London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Robeisy Ramírez moved a step closer to the quarter-finals of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Open Boxing World Olympic Qualification tournament in Baku after a straightforward victory over Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Malabekov.
Ramírez moved up a weight division following his Olympic success in the flyweight ranks, but showed his ability throughout his under 56 kilogram bantamweight contest with Malabekov, an Asian Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist.
The Cuban fighter, who spent six months off his country’s team in 2014 over concerns about his physical fitness, controlled the contest throughout and was eventually give a unanimous victory by the three judges, who all scored the tie 30-27.
Ramírez will now seek to claim a quarter-final spot when he faces Jordan’s Mohammad Abdelaziz Mohamm Alwadi, who was a unanimous points winner against Lin Sheng-Ling of Chinese Taipei.
Home fans were treated to a victory for their rising star Rufat Huseynov, as the Azeri fighter delivered a composed display in the men’s 46 to 49kg light flyweight division, facing Chinese Taipei’s Tu Po-Wei.
The 19-year-old, who won gold at the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, was awarded all three rounds by the judges.
Two of the officials scored the fight 30-27 in the favour of the 2015 European Confederation Boxing Championship bronze medallist, while the third gave Huseynov the verdict by a 29-28 margin.
Huseynov, the third seed, will now take on Zouhir El Bekkali in the quarter-finals, after the Moroccan earned a unanimous points win over Thailand’s Kaeo Pongprayoon.
India’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Devendro Singh Laishram also progressed into the last eight of the light flyweight event.
Devendro, who was eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the London 2012 Olympic Games, defeated Argentina's Leandro Blanc on all three judges’ scorecards.
"Devendro used his right straights and left hook punches in brilliant combination,” Indian national team coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told the Press Trust of India.
“His uppercut was also very good and precise.
“He was brilliant in all three rounds and won the bout unanimously.”
The victory put him on the brink of claiming a Rio 2016 berth, with the top five boxers at flyweight, bantamweight, lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight all receiving places.
In addition two spots are available at light heavyweight, with only the winners in Baku progressing at heavyweight and super heavyweight.