Misha Aloian of Russia, the reigning world champion in the flyweight division and the #1 seed in the Olympic boxing tournament, has moved on to the quarterfinal round with a 14-9 decision over Samir Brahimi of Algeria in the Friday afternoon session at ExCeL Centre in London.
Brahimi is a solid international competitor (Ranked #21 by AIBA) who got to the Round of 16 with a narrow victory over Darren Woods of Australia. He hung rather tough through the first two rounds, trailing by just two points going into the third stanza, which means he had a chance. But then Aloian seized the advantage and started to pull away.
Aloian came into the Olympic tournament rated #2 by AIBA. In 2008 he captured the World Cup championship and then went on to win a bronze at the World Amateur Championships in Milan. When that tournament was held again in 2011 he won the gold, and along the way he beat American Rau’shee Warren and Andrew Selby of Wales, who is actually the current AIBA #1.
Aloian, who drew a bye through to this round, will now move on to face Jeyvier Cintron Ocasio of Puerto Rico in the Round of 8. Cintron scored an 18-13 win over Juliao Henriques Neto of Brazil on Friday
In other action, Jasurbek Latipov of Uzbekistan, the fifth seed, had clear sailing as he registered a 21-11 win over Hesham Abdelaal of Egypt, and then there was a thrilling battle between Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia and Vincenzo Picardi of Italy, in which Nyambayar, who is unrated and unseeded, won by a17-16 margin. Nyambayar overcame a deficit at the end of the first round, winning the final two.
It was kind of a heartbreaking end for Picardi, who is rated #3 by AIBA and drew the #4 seed for this tournament. Picardi has never won any big tournaments, but has taken home some hardware nonetheless. He has won bronze at the 2007 World Amateur Championships and the 2008 Olympics. He won’t get the chance to reach the medal round here, though, and after losing his first time out in London (he had a first-round bye) it may all be over for the 28-year-old, who lost to Aloian in the 2010 European Amateur Championships.