Top amateur boxer Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine was able to repeat his gold medal performance from 2008, but it wasn't enough to see him become the first man in history to repeat as the winner of the Val Barker Trophy for the tournament's outstanding boxer, which has instead gone to Kazakhstan's welterweight gold medalist, Serik Sapiyev.
The 28-year-old Sapiyev had done quite a bit in the amateur ranks already, twice winning gold (2005 and 2007) at the World Amateur Championships as a light welterweight, as well as silver (2011) and bronze (2009) as a welterweight. He competed in Beijing in 2008 as a light welterweight, losing to 2004 gold medalist and 2008 silver medalist Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand in the quarterfinal round.
This year, it was a different story. Sapiyev dominated his opposition, never winning a fight by less than six points. He opened in the round of 16 by blowing out Japan's Yasuhiro Suzuki, 25-11; in the quarterfinals, he was a 20-9 winner of Gabriel Maestre of Venezuela; in the semifinals, he beat Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy, 18-12; and in the gold medal match, it was pretty much one-way traffic, as he outclassed Great Britain's Freddie Evans, 17-9.
Other finalists for the award were Lomachenko, won won gold at lightweight, as well as Cuba's two gold medal winners: 18-year-old flyweight Robeisy Ramirez and light welterweight Roniel Iglesias.
Kazakhstan has actually had a boxer win the Val Barker Trophy every other Olympics now since Atlanta in 1996, when Vassily Jirov took the award. In 2004, Bakhtiyar Artayev, a fellow welterweight, was the winner. Welterweights have won three of the last four awards, the other being Russia's Oleg Saitov in 2000.