Day 14 of the boxing in Rio has wrapped up, and we’ve got another gold medalist.
Men’s flyweight (52kg) - Semifinals
Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan) def. Yoel Finol (Venezuela)
It was a terrific run for Finol, a 19-year-old underdog who battled his way to a guaranteed medal, but Zoirov dominated this fight, hammering him with heavy blows in the first round and easily taking the victory. Zoirov, again, was referred to as an under the radar medal contender by his coaches, and he’s definitely proven that correct. He’s fighting like a gold medalist.
Misha Aloyan (Russia) def. Jianguan Hu (China)
Aloyan, a 2012 bronze medalist and 2011 and 2013 Worlds gold medalist, will now get at least silver in Rio. This was a competitive fight — Aloyan took the first round, I thought Hu took the second, but two of three judges gave it to Aloyan anyway. In the end, it was Aloyan 29-28 across the board, fair enough scores, really.
Men’s light welterweight (64kg) - Semifinals
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (Uzbekistan) def. Vitaly Dunaytsev (Russia)
Dunaytsev, the No. 1 seed, is the latest to fall to Gaibanzarov in a close fight. I had no problem with the outcome here. Dunaytsev had a good first round, but got a little careless after that, or Gaibnazarov stepped it up some, either way. The Uzbek heads to the gold medal match, continuing an excellent Olympics for his country. It was a heartbreaking loss for Dunaytsev, who thought he’d heard his name as the winner:
Lorenzo Sotomayor (Azerbaijan) def. Artem Harutyunyan (Germany)
Harutyunan still has the only medal for Germany in boxing this year. Sotomayor, born in Cuba, is an interesting fighter, very tall and lanky, but fights inside, largely, which is something that seems to happen a lot considering pundits are constantly surprised when it happens. Harutyunyan, whose family fled Armenia when he was two years old, has been training Syrian refugees. He’s got an amazing story, which now includes an Olympic bronze medal.
Men’s super heavyweight (91+kg) - Semifinals
Tony Yoka (France) def. Filip Hrgović (Croatia)
I thought the Croatian deserved this, and clearly so. The first round was plenty arguable, and Yoka swept the cards. The second round was his, but went 2-1 to Yoka. The third was his, and he did sweep that one.
Joe Joyce (Great Britain) def. Ivan Dychko (Kazakhstan)
Great execution of game plan in the second and third rounds for Joyce, and he won the fight on that. Dychko, a quality fighter and the No. 2 seed, leaves the Olympics with a bronze for the second straight time. Joyce will look to make it back-to-back golds for Great Britain in this division, following Anthony Joshua in 2012.
Women’s middleweight (75kg) - Semifinals
Claressa Shields (United States) def. Dariga Shakimova (Kazakhstan)
Shields is so far ahead of her competition still, and it doesn’t seem like that will end by 2020 in Tokyo, if she fights again there. I mean, obviously I’m ahead of myself, she’s still got one more fight for a gold medal in Rio, but there appears to be no threat to her. Maybe in 2024, when she’s 29?
Nouchka Fontijn (Netherlands) def. Qian Li (China)
Fontijn deserved this one, won three of the four rounds for me. It was competitive, but I thought she was a clear winner. One judge did have it 3-1 for Li, but the other two cards were 3-1 and 4-0 for Fontijn. Fontijn is going to be a huge underdog against Shields, but everyone has been and was going to be.
Women’s lightweight (60kg) - FINAL
Estelle Mossely (France) def. Jinhua Yin (China)
This fight was scored closer than it really was, in all honesty. We’ll have more on this one in a bit.