The 2012 Olympics boxing competition began on Saturday, July 28. With up to 32 fighters in each division, it's a long journey from the opening rounds to the medal stands, however, Team USA got things going in the right direction.
All four of the USA men's boxers who were in action over the opening weekend of the London Olympics won their matches -- Joseph Diaz Jr., Terrell Gausha, Jose Ramirez and Errol Spence.
First up was Bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr. Diaz scored a wide, controlling decision victory over Ukrainian boxer Pavlo Ischenko. Diaz is in much tougher for his next bout, however, as he's slated to face Cuba's Lazaro Alvarez, the reigning World Champion.
In the fight that stole the spotlight of the opening weekend, Middleweight Terrell Gausha scored a huge stoppage win over Andranik Hakobyan. This was a back and forth slugfest, but Gausha pulled it out by flooring Hakobyan twice, first with a big right, then with a left after a standing eight count, which led to the referee waving off the contest.
The action continued on Sunday when Lightweight Jose Ramirez got past Frenchman Rachid Azzedine. Ramirez only narrowly escaped on the scorecards, winning 21-20, however, it appeared that he was in control throughout the bout.
In what was perhaps the most impressive display for Team USA over the opening weekend, Errol Spence took Brazil's Mike Ribeiro de Carvalho to task, winning a clear 16-10 verdict. Spence showcased a technically sound attack against his much taller opponent, and kept him on the defensive with his crisp, thudding shots to the head and body.
Next up for Team USA Boxing is Light Heavyweight Marcus Browne on Monday. He faces tough Australian Damien Hooper to begin the tournament.
On Tuesday, team captain Jamel Herring, a Light Welterweight is in action, and on Wednesday, Heavyweight Michael Hunter and Super Heavyweight Dominic Breazeale take to the ring. Flyweight Rau'shee Warren fights on Friday, after receiving an opening round bye in the division.
Sources: AIBA.org, Olympic boxing results on ProBoxing-Fans
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Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, including a complete guide to the London 2012 Olympic Boxing competition, as well as exclusive stories and special features on the Games at the site.
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