We've crowned another gold medalist, and this time the win was earned. Here's what we saw in the evening session today.
Women’s flyweight (51kg) - Quarterfinals
Ingrid Valencia (Colombia) def. Peamwilai Laopeam (Thailand)
Valecnia was the mild underdog here, with Laopeam receiving a first round bye, but it was a clean win for Valencia, and a hard-fought win, too. This is reportedly going to be Laopeam’s final fight, as she had planned to retire after the Rio Games.
Sarah Ourahmoune (France) def. Zhaina Shekerbekova (Kazakhstan)
Another somewhat minor upset here, with Shekerbekova the No. 2 seed in the tournament, but Ourahmoune boxed wonderfully and clearly won this fight. The only round I thought Shekerbekova had an argument was the first. So Ourahmoune, who also plans to retire after Rio, will win at least a bronze medal, and faces Valencia next.
Men’s bantamweight (56kg) - Quarterfinals
Robeisy Ramírez (Cuba) def. Jiawei Zhang (China)
Two quality fighters, but Ramírez was the clear superior throughout. A great example of the sort of talent he has, because Zhang was the No. 4 seed, he’s no easy opponent. This win guarantees Ramírez his second medal in as many Olympics, after winning gold at flyweight in 2012 at 18.
Murodjon Akhmadaliev (Uzbekistan) def. Alberto Melián (Argentina)
A first round TKO here, a real rarity, especially this far into an Olympics. Big ol’ shot. Akhamdaliev vs Ramírez is going to be very interesting. Akhmadaliev clearly has an equalizer if nothing else.
Men’s light welterweight (64kg) - Quarterfinals
- Artem Harutyunyan (Germany) def. Batuhan Gözgeç (Turkey)
- Lorenzo Sotomayor (Azerbaijan) def. Yasniel Toledo (Cuba)
Toledo won bronze at lightweight in 2012, but leaves without a medal in 2016 after moving up to light welter, where he ran into a fellow Cuban representing Azerbaijan, and Sotomayor flat outclassed him. He’ll meet Harutyunyan next, with both guaranteed at least bronze.
Men’s light heavyweight (81kg) - Semifinal
Adilbek Niyazymbetov (Kazakhstan) def. Joshua Buatsi (Great Britain)
Buatsi, who has shown power, speed, and great potential in Rio, found himself against a more experienced, more schooled fighter in this one, and his raw talent was no longer enough. Buatsi remains a great pro prospect, a work in progress right now, and his leaving with a bronze signals a fantastic run against the odds. In a way, it kind of reminds me of the bronze Deontay Wilder won in ‘08.
Men’s super heavyweight (91+kg) - Quarterfinals
Joe Joyce (Great Britain) def. Bakhodir Jalolov (Uzbekistan)
Jalolov is a big, tall 22-year-old prospect with future. Joe Joyce is a big, tall 30-year-old man who started boxing eight years ago because injuries derailed a track and field career. He’s really come into his own at this point, and here he just decimated Jalolov, who was tough just to survive the full three rounds, with Joyce hammering his body relentlessly. Joyce moves on to the semifinal.
Ivan Dychko (Kazakhstan) def. Efe Ajagba (Nigeria)
Similar to Buatsi’s fight earlier, Ajagba’s raw power and physical gifts weren’t enough against a more experienced opponent. Like Buatsi, Ajagba has pro potential.
Men’s lightweight (60kg) - FINAL
Robson Conceiçāo (Brazil) def. Sofiane Oumiha (France)
This is the first-ever gold medal for Brazil in boxing, and it was earned. We’ll have more on this fight in a separate article.