By Scott Christ
We got one history making result in a gold medal match, plenty of upsets, and pretty much controversy-free scoring today in Rio.
Women’s lightweight (60kg) – Semifinals
Jinhua Yin (China) def. Mira Potkonen (Finland)
Both of these women were expected to lose in the quarterfinals — Potkonen to Katie Taylor, Yin to Yana Alekseevna — but they didn’t, and they fought here for a chance to go on to the gold medal match. Yin won cleanly, and even if you could argue an even fight after four rounds for these two, Potkonen essentially blew it with a flagrant headbutt that cost her a point, so those 39-36 scores would’ve been 38-37 for Yin at worst because of that. Tough way to go out, but Potkonen takes a bronze, anyway.
Estelle Mossely (France) def. Anastasia Beliakova (Russia)
This was a terrible ending, as Mossely bumped Beliakova’s elbow, then threw a punch to the body that hit the elbow square, and Beliakova immediately screamed in agony. It was a complete accident, just something that can happen, even if this is terribly unusual. The early thought was that Beliakova dislocated her elbow. The fight was stopped there, and Beliakova was taken backstage for medical attention. Horrible to see anyone’s run end that way.
Women’s middleweight (75kg) – Quarterfinals
Claressa Shields (United States) def. Iaroslava Iakushina (Russia)
Shields, of course, won gold in London, and is expected to do so again in Rio. Relative to the competition, she is easily the best American amateur boxer of this decade. This was a pretty painless win for her. If she lost a round, it was the third, and that was largely because she took the round off, really. She was just better than Iakushina.
Dariga Shakimova (Kazakhstan) def. Khadija Mardi (Morocco)
Minor upset, as Mardi was the No. 4 seed and favored to win here, but Shakimova pretty clearly won this fight, though Mardi did express/feign some shock after the scores were announced.
Qian Li (China) def. Andreia Barbeira (Brazil)
The crowd had its favorite, but Barbeira was outboxed handily by China’s Li, the No. 3 seed.
Nouchka Fontijn (Netherlands) def. Savannah Marshall (Great Britain)
Fontijn, the No. 2 seed, now moves on to face Li, with the winner getting the gold medal match.
Men’s flyweight (52kg) – Quarterfinals
Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan) def. Elvin Mamishzada (Azerbaijan)
An upset here, as Mamishzada was the top seed in the weight class, and now gets knocked off by a fighter the Uzbek coaches apparently described as a potential secret contender, someone from their squad under the radar. So far, Zoirov has beaten Ireland’s Brendan Irvine, the USA’s Antonio Vargas, and now Mamishzada, and now he’s guaranteed at least bronze.
Yoel Finol (Venezuela) def. Mohamed Flissi (Algeria)
Another upset in the flyweight top half, which really has been sort of chaotic thanks to Zoirov and Finol. Finol started with a win over Leonel de los Santos of the Dominican Republic, then Muhammad Ali, and has now upset Mohamed Flissi, the No. 4 seed. So he’s also guaranteed at least bronze, and with one more win could be fighting for gold.
Misha Aloyan (Russia) def. Ceiber Ávila (Colombia)
I wouldn’t consider anything funky here if not for the fact that Aloyan is Russian. This was a very, very close fight, could have gone either way. I edged it to Ávila, but on the surface have no big issue with Aloyan winning and guaranteeing his second Olympic medal after a bronze in 2012.
Jianguan Hu (China) def. Yosvany Veitía (Cuba)
One more upset, so three of four favored fighters fell in the flyweight quarterfinals. Veitía seemed in control after the first round, boxing nicely, but a cut about a minute into the second really did throw him off his game. Still arguable for Veitía, but not a robbery or anything, unless you’re one of these weirdoes who thinks no Cuban could ever lose without being robbed.
Men’s welterweight (69kg) – FINAL
Daniyar Yeleussinov (Kazakhstan) def. Shakhram Giyasov (Uzbekistan)
As mentioned earlier, this makes it four consecutive gold medals in the welterweight division for Kazakhstan, all by different fighters. That’s never been done before. The only other time there has been a country to win four straight golds in the same weight class, it was Cuba’s heavyweights from 1992-2004, with Félix Savón winning three of them and Odlanier Solis the final in Athens. We’ll have more on this fight.
Source:: Bad Left Hook