Baku, June 16, AZERTAC
Turkey's Adem Avci won a classic fighter-against-boxer contest in his light welterweight (64kg) bout against Andras Vadasz of Hungary at the Crystal Hall.
Vadasz won plenty of admirers with his stylish upright stance, but it was the Turk's aggressive style which earned the judges' unanimous verdict, and Avci admitted his tactics were designed specifically for his opponent.
"It's not always like that." Avci said. "I watch my opponent and see how he boxes, and then I decide what tactic to use - technical boxing or a more physical style. I wanted to make this a tough fight."
Salvatore Cavallaro joined Italian teammate Riccardo D'Andrea in the last 16 by beating Alexsandar Drenovak of Serbia in a unanimous points win. D'Andrea won a split decision against Iurii Shestak of Ukraine at bantamweight (56kg), meanwhile.
Cavallaro could provide a tough opening test for Antony Fowler, the no.1 seed, who was given a bye in the round of 32.
Highly-rated bantamweight (56kg) Kurt Walker of Ireland lost on a split decision to Russia's Bakhtovar Nazirov, a decision that left the Irishman close to tears as he claimed he suffered a cut eye from a deliberate headbutt in the second round.
Walker said: "It's the first cut I've had in my life. He caught me with his head. It was so blatant. I am surprised the referee didn't see it.
"It was heartbreaking. I know in my head I won that fight."
The hardest punching of the session came in the heavyweight (91kg) contest as the powerfully-built Ukrainian Gevorg Manukian and David Hosek of the Czech Republic went toe to toe.
The unanimous points verdict in favour of Manukian was greeted by boos all round, and the Czech decided to milk the opportunity by taking a bow to all four corners of the arena from the centre of the ring.
The Scandinavian heavyweight champion Gabriel Richards of Sweden, who has Cuban roots, changed his tactics after losing the opening round of his bout against Austria's Stefan Nikolic, meanwhile. Thereafter he fought the contest from long range to win by a unanimous points decision.
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