Teymur Mammadov took the light heavyweight gold medal in front of Azerbaijan President  Ilham Aliyev ©Getty Images

Boxers at either end of the weight spectrum provided the highlights of the sport's first day of finals at these European Games before a crowd that included its own set of heavyweights.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev was among the spectators, turning up with his counterpart at the European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey, just in time to see countryman Teymur Mammadov win his country's first boxing gold medal.

The light heavweight had stood down from his usual spot as a heavyweight spot, the division in which he won an Olympic bronze medallist in at London 2012, to enable team-mate Abdulkadir Abdullayev to compete at that weight

He adjusted comfortably to the change, however, beating Italian Valentino Manfredonia, making good advantage of the difference in heights between the two boxers.

Mammadov, who is 196 centimetres tall, towered 16cm over his opponent.

He used that advantage to keep his opponent at arm's length - literally - and picked him off at will.

"I had my height, my strength and my technique," said the 22-year-old Mammadov, who celebrated his victory with a lap of honour that included passing in front of the stand where Aliyev was sat with Hickay and C K Wu, President of the International Boxing Association. 

"It added up to give me the win.

"I got in better and better shape the longer the tournament went on, and I was in my best shape in the final fight.

"I will soon have a son, and I'm dedicating this victory to him."

Aliyev and Wu presented Mammadov with his medal before a sizeable crowd who stayed on to see the ceremony.

"I'm very proud to win this first gold medal for my country, in my home country, and also that the President himself gave me the medal," said Mammadov. 

Manfredonia had entered the tournament as the top seed but admitted he had been beaten by the more skilful boxer. 

"He won it, fair and square," said the 25-year-old from Naples.

"He was much better than me.

"But I'm going home a proud silver medallist, and I really treasure the experience."

Britain's Nicola Adams became the first woman to win a European Games gold medal, having achieved similar feats at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games
Britain's Nicola Adams became the first woman to win a European Games gold medal, having achieved similar feats at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

In the women's flyweight division, Britain's Nicola Adams continued her remarkable record of "firsts".

Having already become the first woman to win an Olympic Games boxing medal at London 2012 and achieved the same feat at last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, she has now added the European Games to her collection. 

Adams, 32, was simply too good for Poland's Sandra Drabik, although she was given the bout only on a split decision.

"Every competition is tough for me," said Adams.

"I have a big tag behind me, being Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion.

"Every time in the ring I try to be bigger, faster, stronger.

"I am always hungry for success.

"I listened to my coach's directions and won. I am always happy to create history for Great Britain.

"This is my way of leaving a legacy."

The other contests went to form with The Netherlands' Nouchka Fontijn beating Swedish veteran Anna Luarell Nash, who has been boxing internationally for 14 years, in the middleweight divison. 

Hickey arrived just too late to see the light flyweight fight featuring Ireland's Brendan Irvine.

The teenager was beaten by Russia's Bator Sagaluev but Hickey, who is also President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, was able to present Irvine with his silver medal, the first his country have won at the European Games. 

Russia also took the bantamweight gold medal when Bakhtovar Nazirov beat Dzmitry Asanau from Belarus.