Anthony Ogogo of Great Britain got things off to a good start for the home side in the 2012 London Olympics, scoring a 13-6 decision over Junior Castillo of the Dominican Republic to advance to the Round of 16.
Ogogo, a southpaw, is operating under a lot of pressure, since British compatriot James DeGale won a gold medal for his country in the 2008 Games in Beijing in this division. He got off to a slow start, but came on in the final two rounds.
Irishman Darren O’Neill, who took a silver medal at the European Amateur Championships back in 2010, got through to the next round by beating Muideen Akanji of Nigeria 15-8.
O’Neill actually had things pretty rough in the first round, and Akanji stayed well within range, going behind by only a 4-3 margin. O’Neill was a lot more successful in the second stanza, leading 12-5 with just three minutes to go, and then coasted to the win.
“I was happy enough,” he said in the post-fight interview. “He didn’t hit overly hard or anything. I was happy I was in control and I thought maybe in the second round I was unfortunate not to put him away. That’s boxing.”
Elsewhere in the first round of middleweight competition, Stefan Hartel of Germany beat Enrique Collazo Pelaiz of Puerto Rico by an 18-10 score and will be O’Neill’s next opponent; Mujandjae Kasuto of Namibia did not exhibit much offense, but got through to the Round of 16 with an 11-8 victory over Sobirdzhon Nazarov of Tajikstan, Zoltan Harcsa of Hungary got by Jose Espinoza Mena of Venezuela by a 16-13 count, and Soltan Migitinov of Azerbaijan beat Mohamed Hikal of Egypt 20-12.