Rogen Ladon’s remarkable World Championship campaign finally came to an end on Sunday night as Russia, Uzbekistan and Cuba saw three boxers go through to Wednesday’s finals. Ladon lost an incredibly close opening contest with fellow southpaw Vasilii Egorov, who will now face Joahnys Argilagos in the light flyweight final after the Cuban defeated Ukraine’s Dmytro Zamotaev.
Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev got through a bruising but brilliant encounter with India’s Shiva Thapa, followed by an equally engrossing bout between Ireland’s Michael Conlan and Belarusian Dzmitry Asanau. The two well-matched boxers playing their part in another exquisite semi-final, with Conlan’s greater mobility and swift counters taking him through to meet the Akhmadaliev.
“I’m really looking forward to the final now. The lads told me I needed to win the third round and I was confident. I kept my cool and held by patience, I didn’t panic. I just knew I had to keep to my game plan because he [Asanau] was going to fold – he’s only a young lad,” said Conlan after the bout.
The middleweight battle between Arlen Lopez and Egypt’s Hosam Abdin was decided by the Cuban’s more accurate punching, underlining his value to a team he only joined in 2014. Michael O’Reilly’s highly anticipated bout against Bektemir Melikuziev lived up to the billing, with remarkable agility from both corners providing the standout match of the day that the Uzbekistan boxer edged.
In the heavyweight category, Cuba’s WSB giant Erislandy Savon looked every bit the world beater against Azerbaijan’s Abdulkadir Abdulllayev, but he will have his work cut out to defeat the statuesque Evgeny Tishchenko and claim gold on Wednesday. The efficient Russian was ruthless against Ukrainian Gevorg Manukian in the final bout of the evening, and now has 48 hours to recover ahead of the gold-medal match.