Heavyweights Alizade, Poyatsyka, Chakhkeiv win

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/b/boxinggermanypoland_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Azerbaijan's Eichin Alizade, Denys Poyatsyka of Ukraine and Russia's Rakhim Chakhkeiv won in the preliminary matches of World Boxing.

Updated: October 29, 2007 15:39 IST
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Heavyweights Eichin Alizade of Azerbaijan, Denys Poyatsyka of Ukraine and Rakhim Chakhkeiv of Russia stopped their opponents in preliminary matches at the World Boxing Championships on Friday.

Olympic bantamweight runner-up Worapoj Petchkoom of Thailand didn't fare as well.

Petchkoom lost to Hungary's David Oltvanyi in a preliminary round at the World Boxing Championships, which continued without incident on Friday after a report that three athletes had left their teams.

It appeared the missing athletes, two Ugandans and one Armenian, left voluntarily on Thursday and have been in phone contact with family and friends according to Chicago police spokesman John Mirabelli.

On Friday, international boxing officials said similar incidents have occurred during previous competitions and stressed it was the responsibility of the teams to oversee their athletes.

Edwards Akora of Uganda, who lost a light welterweight bout against France's Alexis Vastine on Friday, said that his teammates "never gave an indication" that they were going to leave. He added that perhaps they had moved onto "greener pastures."

Friday was the fourth day of competition at the World Championships. The top eight finishers in the light flyweight (48kg) to light heavyweight (81kg) divisions and the top four from the heavyweight and super heavyweight classes qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

The third-ranked Alizade's quick victory over Deivi Julio Blanco of Colombia was one of the highlights of the night session. The world runner-up in 2005, Alizade needed just 15 seconds to beat his opponent.

The others at least worked up a sweat.

The fifth-ranked Poyatsyka drew a loud "Uk-raine!" chant when he stopped Latvia's Eduards Krasnevics with a blow to the head in the second round, and the hard-hitting Chakheiv stopped Aruba's Evan Nedd with a shot to the head in the second round.

Eleventh-ranked heavyweight Clemente Russo of Italy outpointed the Czech Republic's Lukas Viktora 17-6, while Montenegro's Milorad Gajovic beat Number 13 Vedran Dipalo 22-12.

The morning session was highlighted by Oltvanyi's victory over Worapoj, who struggled to land punches early, but he was even at the end of the first round.

Worapoj went ahead in the second, but Oltvanyi rallied late in the round with two inside blows to the body. The bout was tied 9-9 in the fourth until Oltvanyi connected with a solid left hook in the final 10 seconds to win 10-9.

Elsewhere in the bantamweight division, Maksym Tretyak of Ukrain beat Asian Games silver medalist Han Soon-chul of South Korea. Tretyak counter-punched effectively in the first two rounds, which helped him to build up a small lead against his opponent.

Tretyak continued to look stronger and faster than Han in the third round, and ultimately won 35-21.

In the middleweight class, German Rustam Rahimov, a bronze medalist at the 2003 worlds and 2004 Olympics and a runner-up at the last worlds two years ago, was eliminated by Kazakhstan's Mirzhan Rakhimzhanov.

Rahimov fell behind early and never recovered against Rakhimzhanov, whose capitalized on his speed to advance 19-12.

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