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Russian world boxing champion washed out with tears, China takes another two wins and one loss
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Russian bantamweight (54kg) world champion Sergey Vodopyanov burst into tears after suffering a surprising defeat to low-rated Indian Akhil Kumar on Friday, while Chinese boxing squad took two wins and one loss.

The battle between Vodopyanov and Kumar was unexpectedly fierce. Kumar had no psychological pressure fighting the world champion, while the Russian showed just a little advantage over the Indian. However, Kumar managed to tie the Russian at the last minute by 9-9, and the referee's ruling of the Indian's victory made the 21-year-old Russian burst into tears.

Another fight in the category between Chinese boxer Gu Yu and Moldovan Veaceslav Gojan was equally hard. Gu opened the fight nicely with a two-point-lead at round 1. However, from round 2, he started to lag behind, especially after being fined two points by the referee for a clinch with the opponent. The Moldovans hit with accuracy, while Gu, eager to catch up with the loss, exposed some defense weakness. The Chinese finally lost the game 6-13.

"I didn't hit the right areas, and I'm too impatient to win my points back," said Gu. "He (Gojan) didn't throw a lot of punches, but the ones he did were always accurate. And his strategy is good."

Bantamweight world championship silver medalist Mongolian Badar-Uugan Enkhbat beat Irish John Joseph Nevin 9-2. Athens Olympic silver medalist Thai Worapoj Petchkoom washed out Italian Jahyn Vittorio Parrinello with an impressive 12-1. Cuban Yankiel Leon Alarcon beat Kazakh Kanat Abutalipov 10-3.

To much comfort to the Chinese audience, both Chinese featherweight (57kg) Li Yang and lightweight (60kg) boxer Hu Qing made their pass of the second round fight. Li, narrowly won Ecuadorian Luis Porozo 6-5, took advantage of his quick footwork and sudden blows, leading in the first three rounds by three points. However, the Ecuadorian caught up with two points by fierce attacks at the last round, narrowly missed the chance to overturn the result.

Li Yang's next fight will be even tougher. World champion silver medalist Ukranian Vasyl Lomachenko seems almost insurmountable for the Chinese. Lomachenko overpowered world champion Russian Albert Selimov at his first bout, and easily outpointed Uzbek Bahodirjon Sultonov, Athens Olympics bronze medalist, with an astonishing score of 13-1. He is now regarded as the gold-medalist-to-be in his category.

Featherweight world championship bronze medalist Turkish Yakup Kilic conquered Japanese Satoshi Shimizu 12-9. Cuban "freshman" Idel Torriente took a slim win of one-point lead over Mongolian Enkhzorig Zorigtbaatar.

Chinese lightweight Hu Qing on Friday outscored himself by successfully withstanding storming attacks from Kazakhstan's Merey Akshalov. Hu had a hard time at the first two rounds taking beatings from the stronger opponent. When seeing the defense-then-attack strategy didn't work so well, Hu and his coach changed tactics to strike first, over-running Akshalov by 11-7 in the end.

Chief coach Zhang Chuanliang told Xinhua that what's vital in the fight is to have confidence, and to take the initiative to attack.

World championship lightweight bronze medalist Russian Alexey Tishchenko "killed" Australian Anthony Little with a comfortable 11-3, giving some consolation to the grieving Russian team. Italian Domenico Valentino, world champion silver medalist, couldn't beat his Cuban rival Yordenis Ugas at all, seeing a disappointing loss of 2-10.

In respond to the criticism of some inconsistency of the judges' scoring, Terry Smith, technical delegate from the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) said at a press conference that he believed they had selected the best 34 judges in the world.

He also brushed aside the saying that Chinese boxers are being favored. "I can't definitely say if the judges are favouring the Chinese," he said."The judges' job is very objective and it takes three judges to socre a point. Therefore, there would have to be at least three biased judges and I haven't seen any evidence of that."

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2008)

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