Fred Evans might well be the most entertaining character in this Great Britain boxing team but he toyed flippantly with fate to the point of near-disaster before squeaking into the semi-finals on a countback against the muscular Canadian welterweight Custio Clayton.
Cheek is one thing, complacency another. He will be allowed no such luxury in Friday's semi-final against the Ukrainian No1 seed, Taras Shelestyuk, who also went through on a countback, putting out the distraught Frenchman Alexis Vastine after the scores finished at 18-18. That was a genuinely close contest, whatever the histrionics afterwards of Vastine, who belted the corner post before storming out of the arena, comforted by prolonged booing from the alleged cogniscenti.
The Welshman, meanwhile, should have danced his way to a comfortable victory after taking the first round 7-2 with a nice mixture of composure and aggression, punishing Clayton's clumsy lunges. Evans's concentration lapsed in the second and he took a couple of unnecessary long right hands to the head as his rejuvenated opponent got back into the contest to trail 10-8.
The third was untidy and close, 6-4 in the Canadian's favour for a 14-14 score, readjusted after inspection of the complete scoring cards of all five judges, rather than the median three from each round.
"I was really confident after that first round and I kind of dropped off the pace a bit," Evans said. "That allowed him to come back into the game, which was disappointing. I thought I was one or two points ahead.
"I think I'm in good enough form to make it a gold. I need to up my game a bit for the next fight. He's the world champion. If I do that, I don't see why not."
There was no reprieve for Evans's fellow-Welshman Andrew Selby.
Reputations count for a lot in Olympic boxing, and no country is more revered than Cuba, whose teenage flyweight prodigy Robeisy Ramírez showed enough of his considerable talent to tip Selby out of the Olympics just short of a medal.
The 18-year-old switch-hitter from Cienfuegos beat the Welsh No2 seed, 16-11, and will cause the promising young Irishman Michael Conlan all sorts of problems in the semi-finals on Friday.
Conlan, who squeezed past the busy Frenchman Nordine Oubaali 22-18, probably benefited as much from the kind regard of the judges as Selby failed to do, and, not for the first time in this tournament, the scoring confounded a packed ExCeL Arena.
But Selby had no complaints about his defeat. "He was the better man on the day," he conceded. "I threw more combinations and was letting my shots go but he was just getting me before I got my hands up."
He said he had not made his mind up about following his brother, Lee, into the professional ranks. "I'll see what Robert McCracken [the team's performance director] wants me to do. If he wants me to go to Brazil [in 2016] or he thinks there's more I can learn, I'll stay on."
Ramírez, who resembles a young Floyd Mayweather Jr with his smooth movement and electric speed, said: "I knew the crowd would be hostile. I just had to prepare myself."
Selby learnt plenty from a fighter who clearly is destined for stardom, and he might reflect on those moments when, after a succession of energetic flurries to head and body, he left himself open to the eye-catching assaults by the dazzling Cuban, especially in the second round, which went heavily against him.
The expression "keep your hat on" ought to be written inside Conlan's headguard, because it caused the sixth seed no end of grief in his win over Oubaali.
Conlan did well to share the first round 5-5, and spent much of the three minutes trying to readjust his ill-fitting hat as the Frenchman picked him off with hooks. They were level at 12-12 after two rounds and again the scoring was generous in Conlan's favour. Only a frantic finish earned the Belfast boxer the verdict; he will need to perform with more composure against Ramírez.
Conlan said later: "I've beaten him three times before but he still hits hard. He is a come forward fighter and I had to push him back. It did work in the end. I had to be patient and keep my cool instead of losing it.
"I thought I was behind when I came back to the corner [after round one]. My coaches told me I had a second chance. I was happy for that and I think it changed the fight. Maybe he should have been up."
So, some night: Irish luck, French resignation, Cuban genius and surprises from the Welsh.
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