The appearances of Misha Aloian and Andrew Selby highlight the action as the men battle it out in the flyweight division for the right to be guaranteed a medal at the 2012 Olympics.
Advancing to the semifinal round will assure all competitors of at least a bronze. Then the “final four” will fight it off to see who gets to the finals and the chance to win gold.
Aloian, from Russia, is the #2 flyweight in the world as has been determined by AIBA. He is a former World Cup champion who also added the World Amateur Championship in the flyweight class to his laurels last year.
In that competition, he won a razor-thin 13-12 decision over Selby, who rose from a #10 seed in the competition to fight past the likes of Chatchai Butdee, Michael Conlan, Rau’shee Warren and Jasurbek Latipov in the semis before encountering Aloian.
Will that scenario play out again? Well, it is only one win away for both men. Selby, who is the brother of pro featherweight Lee Selby, won last year’s European Amateur Championships before his explosion onto the world stage. For his exploits, Selby went into the Olympics as the #1-rated flyweight with AIBA.
In the Olympic draw, however, those places were reversed. Aloian is the #1 seed, with Selby at #2. That doesn’t change the collision course they are on.
But first things first. Aloian must face Jayvier Cintron Ocasio, who has gotten through to this point by winning competitive decisions over Oteng Oteng of Botswana and Julian Henriques Neto of Brazil. Then it’s a possible meeting with Latipov in the semis. Aloian drew a first-round bye, then defeated Samir Brahimi of Algeria in the Round of 16.
Selby, by virtue of his second seeding, also drew a first-round bye. Then he was able to get by Ilyas Suleimenov of Kazakhstan in the Round of 16. In his Tuesday bout, Selby squares off against Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana of Cuba, who has scored wins over Katsuaki Susa of Japan and Chatchai Butdee of Thailand to get here.
The other quarterfinal matches feature the aforementioned Latipov, the fifth seed and #8 AIBA, taking on Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia, and sixth seed Michael Conlan of Ireland facing Nordine Oubaali of France, who eliminated Rau’shee Warren of the U.S. with a 19-18 upset in the last round.