Light Flyweight Uzbek boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov captures the Olympic gold medal – Dusmatov started the contest as he always does by trying to command the centre of the ring, throwing a long southpaw left and following up behind it with a swift right hook forcing his fellow finalist the Colombian, Yubergen Herney Martinez, to take backwards steps away from the oncoming Uzbek and ceding the centre of the ring.
Martinez the taller of the pair found it difficult to establish his jab early against the fast moving Dusmatov, who often used his quick reflexes to beat Martinez to the punch and get out of range of the Colombian’s returns.
Although Martinez started to throw right uppercuts in an attempt to catch the shorter fighter as he moved into range, he never found success with the punch as Dusmatov was fleet footed in pivoting away from the punches thrown by his opponent.
In the final minute of the first round Dusmatov offered the centre to his opponent whom he knew had a round to chase, and gave chase willingly. However the Colombian found himself walking onto right hooks and straight left hand punches thrown with speed and precision to then watching the Uzbek dance away ushering a new chase. All judges scored the first round in favour of the quick Uzbek dynamo.
In the second round the Martinez was keen to employ better use of his jab and hold the centre, but found Dusmatov using his quick hands to come over the top of his jabs with his own left hands and land counters successfully before moving away. Martinez found more success but for too much of the round he was out worked by the clever Uzbek who kept a high guard and landed more than he received.
The crowd rallied behind both boxers in the final minute as they held the centre and traded swift combos darting in and out of range in the style that so characterises elite Olympic boxing. A looping left hand was the best punch by Dusmatov who caught his opponent off guard several times in the round before pivoting to the right away from orthodox opponent’s back handed shots. The final moments of the round both fighters exchanged leather trying to seal it in their favour, but again all the judges scored it unanimously for the Uzbek who had now placed one foot on the first place podium.
As the bell called both fighters forward for the final stanza, Martinez came storming out throwing all his will and desire behind his punches, the urgency clear in his work. Dusmatov, experienced beyond his years was keen to slow it down. He had in previous stages of the tournament gotten his nose ahead in the first two rounds and fought on the back foot for the third round and seemed to be following the same blue print to victory, as he countered patiently and intelligently off the back foot.
His confidence already high was now clearly visible as he ducked and weaved away from the hands of Martinez, slipping punches before landing a flurry of his own at the head and body, darting away before Martinez could muster his return volleys.
Dusmatov’s movement was worthy of the Gold in itself, as he stayed away from Martinez as effectively as he had all his previous opponents in the competition. He effectively tied his opponent up close to the ropes in the final minute before dancing away to centre ring again where his fast feet would keep him safe.
Martinez kept up the three round pursuit up to the final moments of the bout, but never managed to come to terms with the speed of Dusmatov. At the sound of the final bell Dusmatov leaped into the arms of his coach amidst terrific applause from the spectators in the arena knowing he had won himself Olympic gold.
The judges agreed and awarded him a unanimous decision victory crowning him Rio 2016’s Light Flyweight Olympic Champion. Another excellent display of pure boxing skill, ring craft and intelligence displayed by the new Olympic Champion Hasanboy Dusmatov, and one of the stand out performers of the competition thus far.
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