Venezuela's Karlha Magliocco defeated Brazil's Erica Matos 15-14 Sunday in a close match, the second one in the history of women's Olympic boxing.
The flyweight (under 51 kilograms) category bout went to the Venezuelan after four balanced attacks, albeit ones in which the 26-year-old Magliocco showed herself to be the more reliable boxer.
"It's fulfilling a dream for me, the fact of being on an Olympic stage gives me the energy I need to do my best in each fight. I thank God because he's given me another blessing and I was victorious today," Magliocco said after the bout.
The preliminary round fight between the two Latin Americans was held in London's Excel Arena.
"All my respect and admiration for Matos. I'm also a fighter and I know how difficult it is to remain in this discipline and how hard the training is. You have to have a lot of perseverance and dedication and I know that she, like me, prepared herself conscientiously for this fight," Magliocco said.
In the first bout, Russia's Elena Savelyeva defeated North Korea's Kim Hye-song 12-9 and will now face off in the quarterfinals against the favorite to take the gold medal, China's Cancan Ren, the world champion.
"All the fights are different, there's no pattern to them. Matos is a courageous and tough rival and is looking for victory at all times, which we all want," the Venezuelan said.
In its debut at the Olympics, women's boxing will be limited to three divisions - flyweight (under 51 kg), lightweight (51-60 kg) and middleweight (60-75 kg) - with 12 women competing in each one, with the four favorites being incorporated in the second round.