Originally written on Blog On Draft  |  Last updated 8/28/14

(Team USA bantamweight Joseph Diaz, Jr., left, in action)

With the draw completed on Friday, the stage is set for Olympic boxing to begin in London. In our first preview and guide we’ll take a look at the first round of the men’s competition, beginning on Saturday afternoon, London time. It all starts out with a bantamweight match-up between Team USA’s Joseph Diaz, Jr. and Ukraine’s Pavlo Ishchenko. After that there are a dizzying number of matches, so we’ll just give you the highlights and other notes.


There haven’t been too many complaints about the draw compared to previous Olympics, though it’s always hard in smaller divisions like heavy, super heavy and the three women’s brackets. Some top fighters, like Brazilian junior welterweight Everton Dos Santos Lopes, will have very tough fights in the round of 16, but that’s just the way it is I guess. If only the top seeds fought then we’d be watching “the round of four” this weekend, and that wouldn’t be any fun. The Queensberry Rules,aka TQBR ,is devoted to following the sport of boxing. It derives its name from the rules that govern boxing , which were published in 1867 and named after the 9th Marquess of Queensberry.
Visit Queensberry Rules

It’s called the round of 32, but there aren’t actually 32 boxers in each division. Because of that, the top seeds have byes in the first round. There are two sessions of boxing each day, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening. Each session features two weight classes. Check your local providers for TV times. In the USA, CNBC will air both sessions of boxing live every day, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern and 3:30-6:30 p.m. Now let’s get to it. 

Bantamweight – 56kg/123.4lb – 28 July

As mentioned, the bantamweight schedule starts with Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Pavlo Ishchenko. Diaz has a very good chance against the Ukrainian but would face Cuban favourite Lazaro Alvarez, who has a bye, in the next round. Ireland’s John Joe Nevin has an easy match against Denmark’s Dennis Ceylan while other favourites, Tajikistan’s Anvar Yunusov, Azerbaijan’s Magomed Abdulhamidov and Team GB’s Luke Campbell have byes. 

Middleweight – 75kg/165.3lb – 28 July

Of all the men’s boxing divisions, middleweight is probably the most open. India have a medal hope with Vijender Singh, who faces Danabek Suzhanov of Kazakhstan in what could be a tough match up. The winner of that bout will face the winner of the fight between Team USA’s Terrell Gausha and Armenia’s Andranik Hakobyan. Hakobyan is much more experienced than the American, having taken Silver at the Worlds last year, but Gausha has power and youth on his side. Great Britain’s Anthony Ogogo has an easy draw against the Dominican Republic’s Junior Castillo. Top seeds Ryoto Murata and Levgen Khytrov have byes. 

Lightweight – 60kg/132.2lb – 29 July

Not much to report here. Top seeds Vasyl Lomachenko and Yasnier Toledo have byes and then relatively easy matches in the second round. Since he should win his first rounder against Brazil’s Robson Conceicao, England’s Josh Taylor will have the misfortune of meeting Italy’s Domenico Valentino in the second round. The USA’s Jose Ramirez is a dark horse with a clear path to the quarter finals if he beats France’s Rachid Azzedine. 

Welterweight – 69kg/152.1 – 29 July

Welterweight is another fairly open division, though World Championships gold medallist Taras Sheleystuk from Ukraine is a clear favourite for gold. Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy seems to have a relatively easy match with China’s Qion Mai Maititeursen, setting up an intriguing second round clash with up and coming Irishman Adam Nolan, who faces Ecuador’s Carlos Sanchez Estacio. The pick of the first round fights might be Team USA slickster Errol Spence against Brazil’s Myke Ribeiro de Carvalho for the right to take on Indian medal hope Krishnan Vikas in the round of 16. 

Flyweight – 52kg/114.6lb – 30 July

With six byes, the first round at flyweight seems to be a little bit of a competition between boxers who will exit in the next round. Of the boxers actually fighting, I’d say that only Azerbaijan’s Elvin Mamishzada is a medal chance. He’s got an easy one against Mongolia’s Tugstogt Nyambayar. 

Light Heavyweight – 81kg/178.5lb – 30 July

Another division with six byes, light heavyweight has some interesting fights in the first round nonetheless. The pick has to be Australian medal favourite Damien Hooper taking on the USA’s Marcus Brown in the afternoon session. Brown can’t punch like Hooper, but both men are quality tactical boxers. The winner will have a tough challenge in front of them in the round of 16 in the form of Russia’s Eghor Mekhontcev. 

Light Flyweight – 49kg/108lb – 31 July

Zou Shiming is the king at light fly, being the defending Olympic and World Champion. The winner of the fight between Australian redhead Billy Ward and Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia Soto (almost certainly the Cuban) will face him in the round of 16. Puerto Rico’s Jantony Marcano might have been a dark horse with a relatively easy one against Ghana’s Sulemanu Tetteh, but would be faced with a big ask against Russian team captain David Ayrapetyan next time out. Expect Thailand’s Kaeo Pongprayoon and Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Aleksandrov to stroll through their first round opponents. 

Light Welterweight – 64kg/141lb – 31 July

Not much to report here, with Ukrainian and Brazilian favourites Denys Berinchyk and Everton Dos Santos Lopes with byes on either side of the draw. Lopes will likely face 2009 world champion, Cuba’s Rosniel Iglesias Sotolongo, in the next round, which seems a bit unfair. Two outside chances meet in the first round with Sweden’s Anthony Yigit and Puerto Rico’s Francisco Ramirez fighting for the right to take on the aforementioned Berinchyk. How the winner deals with backing up in such a high pressure competition will be key for their chances of an upset. The most exciting match-up might be Australia’s Jeff Horn and Zambia’s Gilbert Choombe. 

Heavyweight – 91kg/200.6lb – 1 August

It’s a tough draw at heavyweight, a small division with only one bye. Australia’s Jai Opetaia will have his hands full with Azerbaijan’s Teymur Mammadov, as will the USA’s Michael Hunter with Russia’s Artur Beterbiyev. A lot of fighters at heavyweight are worth watching just for the excitement factor. Algeria’s Chouaib Bouloudinats and Belarus’ Siarhei Karneyeu are locks for first round KO victories against their respective Argentine and Ecuadorian foes. 

Super Heavyweight – 91kg+/200.6lb+ - 1 August

There are no byes at super heavy, amateur boxing’s glamour division, which sets up some very interesting first round clashes. Hometown hero and medal favourite Anthony Joshua faces Cuba’s Erislandy Savon Cotilla in the very first round. Cotilla is the nephew of Cuban legend and three time gold medallist Felix Savon. In many ways he’s a mirror image of Joshua. Luckily for the hometown fans the Englishman is blessed with a better chin, better power and is all round more athletic, so he should pull through. The other fun fight will be Italy’s defending champion Roberto Cammarelle against Ecuadorian Pan-Am Games gold medallist Italo Perea Castillo. The veteran southpaw should, in theory, have the smarts and savvy to handle the teenage South American. But he better not sleep on Perea Castillo because the boy can crack. With two tough match ups early in the draw, the quarter finals should actually be easier for the super heavyweight favourites than the first round.  Read more great boxing coverage at Queensberry Rules
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Gronk reads erotica, sings Katy Perry at SB Media Day

Governor donates $10K to UNM hoops star’s cancer charity

U.S. Soccer: Hope Solo needs to do 'number of things' to return

K.J. Wright: Targeting injured players 'unacceptable'

Five reasons the Patriots will win the Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five reasons the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl

Bill Simmons fires a shot at ESPN colleague Ray Lewis

Which teams are most squarely on the bubble?

Tiger Woods: 'There was blood everywhere' after tooth incident

Jerry Rice: Asterisk needed if Patriots win Super Bowl

Pete Carroll ok with Robert Kraft despite Patriots firing

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Tiger on wearing mask: ‘Not a lot of brown dudes at ski races’

Putting the Cleveland Cavaliers’ pieces together

Brodeur to retire immediately and join Blues front office

Michael Bennett talks about sex superstition, calls reporter gay

As Patriots prepare, it's easy to forget about Hernandez

Marcus Mariota's younger brother will play at Oregon

Marshawn Lynch on Media Day: 'I'm here so I won't get fined'

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

'Goodell Must Go' mobile banners heading to Phoenix

NFL pushing College Football Playoff to change its schedule

Can the Yankees avoid paying A-Rod's milestone bonuses?

Boxing News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Re-ranking the Top 25: exposing the biggest flaws

Putting the Cavs’ pieces together

Super Bowl XLIX: Key people to know

Ranking all 48 Super Bowls

Bill Simmons fires a shot at Ray Lewis

NFL pushing CFP to change schedule

Can Yanks not pay A-Rod his bonuses?

Petition started to remove Pats from SB

On John Wall's adidas J Wall 1 NYC All-Star Edition

NFL approved Pats' under-inflated balls?

Six best Super Bowl coaches of all-time

Five key matchups for Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.