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Brazilian middleweight steals gold medal with stunning late KO of world champion

Brazil’s Hebert Sousa was heading for defeat until he shocked Oleksandr Khyzhniak.

UKRAINE’S TOP SEED Oleksandr Khyzhniak was ahead on the judges’ scorecards and appeared destined for gold in today’s men’s middleweight final at the Olympic Games, but was denied victory by a stunning, final-round knockout punch by Brazil’s Hebert Sousa.  

Sousa floored his opponent with a left flush on the cheek to send him flying to the floor with a thud.

The referee immediately waved the bout off, with Khyzhniak wobbly on his feet and looking groggy.

“I got lucky, I connected, it was a KO, I’m very pleased,” said the 23-year-old Sousa, who performed a capoeira dance in celebration.

However, Khyzhniak, 26, felt that he was hard done by and said that he could have continued.

“I did not understand it,” said the aggrieved silver medallist.

Elsewhere, Britain’s Galal Yafai said that he will enjoy light-hearted bragging rights over his boxing brothers after defeating Carlo Paalam to win flyweight Olympic gold on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Yafai, a former car-factory worker, won on split points in an enthralling contest against the Filipino to earn Britain’s first boxing gold in Tokyo.

Yafai’s older brothers, Kal and Gamal, are both established professionals. But neither ever won a Games medal, never mind a gold one.

In women’s boxing, Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey won the welterweight title for her country’s first Olympic gold medal in the sport.

There was also silver for compatriot Buse Naz Cakiroglu, beaten in the flyweight final by Bulgaria’s Stoyka Krasteva.

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Yafai said that he will indulge in a little good-natured one-upmanship when he sees them.

“To be fair, we are normally supportive of each other and not argumentative,” said the new champion.

“They will be happy for me, like I would be for them.

“I might do it once or twice (brag to them) in future, but only on the joking side.”

Yafai said this will be the end of him as an Olympian, as he eyes a professional career, and wants to be a world champion one day.

 © – AFP, 2021

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