Olympic Light Welterweights: Rahmonov Overcomes Frustration, Coasts to Win Over Sener
Uktamjon Rahmonov of Uzbekistan continued his winning ways in the Olympic light welterweight competition with a 16-8 decision win over Yakup Sener of Turkey in a bout that was a little trickier than the score indicated.
Rahmonov, who scored a 16-10 win over Ecuador’s Anderson Rojas Mina in the opening round, may not have anticipated the problems he would have just getting through the guard of Sener, who was a 19-10 victor over a confused Serge Ambono of Cameroon in his first round bout.
But that is just what happened. Sener employs something of a “peek-a-boo” style, holding his hands up to his face and daring the opponent to either force shots through or attack the body. And he was the shorter man on top of it, which gave Rahmonov less opportunity to go downstairs. The result of the frustration was a 5-5 first round.
One of the difficulties with Sener’s approach, however, is that he isn’t able to generate a whole lot of offense. And that was something of an undoing for him in the second round, as he landed almost nothing, while Rahmonov got busier. Something seemed to be wrong with Sener’s legs; he appeared to get pushed down a couple of times without much impetus, and finally Rahmonov, the rangy southpaw, put him tot he canvas with a body shot. From there it was pretty easy. The scores were 7-1 in the second round and 4-2 in the third, giving Rahmonov a 16-8 points verdict. At the end Sener knew he was not nearly active enough, and slammed his headgear to the canvas.
Next up for Rahmonov is going to be a different challenge, as he encounters a tall southpaw like him, and one who can punch – Roniel Iglesias of Cuba, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. The winner of that bout will be guaranteed a medal, and will be in line to face the winner of another quarterfinal bout between Vincenzo Mangiacapre of Italy and Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan.