Two Cuban boxers have taken big steps towards the coveted podium in their respective divisions at the Tokyo games.
Lazaro Alvarez debuted in the 2020 Olympic Games by defeating Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh by technical knock-out (TKO) on Wednesday, before Arlen Lopez won by unanimous decision against Mohammed Houmri of Algeria.
Competing in the featherweight division (57kg), Alvarez won the first round of the bout by a score of 50-45. In the second however the Cuban managed to land a number of punches causing the referee to intervene as a result of Shahbakhsh’s injuries.
Alvarez isn’t new to the Olympic stage, having won bronze at London 2012 and against in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He will face Thailand’s Chatchai-Decha Butdee in the Quarter-Finals.
Competing later on Wednesday, Arlen López added to Cuba's pugilistic triumphs in the light heavyweight division. The judges unanimously ruled in López's favor, the scorecards reading 10-9, 10-8, and 10-8 (30-25 in total).