LONDON (Reuters) - Cuban teenager Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana ensured he left the London Games as the fighter to watch after his power and speed took him past Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar to Olympic flyweight gold on Sunday.
After classy Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo won Cuba’s first Olympic boxing gold in eight years on Saturday, a long wait for the great amateur boxing nation, the 18-year-old Carrazana added boxing gold number 34 with a sumptuous display.
“The moment I heard I won I fell on the floor because it was overwhelming. I am 18 years old and I am already an Olympic champion,” Carrazana told reporters.
“I am becoming part of my country’s history along with past Cuban champions.”
Cuba’s boxing golds make up almost half of their total Olympics successes and it was easy to see why as Carrazana again sized up his opponent in the opening exchanges before taking a tight first round that proved a battle of the left hooks.
The silky southpaw, who eased through the draw beating second-seeded Briton Andrew Selby in the process, soaked up more pressure in the second round, evading much of what was thrown at him to keep his narrow lead.
Both boxers also landed punches after the bell had sounded at the end of the second and gave each other a glaring stare to add spice to the final round.
The fight opened up a little more as Carrazana began flinging and landing left upper cuts, but Nyambayar could not get through the quick Cuban’s defense.
Nyambayar had upset world champion Misha Aloian of Russia on his way to the final and was hoping to add to Enkhbatyn Badar-Uugan’s first Mongolian boxing gold four years ago as his pocket of fans roared him on, but the bout was one too far.
Carrazana fell to his knees when the final score of 17-14 was called before dancing around the ring, showboating a little by demonstrating a few push-ups and following Sotolongo in taking a lap of honor with the Cuban flag.
“It was a difficult fight. I am extremely happy,” Carrazana.
Losing semi-finalists Michael Conlan of Ireland, who the Cuban outclassed in their last-four bout, and Russia’s Aloian took bronze.
Carrazana’s coach Rolando Acebal said that his fighter’s power and had been decisive in his run to gold.
“Our man punched very hard, that’s what made the difference. Others were faster but he was stronger,” Acebal told reporters.
Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Patrick Johnston, editing by Justin Palmer and Ed Osmond