GREAT BRITAIN light-flyweight Galal Yafai won the first contest of the Olympic Games, outscoring Cameroon’s Simplice Fotsala. Yafai, a southpaw, started quickly, sending backhand lefts down the middle.
Overall Galal was in control but for portions of the bout he got careless, let Fotsala in at times and let the Cameroonian’s punches through. Simplice slung his right hand over the top but Galal slammed in a hard cross. He rocked Fotsala with that shot in the second but the Cameroonian was strong and aggressive. Galal stood to trade as Fotsala ploughed forward and while Yafai slipped under punches artfully, Simplice still managed to catch him with a flush right hand.
The Briton opened the third round peppering his foe with jabs but got drawn into a fight, with Fotsala lining up a one-two. Yafai brought in a hard lead hook and doubled his backhand well. Then disaster struck the Cameroonian. His mouthguard kept falling out too many times, against the rules. It dropped out four times in total and the referee penalised him two points and there was no way back. Yafai won on points, 29-26 and 30-25 twice.
Galal will box next on Monday (August 8) against Cuba’s classy World gold medallist Joahnys Argilagos.
Irish 49kgs Paddy Barnes, the flag bearer for Ireland at the Opening Ceremony, had a bye in the first round, on August 8 he will box Spain’s Samuel Carmona Heredia.
Two more GB boxers will be in action later on today. Welsh lightweight Joe Cordina boxes the Philippines Charly Suarez at 6pm local time, 10pm UK time. British heavyweight Lawrence Okolie takes on Poland’s Igor Jakubowski at 7pm local time, 11pm in the UK.