The Cinderella run of Colombia’s Yurberjen Martínez came to an end in today’s men’s light flyweight (49kg) gold medal match, as he was outclassed and beaten cleanly and clearly by Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov.
Dusmatov, 23, was too slick and elusive for Martínez, 24, but the Colombian never gave up on the fight, working as hard as he could. In the end, though, it was just a difference in class that finally showed up against Martínez, albeit a round -- or two or three — later than was expected.
Dusmatov’s gold medal is the first for Uzbekistan in the light flyweight division. Martínez’s silver medal is the first in the history of Colombian boxing, as a gold would have been. Previously, Colombia had three bronze medals as their only Olympic hardware.
Dusmatov’s run in Rio was really one of dominance, and he should absolutely wind up in the discussion for the Val Barker Trophy, given to the overall most outstanding fighter across all weight divisions. He had a round of 32 bye, then beat Joselito Velázquez in the round of 16, followed by wins over Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan and Nico Hernandez of the United States, who was on his own Cinderella run.
Martínez was never supposed to be here. He defeated Brazil’s Patrick Lourenço handily in the opening round, but was expected to lose to Rogen Ladon of the Philippines. He beat Ladon, then beat fellow upsetter Samuel Carmona of Spain (who had taken out Paddy Barnes of Ireland), and then scored a real shocker, a defeat of top-seeded gold medal favorite Joahnys Argilagos of Cuba.
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