Boxers to look out for at the London 2012 Olympic Games – Part II

London, Great Britain, 24 July 2012 – With just a few days to go until the biggest show on Earth gets underway in the British capital, we look at the men and women in each of the weight categories who can have a real impact at the London 2012 Olympic Games. In the second of this four part series, we examine the Light (60kg), Light Welter (64kg) and Welterweight (69kg) men.

Men Lightweight (60kg)

2008 Olympic Title holder: Alexey Tishchenko (RUS) 2011 AIBA World Champion: Vasyl Lomachenko (UKR)

It is hard to look beyond arguably the world’s best Olympic pound for pound boxer, Ukrainian superstar Vasyl Lomachenko (photo), for this one. After taking the Featherweight (57kg) gold in 2008, the last four years have geared up towards the London 2012 Olympic Games for the powerful 24-year-old. He was the leading light in Beijing where he took the Val Barker Trophy, awarded to the outstanding fighter in the whole tournament. Last year, he was crowned AIBA World Champion for a second time so many expect him to once again take centre stage. Cuba’s Yasnier Toledo Lopez will be the main challenger, along with Italy’s 2009 AIBA World Champion Domenico Valentino and Brazilian Robson Conceicao, who pushed Lomachenko all the way in the Round of 16 in Baku. Road to London II participant Evaldas Petrauskas from Lithuania created the sensation in 2011 when he took bronze in the Azeri capital and could have a major say in what happens in this weight category. Belarus’s elegant southpaw Vazgen Safaryants is a clever operator and can surprise a fair few. So if Lomachenko wants to take gold, he will not have it easy, guaranteed.

Lomachenko

Men Light Welterweight (64kg) 2008 Olympic Title holder: Félix Diaz (DOM) 2011 AIBA World Champion: Everton Dos Santos Lopes (BRA)

22-year-old Everton Dos Santos Lopez made history at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011 by becoming the first ever Brazilian to claim a boxing gold medal. The lightening-quick southpaw’s array of combination punches make him a fearsome opponent so he will be the one to look out for in London. Ukraine’s Denys Berinchyk made his big breakthrough last year and will be hungry for more success; he is also backed by the formidable national team coaching set-up so expect him to come out all guns blazing when the action gets underway. The experienced Cuban Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo took bronze in Beijing so will now be targeting the top of the podium this time around. Thomas Lee Stalker from Great Britain has always been a promising talent and there is no better time than to turn potential into medals when the Olympic Games are on your home soil. Kazak star Daniyar Yeleussinov looked calm and composed after taking first place at the AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event in Astana and could come of age in London. Puerto Rican 18-year-old Francisco Vargas Ramirez is one of the rising stars in this category and his style will cause a lot of problems for his rivals. Finally Sweden’s Anthony Yigit is also another who cannot be taken for granted.

Men Welterweight (69kg) 2008 Olympic Title holder: Bakhyt Sarsekbayev (KAZ) 2011 AIBA World Champion: Taras Shelestyuk (UKR)

The AIBA World Champion will be the man to beat in this category, the 26-year-old was part of the fearsome Ukraine team that topped the rankings in Baku and he will once again be one of the favourites for gold in London. But with so much talent set to take to the ring at the ExCeL, it promises to be completely unpredictable. Bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympic Games, Alexis Vastine knows that the XXX Olympiad in London is his last opportunity to take the top prize, he will have high hopes however after having built-up to these Games with the French team. Germany’s Patrick Wojcicki is an emerging talent with an extremely calm demeanour that could surprise a few. European Champion Freddie Evans is also primed to go all the way in London. AIBA Road to Dream program active participant Egidijus Kavaliauskas from Lithuania’s looks better and better every time he steps onto the canvas and his thunderous right hook could spell danger for his rivals. Ireland’s Adam Nolan announced his arrival on the international stage by taking first place at the AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event Trabzon 2012 and looked classy throughout so could be a dark horse in the British capital. One man who will certainly want to make an impact is 28-year-old Brazilian Myke Ribeiro De Carvalho who looked in tremendous form at the AIBA American Olympic Qualifying Event Rio 2012 where he won all his five fights to take the title. All eyes will be on fleet footed counterpuncher Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan, also recently signed up to APB, a double AIBA World Champion at Light Welterweight and silver medallist at the last edition in Baku, who has the know-how to go all the way.

Tomorrow we will have a look at the men in the Middle (75kg), Light Heavy (81kg), Heavy (91kg) and Super Heavyweight (+91kg) categories.

ИСТОЧНИК: BOXING NEWS 24