The opening day of the final Olympic qualifiers in Vargas, Venezuela didn’t go exactly as planned for professional boxers in front of 4,000 spectators at the Jose Maria Vargas Dome.
The tournament is open to prize fighters. If they meet the qualification standard in Latin America they can compete at next month’s Olympic Games for the first time in the history of the sport.
World Series of Boxing (WSB) and AIBA Pro Boxers (APB) fighters are also eligible for Vargas.
Yesterday’s action saw Serbian pro Geard Ajetovic drop a unanimous decision to WSB fighter Raul Sanchez of the Dominican Republic and Egypt’s APB super-heavy Ahmed Samir Abdelmoaz Hefny edge Aruba’s Evan Nedd on a split verdict.
Sanchez floored Ajetovic twice in the last round.
In the third and final bout on the program, Rostyslav Arkhypenko of the Ukraine beat Brandon Lynch of the USA in an all WSB super-heavy duel.
The St Anne’s bC light-welter needs to finish in the top three to qualify for Rio. If he wins tonight he’ll get two shots at Olympic qualification, as the finalists qualify automatically and the beaten semi-finalists box-off for third place.