Three-time Olympian Domenico Valentino beat Belarus’ Vazgen Safaryants on day five of the EUBC European Confederation Continental Championships in Samokov to book his place in the men’s lightweight division quarter-finals.
In the most entertaining bout of the day in the Bulgarian town, the Italian was made to work extremely hard, winning by split decision against the 2013 EUBC European Confederation Continental Championships silver medallist.
Widely seen as one of the most talented boxers in AIBA Pro Boxing, Valentino will now go on to face Britain’s Joseph Cordina, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, who beat Poland’s Dawid Michelus.
Elsewhere in the lightweight division, Russia’s highly regarded Adlan Abdurashidov produced a tactical masterclass against Lithuania’s Edgaras Skurdelis to set up an encounter with Georgia’s Otar Eranosyan, winner against Germany's Robert Aramovic Harutyunyan.
"Firstly we planned to attack my opponent because we are aware of the fact he is really strong and has got great a physical condition," said Abdurashidov.
"My coach Mr [Eduard] Kravtsov realised that Skurdelis was boxing in a different way, and we knew after the first round that I could operate from long range.
"I was not tired afterwards, and will now be spending the night and morning to analyse my next quarter-final opponent."
There was a day of surprises in the flyweight division starting with a win for Belgium’s Dodji Ayigah against Belarus’ Siarhei Loban, followed by success for Ukraine’s Ihor Sopinskiy against Slovakia’s Viliam Tanko, the Baku 2015 European Games bronze medallist.
Additionally, Hungary’s Nandor Csoka defied the fact that he’s only been boxing for four years to defeat Turkey’s Ferhat Pehlivan, the 2008 EUBC European Continental Championships bronze medallist.
Csoka's compatriot Balazs Bacskai lost out to Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis at welterweight, while Ireland’s London 2012 Olympian Adam Nolan was given a unanimous-decision victory against Russia’s World Series of Boxing (WSB) star Radzhab Butayev in the same division.
Croatia’s Hrvoje Sep defeated Spain’s Alejandro Camacho at light heavyweight to continue his good form on the back of a productive WSB season for Astana Arlans Kazakhstan.
Bulgaria's fighter Radoslav Pantaleev provides Sep’s opposition in the last eight having stopped Montenegro’s Bosko Draskovic.
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