British boxer Ogogo dedicates win to stricken mum

India's Singh reached the second round with victory over Kazakh Suzhanov

British middleweight boxer Anthony Ogogo dedicated his opening victory at the Olympics on Saturday to his ailing mother, laid low by a brain haemorrhage last month.

The 23-year-old clinched a 13-6 first round win over Dominican Republic opponent Junior Castillo Martinez and immediately turned his thoughts to his mother back in Britain.

"This one is for my mum," he said. "She had a brain haemorrhage six weeks ago and she is still in bed, so I don't think she would have watched the bout but I can't wait to ring her."

He added: "It's a bit of a family affair actually as one of my sisters is due to go into labour today."

Ogogo next fights world champion Ievgan Khytrov of Ukraine.

"That doesn't bother me. I've never fought him before but I have the best coach in the world and with this crowd behind me I have the beating of him," he predicted.

Later on Saturday Vijender Singh, India's 2008 Olympic bronze medallist in the category, also reached the second round taking a 14-10 victory over Kazakh Danabek Suzhanov.

"I am delighted to make it through to the next round, he was a tough opponent and now its on to the next challenge," said the 26-year-old, who lost controversially to Ogogo in the 2010 Commonwealth Games semi-finals.

"I want to go home with a different coloured medal this time."

Singh, though, is likely to have a tough second round encounter with American Terrell Gausha, who looked to be on his way out before he rallied in the final 10 seconds to knock Armenian opponent Andranik Hakobyan down twice.

"I have a mental clock in my head as I have been around this game for a while," said the 24-year-old. "It was a little too close for comfort.

"He may have had the longer reach but I had the bigger heart."

While Gausha left it late his compatriot Joseph Diaz Junior showed why he is one of his team's brightest medal hopes with an impressive opening round win in the bantamweight division.

The 19-year-old, who has pledged to have a successful boxing career to help his family financially, defeated tough Ukrainian Pavlo Ishchenko 19-9.

But it was a bitter-sweet victory as he next meets top seed Lazaro Alvaro Estrada of Cuba on Wednesday.

"I felt great out there. I said to myself he is just like me, he sweats like me and he bleeds like me," said Diaz, who is coached by his father.

"It means a lot to me that my family are in the crowd."

Diaz admitted that he had sacrificed going to Friday's late-night opening ceremony because of being up first on Saturday.

"I am not here for the opening ceremony; I am here for the gold medal," said Diaz, whose country are seeking just their second gold medal in boxing since the 1996 Games.
He lost to Estrada in the quarter-finals at last year's world championships.

"I have a different gameplan to the time I fought him and lost. He is the top seed and it is a difficult task but this fight has settled my nerves and I am going to put on a good show on Wednesday."

Irishman John Joe Nevin demolished Dennis Ceylan of Denmark, his country's first Olympic boxer in 16 years, romping to a 21-6 win and threatens to go further than he did in Beijing where he failed to make the quarter-finals.

Even Nevin, whose compatriot Darren O'Neill also reached the second round in the middleweights, was taken aback by the margin of victory.

"Probably I wasn't expecting to win by as much but when I perform at my best I can beat anyone," said the 23-year-old.

"He was even talking to me in the ring in the last round, saying ‘you're boxing brilliant John Joe'. It gave me a little bit of a buzz. I was talking to him to try and slow him down as well."

 

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