Tokyo Olympics: Briton wins flyweight boxing gold
Britain’s Galal Yafai defeated Carlo Paalam to win the Olympic flyweight title on Saturday, denying the Philippines a first boxing gold medal in the country’s history.
The men’s middleweight final produced a shock as Ukrainian top seed Oleksandr Khyzhniak was knocked out in the third round of his bout by Brazil’s Hebert Sousa.
The 28-year-old Yafai, a former car-factory worker, won on split points in an enthralling contest against Paalam to earn Britain’s first boxing gold in Tokyo.
Yafai, cheered on from the stands by his British teammates — many of them with the country’s flag draped over their shoulders — had the Filipino down in the first round of the scheduled three after an incisive three-punch combination.
Paalam was always playing catch-up after that against Yafai, whose two older brothers are both professional boxers.
Britain, who like the Philippines have a proud boxing history, have now won one gold, two silvers and two bronze in the sport in the Japanese capital.
Despite the disappointment for 23-year-old Paalam, the Philippines have enjoyed a breakthrough fortnight in boxing at the Games.
Nesthy Petecio won women’s featherweight silver and Eumir Marcial took men’s middleweight bronze.
Ukraine’s Khyzhniak was ahead on the judges’ scorecards and appeared destined for middleweight gold but out of nowhere the unfancied Sousa floored him with a left flush on the cheek.
The referee immediately waved the bout off, with Khyzhniak wobbly on his feet and looking groggy. (AFP)