Baku, June 18, AZERTAC
Home town hero boxer Teymur Mammadov was greeted with a huge roar at the Crystal Hall and delighted fans with a win against Joshua Buatsi (GBR).
Mammadov, who has won medals at Olympic, European and world championship levels as a heavyweight but now competes as a light heavyweight (81kg), was given some problems by his shorter and less experience British opponent however.
Mammadov failed to impress when Buatsi took the fight to him and the Azerbaijani suffered a cut above his left eye before being given the unanimous points verdict.
But he insisted: "It was not so hard for me. What was hard for me was that this was my first fight in the competition. The first fight is often difficult. He was a good boxer but I was able to win.
"No, it's (the cut) not serious. I can continue fighting in the competition. My opponent's head caused it."
Buatsi thought he won the fight but reckons he gained enormously from the experience of fighting such a top-ranked opponent.
He said: "I was buzzing and up for it. It was a good experience, my best experience so far. I thought he was holding too much, but the referee did nothing."
"I thought I hit him with the more meaningful shots. It was competitive but I thought that I nicked it."
In the lightweight (60kg) division Sean McComb (IRE) won a convincing victory over tough Tymur Beliak (UKR).
The twice Irish champion McComb, who fights out of the Holy Trinity Gym in Belfast, used his long arms and south paw stance to perfection and won a unanimous point verdict. He has high ambitions in Baku.
"I want to win a gold medal," he said. "I'll be disappointed with anything else. That's all I'm focused on."
"It's a very tough competition, all the best boxers in Europe are here, including myself."