Galal Yafai Stops Koryan Soghomonyan In Three, Advances To Round Of 16 In Tokyo

Boxing Scene

Galal Yafai made the decision to remain the amateurs long enough to once again compete in the Olympics for Great Britain.

So far, it has proven to be a wise decision following his dominant showing in the opening round of competition. 

Yafai was credited with three knockdowns, the last of which was enough to force a stoppage of Armenia’s Koryan Soghomonyan in the third round of their flyweight bout Monday afternoon at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo. Soghomonyan was issued a standing eight count in every round, the last of which forced a stoppage at 1:54 of round three.

Yafai—the younger brother to former WBA junior bantamweight champion Kal Yafai and Gamal Yafai, also a pro boxer—qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by advancing to the final round of the European Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Paris. Part of that journey came with a win over Soghomonyan on June 5.

The seven-week turnaround for the rematch allowed both fighters to get right to work.

Action was non-stop in the opening round, save for Soghomonyan receiving a standing eight count midway through the frame. The Armenian slugger remained unfazed, coming right back to land a right hand that caught the attention of Yafai. Two-way punching continued, with Yafai remaining a step ahead to sweep the round. 

A virtual clone was presented in round two, with Soghomonyan staying in the pocket and looking to go toe-to-toe with Yafai. It came at the cost of receiving a second standing eight-count, with Yafai continuing to apply pressure for the duration of the round.

Well up on all three scorecards, Yafai refused to sit on his lead. The 28-year-old southpaw worked the body with his straight left, bringing the shot back up top to snap back the head of Soghomonyan. Another standing eight count was issued, this time followed with the stoppage.

Yafai advances to the Round of 16 for the second straight time. Awaiting him is Zambia’s Patrick Chinyemba, a rangy mover who defeated Australia’s Alex Winwood earlier Monday. 

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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