Chinese boxers on Monday reached the last 16 of the Olympic featherweight and lightweight competitions in front of a boisterous home crowd, while Russia's world champion Albert Selimov lost to a Ukrainian.
Li Yang, the bronze medalist of the 2007 world championships, launched fierce attacks on Brazil's Robson Conceicao, who trailed all the way to lose 12-4 in the featherweight match.
Li told Xinhua, "I'm satisfied with my performance today because I'm in very good psychological condition during the home match."
Li, along with the 48kg Zou Shiming, is widely considered to be a medal hopeful for the host nation, which has so far failed to pocket any Olympic boxing medals.
However, Li said, "I have no specific expectations for myself at the Beijing Olympics, but I believe I will go further this time than four years ago in Athens."
The winner also spoke in praise of his Brazilian opponent, saying "Robson is excellent and has a fast speed."
"He is good at defending, but he changed his style today, becoming an attacker, and he did very well," Li added.
Another Chinese boxer Hu Qing won 10-8 in his lightweight match against Ukraine's Oleksandr Klyuchko.
"It is the Ukraine that I lost in my first bout at the 2007 world championships in Chicago, so I did a lot of research on him," Hu told Xinhua after the match.
"The noisy spectators also helped me and I got very excited. It is their cheering that kept me up throughout the match."
Earlier in the day, Ukraine's 57 kg boxer Vasyl Lomachenko gave his team a lift as he fired up and trounced Russia's world champion Albert Selimov 14-7.
Taking a 13-5 lead in the first three rounds, Lomachenko seemed to use the last round to rest, swiftly moving around and keeping a distance from the angry Selimov.
Last year, the Ukrainian lost to Selimov in the final of the featherweight competition at the world championships.
"He (Selimov) was not in good shape. He is strong but his opponent is also strong," Russian coach Dmytro Sosnovskyi said after the match, adding that "Selimov is a world champion, but the title gave him pressure and made him nervous."
Cuba proved too powerful for its opponents though its five Athens gold medalists have left the national team.
Cuba's Idel Torriente thrashed Ghana's Prince Octopus Dzanie 11-2, while Ugas Yordenis crushed Algeria's Hamza Kramou 21-3.
(Xinhua News Agency August 12, 2008)