All the action on the Road to Tokyo 2020
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Day 4 is the busiest day so far in Dakar, Senegal, with a total of 28 bouts scheduled over two sessions and two rings. Today marks the first time that some boxers will be having their second bouts as the dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer becomes a reality. It is also the first time we see some of the top seeds in action.
Most interesting bout of the day could be the middleweight clash in Ring A this afternoon between Rayton Okwiri, of Kenya, and David SSemujju, of Uganda. Okwiri went to the Olympics four years ago, where he believes he got a rough deal from the judges, having beaten a Russian in his first bout. He decided then to turn professional and won the African middleweight title, but is back, with the dream of standing on the podium at the Olympic Games still intact and a win already behind him in this tournament. This is the first time we will have seen SSemujju in Dakar, as he received a first-round bye as the No 1 seed. But after winning a silver medal at the Africa Games last year, a lot of hopes will be riding on him.
Also boxing for the first time today are the top two seeds in the men's flyweight division, Rajab Mahommed, of Botswana, the African Game gold medallist, and two-time Olympian Mohamed Flissi, of Algeria, as well as the men's lightweight top two seeds, Abdelhaq Nadir, of Morocco, and Richarno Colin, of Mauritius. Colin, an experienced campaigner, is up against an impressive slick young southpaw in Ben Haj Aouina Akrem, of Tunisia.
20 Feb - 15 Mar 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournaments
Dakar, Amman, London, Buenos Aires, Paris
That's the end of a long day of action from Dakar. Back tomorrow for sessions starting at 2pm and 6pm, with the first of the quarter-final bouts as the competitors mover closer to a place in Tokyo.
Wilfred Seyi-Ntsengue (Cameroon): "I come from a superior category 81kg and dropped to 75kg in two months to be here. That’s why you saw me training hard in a sweat suit. I was in Rio and I want to go back to the Olympics. My best moment was when I took silver at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and then last year I won the WBC Youth title. Before Cameroonians had problems with mastering the technique but we have improved on this and we are now there.
"Everything I do on the ring is because I want to be like my idol Floyd Mayweather."
David Tshama (DR Congo): "He head butted me and at some point and I got a cut above my eye. I was worried that they would stop the fight. I’m relieved I continued and showed what I can do on the ring. I am fighter from Katanga, Lubumbashi, so I fight on until I complete my mission."
Arena Pakela (Lesotho): "This bout was something else. I felt so exhausted, so tired. But I now know what to do, hard training because I want the gold medal here. I have seen the other fighters in my category and I know after the experience from Rabat where I finished fifth and the Africa zonal championship, that I won, I can do it. I just started boxing in 2015 as I liked combat as a kid. I did taekwondo."
Aly Abdelmonem, the No 2 seed from Egypt, bowed out of the middleweight event as he lost a narrow split decision to Mwenekabwe David Tshama, of the Democratic Reblic of Congo. Abdelmonem will regret a slow start, as he was tentative in the first round and was chasing the bout thereafter. Tshama has a race to be fit for the quarter-finals, which take place on Tuesday afternoon, as he suffered a nasty looking cut in the final round.
Wilfred Seyi-Ntsengue, of Cameroon, is not only a wildcard in the middleweight division but could be one of the best boxers in the tournament. A former Olympian and Commonwealth Games medal-winner. he moved to Canada to turn professional, building up an impressive unbeaten record in the process. His professional status means that he is unseeded in Dakar, but he had far too much for Bruno Menie Nzue Ndog, of Gabon, showing a dazzling mix of punches to win every round on each of the judges' scorecards. Seyi-Ntsengue then celebrated the win with a backward somersault.
Richarno Colin (Mauritius): "It looked easy but it wasn’t easy and that’s what happens in a good fight. My tactics was not so clear. I didn’t give him a good distance, but now I know what I am going to do against the Algerian in my next fight. I don’t know much about him, but I will be ready for him."
Brendon Denes (Zimbabwe): "Today was slow, it wasn’t my best. But you know when you play some games go like this. I wanted a knockout. After the African Games silver in Rabat, if I can have some good fights here it will be good for me and a great development in my career after years of boxing. I started boxing when I was seven and I’m now 24."
Abubakari Quartey and Raul Obama Mangue battled each other to an absolute standstill in their middleweight clash. Quartey, of Ghana, seemed out on his feet at the end of the second round, but somehow found a big left hook to force a standing count early in the third, only for Obama Mangue, the No 3 seed from Equatorial Guinea, to fire back as they finished up going toe-to-toe at the final bell. Obama Mangue got the verdict via a 3-2 split decision sparking big celebrations in his corner.
It was all more straightforward for Arena Pakela, of Lesotho, who beat Mdahoma Mohamed, of Comoros, on points.
The experienced Richarno Colin produced the moments of class when he needed to earn a points decision over Akrem Ben Haj Aouina, of Tunisia. Colin, the No 2 lightweight seed from Mauritius, started best and claimed the third round on all three cards to secure the win.
In the other lightweight bout, Brendon Denes, of Zimbabwe, was a unanimous points decision winner over 18-year-old Harvey Mkacha, of Malawi.
Tetteh Sulemanu (Ghana): "It wasn’t very easy. He’s good. In the first round I saw that we were equal and maybe I could have been losing. So the coaches told me this and I worked on overcoming him in the second round. In two and three I knew I had it, I really thank God for this win."
Abdelli Yahia, Algeria's lightweight, survived a difficult start and a visit to the doctor, due to swelling around an eye, before closing out a good win against Kabo Seitshiro, of Botswana, to earn his nation another quarter-final spot. It wasn't overly impressive, but is was a good solid display.
Chaymae Rhaddi (Morocco): "It’s good when you are able to execute all what you trained for in the ring. This is what I did in my first bout, which honestly was more of an acclimatization bout. I am still struggling to settle as weather is too hot and we are not used to fighting in these conditions. I have done my bit in Morocco, I have been the national champion and came close to winning the gold at home at the African Games. This could my year to break out."
Fiston Mulumba, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, could be one to watch in the lightweight division, as the No 3 seed prived a bit too strong and aggressive for Guinea's Ibrahima Diallo. The young Belgium-based boxer struggle to gain a foothold against Mulumba who ran out a comfortable points winner.
There was a tough introduction for Mohamed Flissi, the experienced No 2 seed from Algeria, who was made to work for everything against Doudou Ilunga Kabange, of the Democratic Republic of Congo, before getting through on a split decision. Flissi, who has already boxed at two Olympic Games, was also grateful for a point deduction against Ilunga Kabange. He will need to improve to qualify and faces Nestor Thomas next.
After losing the first round on four of the judges; scorecards, Nsabezinhie Phiri, of Zimbabwe, came firing back against Omar Jumale, of Somalia, forcing a standing count in the second round after landing a big uppercut and then keeping the pressure on in the third to secure a unanimous points decision.
Christine Ongare (Kenya): "It is a good start for me, as I look to qualify for the Olympics for the second time after making the quarter finals at the last qualifiers in Cameroon. The weather here is too heavy for us, so when you can get a winning start it’s nice.
"The draw always pits me against taller boxers, who seem to bring out the best in me. I always win against taller boxers and not those within my reach. I have been boxing for 10 years after switching from football, where I played as a striker. I hope it pays off here."
On to the men and a flyweight contest between the No 3 seed, Shaffi Hassan, of Kenya, and Tetteh Sulemanu, of Ghana, which starts at a furious pace. Hassan looks the tighter defensively and the Ghanaian is forced to take a standing count, despite complaining about a low blow in the first round. But after another close second round, Sulemanu finishes well and the Ghanaian, who boxed at London 2012, goes on to grab a split decision victory. The No 3 seed is out.
After allowing Nestor Thomas to dictate the pace in the first round, Miguel Kembo, of Angola, came flying out at the start of the second to pin Thomas in a corner, landing some clumping hooks over the top, although his work is given scant acknowledgement by the judges, four of whom have the Namibian two rounds ahead after two rounds. Thomas goes on the claim a unanimous points decision.
Chaymae Rhaddi, of Morocco, is in total charge against Marie Noel Diarra, of Mali. She forces one standing count in the first round and two more in the second, but still decides to mix it in the third round, Diarra emerging with plenty of credit despite her thankless task, although one final onslaught allows Rhaddi to force the stoppage with 20 seconds remaining.
Mark the name - Imane Khelif. In as close to a mismatch as we have seen this week, 20-year-old Imane Khelif looks a serious talent in an Algerian team full of good boxers. She landed at will against Rebecca Among, of Uganda, in their lightweight match, dominating with a classy left jab, stepping in with one-twos and. by midway through the second round, she was turning on the style, mixing in hooks and uppercuts. With the win in the bag, Khelif boxed on the move in the third round, running out a very easy winner on points.
Two women's flyweight contests to start the evening and it not hard to be impressed by the jab and move style of Agerie Emagnu Bayew, of Ethiopia, as she picks apart Benilde Macringue, of Mozambique. Macringue tries to push forward, but is met by the blue gloves of the Ethiopian, who even switches southpaw at one point. Macringue finally has some success in the dying seconds of second round, as she lands a big left hand to catch the eyes of the judges. It inspires Macringue, who is all of a sudden cutting down the distance in the final round, as the Ethiopian's corner implore her to come forward. It looks a tight finish, but Macringue wins a split points decision.
Over in Ring B, it is a much more scrappy affair between Christine Ongare, of Kenya, and Ornella Havyarimana, of Burundi, although Ongare seems to carry the more power and she lands well to give Havyarimana a standing count. In the third, both punch each other to a standstill, but Ongare is a clear points winner.
Not a full house by any means at Dakar Arena, but there is plenty of bright colours in the crowd for the evening session
4.25: OK. Time for a break. Back at 6pm. In the meantime, maybe get a nap, like Rebecca Among, the Uganda lightweight, who is second on in Ring A tonight.
David Ssemujju (Uganda): "I was really fit enough for this fight. I heard the guy is from pro and has come back. So I did what I had to do and won. Me I am called the animal, I don’t mind so whoever comes my way I just smash him down. They gave me that name at the African Games in Rabat where I got silver. This fight shows you where I am going because after the Olympics I want to turn pro."
Younes Nemouchi (Algeria): "You know what I feel this is my second chance. I was not meant to be here. I was a reserve. I was only included in the team because the first pick got sick. So I think I am here for a reason. I was at the World championships, I won against a Slovenian and lost my second fight against a Cuban Olympic champion [Arlen Lopez].
"I have been the Algerian champion many times so what’s remaining is to wear the nation’s flag at the Olympics."
Jonas Jonas (Namibia): "It was easy and I had a lot of advantage and I’m well prepared for this as well. My target here is just to get the gold, and everything else falls in place, the ticket to Tokyo. My body feels right, very much it’s at 110%!"
Rajab Mahommed (Botswana): "It was a good game even though the body wasn’t responding the way I wanted. I planned to go hard from the start. I wanted a quick target that’s why I sent him down. For my next fight I want to go more than what I have done today. I want to go through to the finals."
The last bout of the afternoon session proves another spectacular one as Anas Ezzerrifi Amrani, of Morocco, overcomes a difficult first round, to knock down Temesgen Mitiku Neka, of Ethiopia, three times in the second round to force the stoppage. It almost all went wrong for Ezzerrifi Amrani in the first round, as his gumshield came out and he stopped boxing, leaving himself an open target for Mitiku Neka. A devastating right put the Ethiopian over in the second, though, and a hurt Mitiku Neka was soon over again. As Ezzerrifi Amrani went for the finish, he walked into a massive left hook, but survived it well to score the third knockdown in the round for the automatic stoppage.
Juliano Maquina (Mozambique): "To come here and beat a boxer from Tunisia is a big deal for me. Tunisia is a developed country in terms of sports , boxing. You could see he made a lot of effort, but I knew the right time to hit him. I have not been to the Olympics since London. Between 2012 and 2016, I had some problems that weighed me down, few competitions, and restarted after 2016 and now I am here chasing for Tokyo."
It was set up as the bout of the tournament so far and David SSemujji and Rayton Okwiri go right to it as the pair go toe to toe form the opening bell, with SSemujji, the No 1 middleweight seed from Uganda, on the front foot and Kenya's Okwiri meeting him on the way in. In round two, just as it seems Okwiri is getting on top, SSemujji fires back with a big uppercut. But after two rounds, it is the Kenyan who is in front of the scorecards - three judges gave him the first round, four the second - and SSemujji goes flat out in the last to try and turn things around.
Okwiri, who boxed at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 before turning professional, will give no ground, however, and launches a relentless body assault in the final minute and raises his right arm at the final bell.
Somehow, though, the judges have gone with SSemujji. The No 1 seed goes through on a split decision.
We haven't seen much of the Algerians so far, but what we have has been good. Younes Nemouchi, the middleweight, looks another impressive performer as he rides a couple of early shots from Eduardo Daniel, of Angola, to take charge. By round two, Nemouchi is confident enough to drop his hands, landing straight shots from distance as Daniel swings away in hope of landing a big haymaker. It's not coming and Nemouchi completes a one-sided win.
Over in Ring A, Qhobosheane Mohlerepe, of Lesotho, books his place in the lightweight quarter-finals with a pojnts win over Clinton Ndjinga, of Gabon.
Abdul Wahid Omar (Ghana): "I have won, I hope for more and more. I am coming here to win. He was a good boxer, very tactical and experienced and he gave me a good show, I appreciate him. Because of Tokyo I am here. I mean it!"
Two lightweight seeds in the ring at the same time and they are both handing out boxing lessons to their opponents. In Ring A, Abdelhaq Nadir is taking a risk-free approach, staying tight and pushing Yasin Adnan, of Uganda, onto the back foot. In Ring B, Jonas Jonas, the experienced Namibian, is turning on the style against Alex Isendi, of Tanzania, boxing in retreat and picking his way through Isendi's defences at will.
After losing the first two rounds, Adnan charges across the ring to land a left hook at the start of the third, but Nadir, from Morocco, is experienced enough to see this out, offering very little target and keeping the pressure on to secure an unanimous points decision.
Jonas continues with his target practice against Isendi as he coasts to victory and books a quarter-final with Abdul Wahid Omar.
Abdul Wahid Omar takes advantage of a big size advantage over Carlos Alberto Mucamba, of Mozambique, to win a unanimous decision and advance to the last eight in the lightweight division. Mucamba was head-down and aggressive throughout, but while it was never comfortable for Omar, who is Ghana's best hope here, he stays on track for a place in Tokyo.
The action continues relentlessly. In Ring A, flyweights Juliano Maquina, of Mozambique, and Bilel Boughanmi, of Tunisia, are boxing for the right to face the No 1 seed Rajab Mahommed. It is Maquina who comes out on top, with a unanimous points victory after coping well with Boughanmi's front-foot style.
Ethiopia have another promising youngster in Dawit Bekele, a 19-year-old, who lived up to his status as the No 4 seed at flyweight with a smart unanimous points decision over the experience Mick Makamou Mayelet, of Gabon. Bekele is through to the quarter-finals where he will face another 19-year-old in Patrick Chinyemba in what could be a fascinating encounter.
Rajab Mahommed, the No 1 seed at flyweight from Botswana, is battering Said Mortaji, of Morocco, but seemingly getting no credit for it from the referee, who does not even count the most blatant of knockdowns, when Mortaji is knocked flat on his back by a right hand. He then rocks Mortaji with a right and the referee ticks him off for supposedly punching with the inside of the glove. One judge even gives the round to the outgunned Moroccan.
The onslaught continues in round two, where Mortaji is repeatedly rocked, although there is no standing count. Mortaji is giving is a go in the third round, but there is no denying Mahommed, who moves into the quarter-finals with a unanimous points decision
Right at the bell to end round one, Amel Chebbi lands a right hook that sends Lethabo Bokamoso Modukanele to the canvas, although it is ruled a slip. But it is closely-contested stuff. Modukanele swarms all over Chebbi in the second round and continues to press the pace in the final round to win a unanimous decision.
It is also close in Ring B, where Patrick Chinyemba, of Zambia, ups the pace after losing the first round to David De Pina, of Cape Verde. Chinyemba is pressing the pace, while De Pina is having some success picking his shots on the back foot. But a storming last round by the Zambian earns him the verdict by a 3-2 split decision.
And we are underway with action in the flyweight division. In Ring A, there is a women's bout between Amel Chebbi, of Tunisia, and Lethabo Bokamoso Modukanele, of Botswana, while in Ring B there is a men's bout between Patrick Chinyemba, of Zambia, who was the star of Day 1 in Dakar, and David De Pina, of Cape Verde.
We are one bout down in Ring B this afternoon as Foday Badjie, of Gambia, failed to make weight. It means that Jean Luc Rosalba, of Mauritius, who received a bye in the first round, now has a walkover to the quarter-finals, meaning he will only have to win two bouts to ensure himself of a place in Tokyo. It just shows how important the draw can be at events like this.
Here's a short film with Rayton Okwiri, Kenya's middleweight who has turned his back on the professional ranks to aim for another Olympic Games.
Mohamed Flissi, one of Algeria's most experienced campaigners, starts his campaign to reach another Olympic Games today.
After his win on Friday, Abdul Wahid Omar, Ghana's lightweight hope is back in action this afternoon against Carlos Alberto MUCAMBA, of Mozambique.
Bout 45 – Women's Fly (48-51kg)
Amel CHEBBI (Tunisia) v MODUKANELE LETHABO BOKAMOSO (Botswana)
Bout 46 – Men's Fly (48-52kg)
Rajab Otukile MAHOMMED (Botswana) v Said MORTAJI (Morocco)
Bout 47 - Men's Fly (48-52kg)
Juliano Fernando Gento MAQUINA (Mozambique) v Bilel BOUGHANMI (Tunisia)
Bout 48 - Men’s Light (57-63kg)
Abdelhaq NADIR (Morocco) v Yasin ADNAN (Uganda)
Bout 49 - Men’s Light (57-63kg)
Clinton Farlo NDJINGA (Gabon) v Qhobosheane MOHLEREPE (Lesotho)
Bout 50 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
Kavuma David SSEMUJJU (Uganda) v OKWIRI RAYTON NDUKU (Kenya)
Bout 51 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
EZZERRIFI AMRANI ANAS (Morocco) v Temesgen MITIKU NEKA (Ethiopia)
Bout 52 – Men's Fly (48-52kg)
David Daniel DE PINA (Cape Verde) v Patrick CHINYEMBA (Zambia)
Bout 53 – Men's Fly (48-52kg)
Mick MIKAMOU MAYELET (Gabon) v Dawit BEKELE WIBSHET (Ethiopia)
Bout 54 - Men's Light (57-63kg)
Carlos Alberto MUCAMBA (Mozambique) v Abdul Wahib OMAR (Ghana)
Bout 55 - Men’s Light (57-63kg)
Alex Michael ISENDI (Tanzania) v Jonas JONAS (Namibia)
Bout 56 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
Jean Luc David ROSALBA (Mauritius) v BADJIE FODAY BANGURA (Gambia)
Bout 57 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
Eduardo Zola DANIEL (Angola) v Younes NEMOUCHI (Algeria)
Bout 58 – Women's Fly (48-51kg)
MACRINGUE BENILDE REGINA FERNANDO (Mozambique) v Agerie EMAGNU BAYEW (Ethiopia)
Bout 59 – Women's Light (57-60kg)
Imane KHELIF (Algeria) v Rebecca Israel AMONG (Uganda)
Bout 60 - Men's Fly (48-52kg)
HASSAN SHAFFI BAKARI (Kenya) v SULEMANU TETTEH (Ghana)
Bout 61 - Men's Fly (48-52kg)
Omar Abdi Ali JUMALE (Somalia) v Ndabezinhle Petros PHIRI (Zimbabwe)
Bout 62 - Men’s Light (57-63kg)
MBAYA MULUMBA FISTON (Democratic Republic of the Congo) v Ibrahima Bea Jr DIALLO (Guinea)
Bout 63 - Men’s Light (57-63kg)
Brendon DENES (Zimbabwe) v Harvey MKACHA (Malawi)
Bout 64 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
Raul Abaga OBAMA MANGUE (Equatorial Guinea) v Abubakari Kwasi QUARTEY (Ghana)
Bout 65 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
Dieudonne Wilfred SEYI NTSENGUE (Cameroon) v Bruno MENIE NZUE NDOG (Gabon)
Bout 66 – Women's Fly (48-51kg)
Christine ONGARE (Kenya) v Ornella HAVYARIMANA (Burundi)
Bout 67 – Women's Light (57-60kg)
Marie Noel DIARRA (Mali) v Chaymae RHADDI (Morocco)
Bout 68 - Men's Fly (48-52kg)
Miguel KEMBO (Angola) v Nestor Nashihanga Mekondj THOMAS (Namibia)
Bout 69 - Men's Fly (48-52kg)
Doudou ILUNGA KABANGE (Democratic Republic of the Congo) v Mohamed FLISSI (Algeria)
Bout 70 - Men’s Light (57-63kg)
SEITSHIRO KABO COLLEN (Botswana) v Yahia ABDELLI (Algeria)
Bout 71 - Men’s Light (57-63kg)
Akrem BEN HAJ AOUINA (Tunisia) v Louis Richarno COLIN (Mauritius)
Bout 72 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
Arena PAKELA (Lesotho) v MOHAMED MDAHOM (Comoros)
Bout 73 - Men’s Middle (69-75kg)
David TSHAMA MWENEKABWE (Democratic Republic of the Congo) v HOSAM ALY ABDELMONEM ALY (Egypt)
There are 33 places at the Tokyo Olympics available in Dakar – 22 for men and 11 for women.
Any boxer who reaches the final is guaranteed an Olympic place.
In addition, in six male weight categories (flyweight to light-heavyweight) as well as one female division (flyweight) there will be a third qualification spot available. This will be decided by a box-off between the two losing semi-finalists.
There will be one more chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the final world qualifying event in Paris in May.