Women's featherweights and welterweights are featured in the Olympics for the first time ever. Tokyo 2020 also marked the first time that women's boxing matches implement three rounds at three minutes—same as the men—as opposed to four two-minute rounds as was the case in 2012 and 2016.
Sena Irie provided hosting nation Japan with its first win of this year's competition. The tall and lean featherweight had effortlessly cruised past Yamileth Solorzano (El Salvador) to take a three-round unanimous decision.
Scores were 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 and 30-26 in favor of Irie, who was credited with a 10-8 round on two scorecards in a dominant second round. Irie will next face number-two seed Khouloud Hlimi Ep Moulahi (Tunisia) on Monday, July 26.
Karriss Artingstall (Great Britain) provided Great Britain with its first Olympic win in Tokyo. The 26-year-old southpaw withstood a stiff challenge from Sadie Kenosi (Botswana) to earn a points win.
The scores of 30-27 on all five cards were a bit deceptive, as Kenosi was competitive in every round but unable to sway any of the judges. Both boxers put in good work to the body, though Artingstall was the far more effective of the two.
Artingstall will next face number-four seed Jucielen Romeu (Brazil) in the Round of 16 on Monday, July 26.
Irma Testa (Italy) dropped down in weight for her second Olympic tour, so far proven to be just as successful.
A quarterfinalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Testa was effective in a split decision win over Liudmila Vorontsova (ROC). One judge from Mongolia had Vorontsova winning 29-28, while the other four judges scored the contest 30-27 for Testa, which should have been the case.
Testa kept it strictly boxing, prompting Vorontsova to plod forward while the Italian remained mobile and kept the fight on the outside. It was enough to convince four of the judges that she was in full control, and more than enough to advance to the Round of 16 where she will face number-four seed Michaela Walsh (Ireland) on Monday, July 26.
Nesthy Petecio made history for the Philippines.
The 29-year-old southpaw posted the first win of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, outpointing Congo's Marcelat Sokabi in the opening round of competition in the women's featherweight bracket.
Petecio won by scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 on the five judges' scorecards. She will next face China Taipei's Lin Yu-Ting, the number one seed who was given a bye in the opening round and is favored to win Gold.
Karolina Koszewska (Poland) became the oldest female boxer in history to win an Olympic bout, doing so in dominant fashion. The 39-year-old from Warsaw, Poland pitched a three-round shutout over Uzbekistan's Shakhnoza Yunusova, winning 30-27 on the scorecards of all five judges.
Koszewska is the second oldest boxer in competition, with 40-year-old Mira Potkonen (Finland) due to face France's Maiva Hamadouche—the reigning IBF junior lightweight champion as a pro—in the opening round of lightweight competition on Tuesday, July 27.
Meanwhile, Koszewska will next face Turkey's Busenaz Surmeneli, who received an opening round bye.
Baison Manikon (Thailand) eliminated Saadat Dalgavota (ROC), winning on four of the five scorecards to advance to the Round of 16.
Judge Beau Campbell (USA) scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Dalgatova. It was the lone dissenting card as the judges from Cuba, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Australia all scored the contest 29-28 in favor of Manikon, who will next face Gu Hong (China) on Tuesday, July 27.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox