzz when I watched Anthony Ogogo on Saturday but you don't really feel it until you go out there yourself.
"I'm so proud to be here fighting in my home country in front of my friends and family and fulfilling my dream. The whole team is building the momentum and we are all looking at going to win medals."
In an action-packed opening round, Evans was caught by a pair of left hands by teenager Abbadi, but responded with a series of sharp assaults, landing a big right on his way to establishing a two-point lead at the end of the first.
Evans pulled away in the second, despite looking a little excitable at times and still being troubled by Abbadi's stiff left hands. He had extended his lead to five points at the end of the second and continued exchanging hard shots in a grandstand finish.
Evans will next face Lithuania's fourth seed Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who dropped and stopped Evans in the quarter-finals of last year's World Championships, with Evans already having secured qualification for the Games.
The prospect of a rematch does not faze the confident Evans, who said: "He is going to see a different Fred Evans next time. I am stronger and sharper and he is going to find that out when we fight on Friday.
"What happened in the Worlds doesn't bother me. I'd just achieved my goal of qualifying for the Olympics and my mind wasn't on the job. This time, in front of my home crowd and my family, it's going to be a different story."
Josh Taylor, the first Scottish lightweight to fight at an Olympics since two-time medallist Dick McTaggart, extended Great Britain's winning start by overcoming tough Brazilian Robson Conceicao 13-9.
In contrast to Evans' all-action effort earlier, Taylor produced a composed and patient performance on the back foot as his experienced opponent ploughed forward and flung shots at his resolute guard.
Taylor's accurate jabs helped him shade the first round by a point and an excellent second, speckled with nifty combinations, saw him extend his lead to three despite a jolting right hand from his opponent.
Conceicao, a former Pan-American Games silver medallist, grew increasingly impatient in the final round but Taylor kept his composure admirably as he skated home for a proud if slightly contentious victory.