Muslim Gadzhimagomedov of Russia defeated Soheb Bouafia of France ©IBA

Russian and Belarusian Olympic and world medallists progressed to the next round at the International Boxing Association (IBA) Men's World Boxing Championships here today.

Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Muslim Gadzhimagomedov of Russia faced Soheb Bouafia of France in the heavyweight category.

Gadzhimagomedov won the opening round with ease.

The 26-year-old threw two upper cuts and a combination of punches as Bouafia struggled.

He maintained the momentum until the end to win the bout 5-0 via unanimous decision.

Imam Khataev was the next Russian to register a win.

Pitted against Arjan Iseni of North Macedonia in the light heavyweight category, the Olympic bronze medallist in Japan, was following a defensive strategy.

But his timing with the punches was impeccable, earning crucial points.

Iseni, on the other hand, was not able to strike much as Khataev also won 5-0.   

For Belarus, world silver medallist Aliaksei Alfiorau started well against Otar Naveriani of Georgia in the light heavyweight class.

Aliaksei Alfiorau of Belarus, left, came out on top against Otar Naveriani of Georgia ©IBA
Aliaksei Alfiorau of Belarus, left, came out on top against Otar Naveriani of Georgia ©IBA

He took the first round 5-0 but had to work for the second, edging Naveriani 3-2.

While the 23-year-old looked like he lost the plot in the second round, underperforming and receiving blows from Naveriani, that was a one-off incident as he recovered brilliantly to win 5-0.

Cuban two-time Olympic champion Julio César La Cruz had an easy win over Džemal Bošnjak of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the heavyweight category.

La Cruz struck first and continued aggressively to seal the bout 5-0.

Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan, a world and Asian silver medallist, breezed past Abdoul-Karim Bathily of Mali in the featherweight category.

Temirzhanov executed the dodges perfectly, targeting the Malian's face.

He finished with some powerful blows to win the match 5-0 via unanimous decision.

Another heavyweight bout saw Lazizbek Mullojonov of Uzbekistan defeat Marlon Hurtado of Colombia.

Mullojonov, who is an Asian champion and also has a gold medal from the World Military Boxing Championships in 2021, managed to land couple of blows, helping him to win the first round 5-0.

Imam Khataev, left, was another Russian to win today ©IBA
Imam Khataev, left, was another Russian to win today ©IBA

He was more aggressive in the second, throwing punches from all angles.

The Uzbek boxer started round three cautiously and is doing a bob and weave to deceive his opponent.   

It worked brilliantly as he finished with a 5-0 unanimous decision win. 

World Championships silver medallist Keno Machado of Brazil took first round against Andrei Zaplitnîi of the Republic of Moldova in the same weight class.

As expected, Machado was cruising and executed the stick and move perfectly.

The Youth Olympic champion tricked Zaplitnîi with his smart movements, sealing a 5-0 unanimous decision victory. 

Uzbekistan also had a winner in the featherweight category.

World Championships silver medallist and Asian champion Abdumalik Khalokov defeated Keevin Allicock of Guyana.

Khalokov was a bob and weave specialist but also timed back-to-back blows on the face to take the first round 4-1.

The pace increased in the second round, with the Uzbek boxer being more aggressive.

He took the second round 5-0 and cornered Allicock in the third, bagging some points in the process and win the bout 5-0.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow with light welterweight, light middleweight and welterweight bouts scheduled.