Boxing: Fred Evans books place in last 16

 

Great Britain's Fred Evans booked his place in the last 16 of the Olympic welterweight competition after getting the better of a richly entertaining brawl with fired-up Algerian Ilyas Abbadi at ExCel.

The 21-year-old Welshman did not have things his own way against a gutsy opponent but extended his lead throughout the contest to triumph 18-10, to the delight of another excited capacity crowd.

Evans said: "The atmosphere was unbelievable - like nothing I've experienced before. I felt the buzz when I watched Anthony Ogogo on Saturday but you don't really feel it until you go out there yourself.

"I'm so proud to be here fighting in my home country in front of my friends and family and fulfilling my dream. The whole team is building the momentum and we are all looking at going to win medals."

In an action-packed opening round, Evans was caught by a pair of left hands by teenager Abbadi, but responded with a series of sharp assaults, landing a big right on his way to establishing a two-point lead at the end of the first.

Evans pulled away in the second, despite looking a little excitable at times and still being troubled by Abbadi's stiff left hands. He had extended his lead to five points at the end of the second and continued exchanging hard shots in a grandstand finish.

Next up for Evans is Lithuania's fourth seed Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who dropped and stopped Evans in the quarter-finals of last year's World Championships, with Evans already having secured qualification for the Games.

The prospect of a rematch does not faze the confident Evans, who said: "He is going to see a different Fred Evans next time. I am stronger and sharper and he is going to find that out when we fight on Friday.

"What happened in the Worlds doesn't bother me. I'd just achieved my goal of qualifying for the Olympics and my mind wasn't on the job. This time, in front of my home crowd and my family, it's going to be a different story."

PA

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