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Author Archive for Kevin Mitchell at Riocentro

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Joshua Buatsi outfoxed but leaves with bronze as Joe Joyce reaches semis

• Light-heavyweight Buatsi loses on points to Kazak Adilbek Niyazymbetov
• Super-heavyweight Joyce pummels Uzbek Bakhodir Jalolov

While the rest of amateur boxing may have given the impression it was about to disappear down a toilet somewhere in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, the British boxers Joe Joyce and Joshua Buatsi did their best to invest some legitimacy in proceedings.

Joyce, the super-heavyweight, progressed to the semi-finals; Buatsi, the young light-heavyweight who has been the find of the tournament, fell short at that stage against the 27-year-old Kazak Adilbek Niyazymbetov, although he can leave Rio proud of a bronze medal at his first – and possibly last – Olympics.

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GB’s Rebekah Tiler holds her head high as controversy weighs lifting down

• 17-year-old from Yorkshire finished 10th in women’s 69kg competition
• Five lifters in Tiler’s draw had history of doping

On the afternoon that 17-year-old Rebekah Tiler from Yorkshire narrowly missed out on a final eight place in the women’s 69kg competition – partly because of the presence of rivals who had a dubious right to be in Rio – rumours swept the Olympic Park that a third male weightlifter had failed a drugs test.

Yet nothing, it seems, can wipe the ready smile from Tiler’s shiny young face – not even the rumbling discontent that has driven her drug-plagued sport beyond parody for decades, albeit in notorious company with several others.

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Lawrence Okolie and Antony Fowler fall to Cuban and Kazakh boxing class

• Okolie loses to Erislandy Savón in heavyweight class
• Middleweight Zhanibek Alimkhanuly too good for Fowler

Lawrence Okolie, a once overweight hamburger flipper from north London who has put away his psychology books for a while to study the less cerebral art of boxing, epitomises all that is good about amateur boxing – and on Monday night he left the Olympics with a defeat but the respect of a very good Cuban.

Four years ago in London Erislandy Savón, bearer of one of the most famous surnames in Cuban boxing, did not quite deliver for his uncle Felix in the super-heavyweight division against Anthony Joshua – although some good judges thought the Watford novice fortunate to win their first-round bout and go on to get gold.

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Galal Yafai ponders whether to chase the money after close Olympic loss

• Light-flyweight loses split decision to Cuba’s Joahnys Argilagos
• ‘I thought I probably did enough to get a win,’ says Birmingham southpaw

The ultimate question a beaten Olympic boxer has to ponder is, where to next: keep the vest for another crack at glory or chase the money?

The Birmingham southpaw Galal Yafai finds himself in that quandary after a close losing effort in the second round of competition against the world light-flyweight champion, Joahnys Argilagos.

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