Boxing Olympic Qualification – London | Day 1 As It Happened

All the action and highlights from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic boxing qualifiers are live on Olympic Channel on Saturday 14th March. 

By Ron Lewis ·

Welcome to London! - Day 1.

A total of 342 boxers representing 43 nations have entered the London qualifier, plus two stateless refugee boxers.

There are 77 places in Tokyo up for grabs, 50 for men, 27 for women. The large number of places means that in many divisions boxers only have to reach the quarter-finals to earn their Olympic spot.

The action is taking place in the Copper Box, in what is now known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. Once an industrial wasteland, this was converted for the 2012 Olympic Games into the main hub of venues for the Games, including the main stadium, the aquatics centre, velodrome, hockey centre, as well as two temporary structures for basketball and water polo. The Copper Box was build as the handball venue and is largely unchanged since then.

The main arena is divided into two. One half is the competition venue, with two rings, The other half is made up of a gym for boxers, including four rings.

You can watch all the live action right here at

All times are UTC/GMT.

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20 Feb - 15 Mar 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournaments

Dakar, Amman, London, Buenos Aires, Paris

8.40: End of Day 1

That's it for Day 1 and it all looks on track for a full day of action tomorrow. There are a monster 50 bouts on Sunday scheduled. It all starts again at the Copper Box at noon (GMT).

8.20: Veriasov dominates

So, the final bout of Day 1 in London see a super-heavyweight clash between Ivan Veriasov, of Russia, and 21-year-old Spaniard Ayoub Aissaioui. The Russia is just a bit too experienced for Aissaioui and takes every round on all five judges' cards for a comfortable unanimous points decision.

8.05 Zeneli through

In the final featherweight bout, Krenar Zeneli, of Albania, was a points winner over Dorin Bucsa, of Moldova.

8.0 Russo withdraws

We are denied our big super-heavyweight fight of the night as Clemente Russo, the two-time Olympic silver medallist from Italy, has withdrawn, handing Great Britain's Frazer Clarke a walkover. Clarke faces No 2 seed Marko Milun, from Croatia, in the next round.

Russo's coach has cited an abdominal problem.

Anton Charnamaz lands a right on Hamsat Shadalov

7.55: Shadalov runs to victory

Still at featherweight, Anton Charnamaz, of Belarus, ducked and weaved and moved in his attempt to avoid the jab of the rapidly retreating Hamsat Shadalov, of Germany. By the third it had descended into a scrappy affair, with Charnamaz chasing and the German reluctant to hold his feet or get into range. There wasn't much success by the Belarussian and he had a point deducted in the final round for use of the head. Shadalov claimed a split points decision but he is unlikely to get much further.

7.45: Brotons onslaught

Jose Quiles Brotons, of Spain, seemed ti stray close to the rules in his attempts to close his height disadvantage against Nik Nikolov Veber, of Slovenia, but Brotons's hard work paid off as he took the final round on four of the judges' cards to earn a split points decision.

In an edgy, close encounter, the right southpaw jab of Viliam Tanko, of Slovakia, just about gave him the edge in his featherweight encounter with Artyush Gomtsyan, of Georgia, Tanko claiming a split points decision.

Albert Batyrgaziev, left, impresses

7.30: Batyrgaziev wins by stoppage

Russia's Albert Batyrgaziev looks a handful at featherweight. He gave Serbia's Nemanja Gavrilovic a torrid time, picking him off from the outside and then bashing him up in the second. A brutal left hook to the body almost bent the Serbian in half leading to a standing count and another series of lefts forced the stoppage at the end of the second round.

Meanhwhile, Artur Bazeyan, of Armenia, got the better of Poland's Maciej Jozwik, claiming a unanimous points decision.

Baluhan Ciftci lands a left jab against Zakaria Bouhdi

7.15: Saliev settles it

At flyweight, Rasul Saliev, of Russia, stopped Jakub Slominski, of Poland, in the second round to earn a bout with Galal Yafai, of Great Britain, on Monday that will decide a qualification place.

Slominski started well enough, putting pressure on the Russian before he walked into a big left hook late in the first that dropped him on his back.

It was was a similar story in round two, as Slominski took the action right to Saliev, swarming all over him, until a booming left hook sent to Pole staggering back and to the floor. The referee stopped the bout as he rose.

Also at flyweight, Baluhan Ciftci, of Turkey, showed some nice moves as he edged a split points decision against Zakaria Bouhdi, of Belgium.

7.05: Touba scraps through

On paper, one of the bouts of the night had looked like the men's flyweight encounter between Manuel Cappai, of Italy, and Hamza Touba, of Germany, but it descended into a scrappy encounter, with too much holding and not enough clean work. Rouba, the more elusive boxer, was handed a split points decision that no one could really complain about.

Gustafsson, right, was a comfortable winner

7.00 Gustafsson wins

In a women's welterweight clash that was low on quality, Elini Orvokki Gustafsson, of Finland, was well on top against Aleksandra Rapaic, of Serbia, whose lack of footwork often got her into trouble. Rapaic also struggled after suffering a bloody nose in the second round, in which she also received a standing count. Gustafsson won a clear unanimous decision.

Heijnen: If I get 100 per cent, I can qualify in Paris

Chelsey Heijnen (Netherlands): "I started badly, but I was able to exchange in the second round and in the third round I did well. It wasn’t enough to get the decision, but I was glad I did well in the last round because it shows I am progressing. Normally, if I do badly in the first round, things just get worse. I was 85 per cent here because of my shoulder injury. I hadn’t trained for eight weeks. Now I have to get as fit as possible and ready for Paris. I really need the six weeks to get ready."

Aneta Rygielska, right, impresses

Rygielska: I've got to stay calm

Aneta Rygielska (Poland): "I feel very good in the fight. I’ve got to keep the distance and stay calm."

6.45 Rygielska delights

Up to lightweight for the women and Aneta Rygielska earned a second-round bout with Ireland's No 2 seed Kellie Harrington, as she outboxed of Cristina-Paula Cosma, of Romania. It was impressive stuff from the Pole who did as she pleased with Cosma, winning every round on all three scorecards, with two judges even scoring it 30-25.

Over to Ring A, Kata Pribojszki, of Hungary, claimed a split decision over Chelsey Helijnen, of the Netherlands, Pribojszki, who had worked hard throughout, shedding some tears as her hand was raised.

6.30 Sorrentino through

In the final two women's flyweight bouts of the session, Ursula Gottlob, of Germany, spent three rounds chasing after Giordana Sorrentino, of Italy, with minimal success. The Italian always looked in cruise control as she eased through to the next round with a wide unanimous points decision - one judge scoring it 29-28, three 30-27 and one 30-26.

Meanwhile, in Ring A, Bulgaria's Stoyka Krasteva claimed a unanimous points decision over Aikaterini Koutsogeorgopoulou, of Greece.

6.20: Spanish success

Over in Ring A, Marian Gonzalez Caceres, of Spain, shows some nice foot movement and a decent left hand to stay a step ahead of Tamara Tarnoczy, of Hungary, in their flyweight bout, as she claims a unanimous points decision. Gonzalez Caceres claimed all three rounds from four od the five judges.

6.15: Kob in a hurry

Lightning start by Tetiana Kob in her flyweight bout with Anakhanim Aghayeva, of Azerbaijan. Kob, from Ukraine, tears across the ring at a fierce pace and Aghayeva just can't keep her off. Blow after blow rains in and, with 45 seconds to go in the first, the referee gives Aghayeva a standing count. The same pattern continues in the second round, as the referee issues another standing count, barely 20 seconds into the round and with 61 seconds gone, and Aghayeva under pressure in a corner, the referee stops it. Kob celebrates having her hand raised by doing the splits.

6.00 One down

Iulia Coroli, of Moldova, who was supposed to be facing Eliana Pileggi, of Switzerland, in the opening women's flyweight bout in Ring B, has withdrawn, so Pileggi gets a walkover,

Action inside the Copper Box

5.35: Session 2 forthcoming

Just under 30 minutes to go until the start of the evening session of Day 1 in London. The biggest story of the afternoon session was the defeat of Delfine Persoon, the former WBC lightweight champion, to 22-year-old Greek boxer Nikoleta Pita.

This was just the type of bout that the naysayers said should not be allowed, experienced professionals against much younger and less experienced amateurs. Yet Persoon fell into the trap that many professionals do, by starting too slow. She lost the first two rounds on every judges' card, so was left chasing an unlikely knockout in the last. She looked upset at the decision and walked straight through the mixed zone without stopping to chat to anyone, but she was the first big name beaten.

2:15 Blast from the past – Oleksandr Usyk

So that’s the end of the afternoon session. Back at 6pm. In the meantime, here is the first of out Blasts From The Past, featuring action from past Olympics. Today goes back to 2012 and just up the road from here at the ExCeL. This is the heavyweight final featuring the one and only Oleksandr Usyk against Clemente Russo, of Italy. Russo is in action later today, against Frazer Clarke, of Great Britain.

Oleksandr Usyk wins London 2012 heavyweight gold

Stylish Ukrainian Usyk showed the world what he was capable of at London 20...

Morten Givskov, right, beats Daniel Burciu

2.10: Rogava dominant

No messing around from Tsotne Rogava, the super-heavyweight from Ukraine, who sets about the giant Algirdas Baniulis, of Lithania, from the start cutting him down to size, with a series of brutal body shots. Baniulis takes two counts in the opening round, both times from left hooks to the body and the Ukrainian lands a good left hook to the head too.

There is a bit more success for Baniulis in the second round, but Rogava tucks up and tends to get through whenever the Lithuanian comes into range. A dominant third-round display ensures an easy unanimous decision for Rogava.

The other super-heavyweight bout, between Daniel Burciu, of Romania, and Morten Givskov, of Denmark, developed into a cagey affair. Burciu tended to press forward, Givskov, a southpaw, tried to pick him off as he did. Givskov did enough to claim a unanimous points decision.

1.55 Vreme scraps to win

A scrappy middleweight affair between Besart Pireva, of Kosova, and Andrei Vreme, of Moldova. Vreme is aggressive and a bit wild, Pireva is a neater boxer but tends to leave his head in the air. It is a real case of what the judges like, but Vreme's aggression gets the nod by a split points decision.

1.50: Pita: I'm a little bit proud

Nikoleta Pita (Greece) after beating Delfine Persoon: I feel very well, tired a little bit but proud also and ready to keep to going for the next fight and I’m very happy for that.”

1.50 Shakhsuvarly in charge

Up to middleweight and Kamran Shakhsuvarly, of Azebaijan, is giving Edin Avdic, of Austria, all the trouble he can handle and a bit more. After a close opening round, Shakhsuvarly lands better in the second and, while Avdic tries hard in the last, his accuracy is often a bit off, while the Azerbaijani lands well, particularly to the body. The workrate of Avdic keeps it close, though, and in the end Shakhsuvarly wins a split points decision.

1.40: Better news for Belgium.

After Delfine Persoon's early exit, Vasile Usturoi, at featherweight, dominates the final round against Hakan Dogan, of Turkey, to pull off a split points decision and progress through to the next round.

Mykola Butsenko, right, looked impressive

1.30: Butsenko wins on cut

You can see that Mykola Butsenko's hero must be Vasyl Lomachenko, who was the last boxer to win a featherweight Olympic gold medal in 2008. The Ukrainian No 3 seed is a southpaw with a lot of his illustrious compatriot's little movements. He gets less than a round of action, though, as a cut ends Denmark's Frederick Jensen's afternoon in the first round

Tayfur Aliyev lands a big right against Bishara Sabbar

1.25: Impressive by Aliyev

A good start to the tournament by the first seed in action today, Azebaijan's Tayfur Aliyev, the No 4 seed at featherweight, who is dominant from the start against Israel's Bishara Sabbar and takes a comfortable unanimous points decision.

In Ring A, Roland Galos, of Hungary, takes a split points decision over Alen Rahimic, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a closely-contested bout.

Caroline Dubois, right, on the way to victory

1.15 Dubois: I'd give it a C

Caroline Dubois (Great Britain): "It was an all right fight, I’ll give it a C, I could have done a lot better, but obviously there was a lot of pressure that was built up. I like to think I dealt with it OK and for my next fight I need to make sure I give an A+ performance.

"Even though [Mira Potkonen, her next opponent] is the number 1 seed, she has only got 2 hands, 2 legs and 1 brain. If I can't beat her, I can't ever say I will be the best. I've got to pout it all together and make sure I come through."

1.05: Skurdelis and Khataev win

Edgaras Skurdelis, of Lithuania, jabs and moves and generally keeps Alexey Lagkazasvili, of Greece, off him in the early stages of their featherweight bout in Ring B. The longer the fight goes, the more Lagkazasvili shortens the distance to the Lithuanian and the Greek boxer has a good last round, but it is not enough as Skurdelis claims a unanimous decision.

In Ring A, Arslan Khataev, of Finland, has to try and cope with the constant aggression of Bulgaria's Boyan Asenov and he has his hands full, as Asenov does his best to answer every jab with a hook. The Bulgarian is pretty free with his head up close too, but he is getting frustrated as Khataev takes the decision through his workrate.

12.50 Godla clings on

After looking in control in round two, the wheels are coming off for Kevin Godla in round three as Francesco Maietta puts everything into attack after attack. Shot after shot lands and suddenly the Czech boxer looks out on his feet. After collapsing to the floor without receiving a punch, Godla is given a standing count. He survives until the final bell and Godla claims a split points decision.

In Ring B, Jitaruhas tries to put pressure on Kistohurry throughout, but the more compact work comes from the Frenchman who secures a unanimous points decision.

12.45 Over to the men

The rest of this session features the men, starting with featherweights. In Ring A, Francesco Maietta, of Italy, takes on Kevin Godla, of the Czech Republic. In Ring B, Samuel Kistohurry takes on Robert-Eusebiu Jitaru, of Romania.

There is a lot to like about Godla, who is tall and rangy and Maietta does not really know hoe to cope with him. Midway through the second round, Godla scores the first knockdown on the tournament, bowling Maietta over with an overhand right.

12.35 Yildiz wins

In Ring B, Esra Yildiz, of Turkey, and Maryna Malovana, of Ukraine, are going toe-to-toe. That suits Yildiz, who lands a hard right to give her a standing count in the second round and goes on to claim a unanimous points decision.

12.30 Persoon beaten

Here comes Delfine Persoon, one of the most successful women's professional boxers of recent years, long-reigning WBC lightweight champion, who has her eyes on an Olympic medal, one which the only person to beat her as a professional, Katie Taylor, won in 2012 just up the road.

She is in Ring A against Nikoleta Peta, of Greece, who starts at a fierce rate, trying to upset Persoon's rhythm and it is Peta who takes the first round on all the cards.

The pattern continues in the second and Persoon is getting a bit desperate and Peta takes that round on the scorecards too.

All or nothing now for the Belgian and Peta looks exhausted, but Persoon piles on the punches, landing shot after shot. But it is too little too late, Peta takes a split points decision.

12.20 Dubois and Sadiku win

A good effort by Donjeta Sadiku, of Kosovo. in the final round in ring A, as she tries to pull back the defecit and it is good enough, as she claims a split points decision over Maya Kleinhans, of Germany.

In Ring A, Caroline Dubois does all the best work, but she is showing signs of tiring too. She stays on the backfoot, counterpunching and gets her campaign off to a winning start with a clear points win over Staradub.

12.10 Good from Dubois early on

Small crowd, but plenty of cheers for Caroline Dubois, not least by all her team-mates.

Good start by Dubois, despite giving away height. Ana Staradub tries to pressure her, but Dubois works well with the jab, but then lands a good southpaw right hook and an excellent straight left. Fine first round by Dubois, but she worked hard.

Over in Ring B, Maya Kleinhans, of Germany, is a tall southpaw and she is controlling things against Donjeta Sadiku, of Kosovo, who is on the front foot but struggling to get in range. The Kleinhans jab looks the decisive punch.

11.55: All set in London

We will start with women's lightweight action. In Ring A, Caroline Dubois, of Great Britain, has her first bout as a senior against Ana Staradub, of Belarus. Over in Ring B, Maya Kleinhans, of Germany, will be boxing Donjeta Sadiku, of Kosovo.

11.05: Big day for Dubois

Here is a short film about Caroline Dubois, who is the first boxer in action today.

Youth Olympic champ Caroline Dubois targeting Tokyo 2020 gold

British boxer had to claim she was a boy to be allowed to box when she firs...

11.00 - Day 1

The first day features action in the women’s flyweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions, as well as the men’s flyweight, featherweight, middleweight and super-heavyweight divisions. There are 35 bouts in total.

We will start in the women’s lightweight division, which is fascinating mix of talented youngsters, experienced Olympic performers and high-class professionals – including two professional world champions.

The first bout of the day in Ring A sees Caroline Dubois in action, the 19-year-old sister of British heavyweight champion Daniel Dubois.

She has never been beaten during a glorious junior career that saw her win European, World and Youth Olympics gold medals. But she has yet to box as a senior. She takes on Ala Staradub, of Belarus.

Following her into the ring will be Delfine Persoon, from Belgium, the who reigned for five years as WBC lightweight champion, losing the belt in a hotly disputed decision to Katie Taylor at Madison Square Garden last year. She faces Nikoleta Pita, of Greece.

Other interesting boxers in action today include Mykola Butsenko, the featherweight from Ukraine, who is a three-time European Championships silver medallist, as well as the talented Tayfur Aliyev from Azerbaijan.

The pick of the day’s action could be the very last bout of the day in Ring B, a super-heavyweight clash between Great Britain’s experienced Frazer Clarke, a Commonwealth Games gold medal-winner and Clemente Russo, a double Olympic silver medal-winner at heavyweight.

Russo, 37, has boxed a lot of big names. In the 2012 final in London, he lost to Oleksandr Usyk. Four years earlier, in Beijing, the man he beat in the semi-final was Deontay Wilder.

Live action and highlights on Olympic Channel

The action from all the Boxing Olympic Qualification events is available live for viewers around the world, without subscription or payment, right here on Olympic Channel.

Highlights and full replays of bouts and sessions are also available.

Can't watch? Follow all the action on our Live Blog, with bout-by-bout updates every day.

You can also get involved by sending your comments and questions to our team via Olympic Channel social media accounts.

And from the latter stages we'll have special Live Shows with our team reviewing the best bits of the competition and answering your questions.


20 Feb - 15 Mar 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournaments

Dakar, Amman, London, Buenos Aires, Paris

Live Show & Bout Schedule - Day 1 - Saturday 14th March 2020

The action in London is split into two sessions - afternoon and evening.

Here's the bout-by-bout guide to the boxers in action, starting from 12:00 GMT.

Day 1 - Afternoon session, 12:00 GMT

Ring A

Women's Light (57-60kg) STARADUB Ala BLR v DUBOIS Caroline GBR

Women's Light (57-60kg) PERSOON Delfine H. BEL v PITA Nikoleta GRE

Men's Feather (52-57kg) MAIETTA Francesco ITA v GODLA Kevin CZE

Men's Feather (52-57kg) KHATAEV Arslan FIN v ASENOV Boyan BUL

Men's Feather (52-57kg) GALOS Roland HUN v RAHIMIC Alen BIH

Men's Feather (52-57kg) USTUROI Vasile A. BEL v DOGAN Hakan TUR

Men's Middle (69-75kg) PIREVA Besart KOS v VREME Andrei MDA

Men's Super Heavy (+91kg) BANIULIS Algirdas LTU v ROGAVA Tsotne UKR

Ring B

Women's Light (57-60kg) SADIKU Donjeta KOS v KLEINHANS Maya GER

Women's Light (57-60kg) YILDIZ Esra TUR v MALOVANA Maryna UKR

Men's Feather (52-57kg) JITARU Robert-Eusebiu ROU v KISTOHURRY Samuel FRA

Men's Feather (52-57kg) SKURDELIS Edgaras LTU v LAGKAZASVILI Alexey GRE

Men's Feather (52-57kg) SABBAR Bishara ISR v ALIYEV Tayfur (4) AZE

Men's Feather (52-57kg) BUTSENKO Mykola (3) UKR v JENSEN Frederik L. DEN

Men's Middle (69-75kg) AVDIC Edin AUT v SHAKHSUVARLY Kamran AZE

Men's Super Heavy (+91kg) BURCIU Daniel ROU v GIVSKOV Morten DEN

Day 1 - Evening session, 18:00 GMT

Ring A

Women's Fly (48-51kg) GONZALEZ CACERES Maria ESP v TARNOCZY Tamara B. HUN

Women's Fly (48-51kg) KOUTSOGEORGOPOULOU Aikaterini GRE v KRASTEVA Stoyka Z. BUL

Women's Light (57-60kg) HEIJNEN Chelsey NED v PRIBOJSZKI Kata HUN

Men's Fly (48-52kg) CAPPAI Manuel F. ITA v TOUBA Hamza GER

Men's Fly (48-52kg) SLOMINSKI Jakub POL v SALIEV Rasul RUS

Men's Feather (52-57kg) BAZEYAN Artur ARM v JOZWIK Maciej POL

Men's Feather (52-57kg) NIKOLOV VEBER Nik SLO v QUILES BROTONS Jose ESP

Men's Feather (52-57kg) ZENELI Krenar ALB v BUCSA Dorin MDA


Ring B

Women's Fly (48-51kg) PILEGGI Eliana SUI v COROLI Iulia MDA

Women's Fly (48-51kg) KOB Tetiana UKR v AGHAYEVA Anakhanim AZE

Women's Fly (48-51kg) SORRENTINO Giordana ITA v GOTTLOB Ursula M. GER

Women's Light (57-60kg) COSMA Cristina-Paula ROU v RYGIELSKA Aneta POL

Women's Welter (64-69kg) RAPAIC Aleksandra SRB v GUSTAFSSON Elina Orvokki FIN

Men's Fly (48-52kg) CIFTCI Batuhan TUR v BOUHDI Zakaria BEL

Men's Feather (52-57kg) GAVRILOVIC Nemanja SRB v BATYRGAZIEV Albert RUS

Men's Feather (52-57kg) TANKO Viliam SVK v GOMTSYAN Artyush GEO

Men's Feather (52-57kg) SHADALOV Hamsat GER v CHARNAMAZ Anton BLR

Men's Super Heavy (+91kg) CLARKE Frazer GBR v RUSSO Clemente ITA

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How boxers can qualify for Tokyo 2020

The opening qualification events in Dakar, Senegal, and Amman, Jordan gave us the qualifiers from Africa and Asia/Oceania.

This event in London gives boxers from Europe their chance.

There's also an Americas qualifying tournament scheduled for Buenos Aires, though this has been postponed from its original dates.

For those that don’t make it through their continental event, there will be one final chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020 in Paris.

EXPLAINED: How boxers can qualify for Tokyo 2020

Find out details about the Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournaments, weight...

In London, the semi-finalists in all weight classes guarantee themselves a ticket for Tokyo 2020. Boxers can secure their Olympic spot as early as the quarter-finals in a number of weight categories, as will winners of box-off bouts.

You can read a full preview of this Europe event here.

If that's not enough, make sure you check out the Olympic Channel Original production The People's Fighters.

The People’s Fighters | Five Rings Films

The powerful story of how a revolutionary boxing experiment produced Teofil...