London 2012

Cuban wins opener

Ramirez Carrazana lays down early marker in flyweight division

Last Updated: 31/07/12 1:33am

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Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana (left): 19-7 winner over Katsuaki Susa

Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana (left): 19-7 winner over Katsuaki Susa

Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana produced a typically classy performance as Cuba marked their return to the Olympic boxing ring intent on making up for their intense disappointment in Beijing.

For the first time since 1972, the Cuban boxing team left the Games in the Chinese capital with no gold medals to their name, but the display by 18-year-old Ramirez Carrazana suggests their famed production line is showing no sign of slowing.

The 2010 world youth champion picked apart Japan's Katsuaki Susa 19-7 to move into the last 16, and afterwards insisted he felt no extra pressure at beginning his country's campaign to add to their long list of Olympic champions.

Ramirez Carrazana said: "I did not feel any pressure at being the first Cuban into the ring because I know the preparations for myself and my team have been very good.

"Four years ago we had an excellent team but this team is very good also. There is a lot of talent in our nation and we hope to win gold medals in London."

Competitive

Ramirez Carrazana was just one of a number of impressive flyweights in action in what could well prove to be the most competitive division of the Games.

Frenchman Nordine Oubaali looked powerful in outclassing Afghanistan's sole boxing representative Ajmal Faisal 22-9, while Thailand's Chatchai Butdee - who is next up for the Cuban - impressed beating Turkey's Selcuk Eker 24-10.

Mongolia's former world silver medallist Tugstsogt Nyambayar was another potential medal contender at flyweight as he dispatched Azerbaijan's Elvin Mamishzada, himself a former world quarter-finalist, 18-11.

At light-heavyweight, Ecuador's Carlos Gongora survived a torrid last three minutes to beat Azerbaijan's Vatan Huseynli 9-8. Huseynli had denied Great Britain's Callum Smith a qualifying place with a controversial win in the final qualifier in Trabzon.

Debut

Earlier, Ihab Almatbouli made history as Jordan's first Olympic boxer and marked the occasion by marching into the last 16 of the 81kg division with a powerful 19-7 win over Nigeria's Lukmon Lawal.

Almatbouli said: "Everybody back home will be proud. With this achievement hopefully I can become a role model. Despite a difficult life I never stopped doing my sport and it is a dream to be here at an Olympic Games."

Australia's world number two Damien Hooper pulled out a fantastic last round to beat American Marcus Browne 13-11. Trailing by a point heading into the last, Hooper poured in the punches and forced Browne to take a standing count.

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