La Cruz wins heavyweight gold as Cuba’s domination ring
Julio la Cruz outclassed Russian world heavyweight champion Muslim Gadzhimagomedov to win his second Olympic title yesterday, highlighting Cuba’s dominance of boxing competition in Tokyo with a third of five gold medals awarded so far.
La Cruz, 31, stayed on top against the Russian in one of the Games’ most anticipated fights and displayed his decade of experience as a championship winner, dodging Gadzhimagomedov punches ahead of the display at the counter.
Known in Cuba as “The Shadow”, La Cruz slapped his chest with his arms crossed and greeted his team with cheers, removing his mouthguard to display a golden-toothed smile before s ‘collapse back onto the canvas to contemplate his victory. “My team and my coaches gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to win the fight, and they were right. They said I had to believe in myself, ”said La Cruz, who won light heavyweight gold in Rio in 2016.“ Paris is only three years old. I will go to the next Olympics and try to win a third gold medal.
Cuba will have a chance to win another boxing gold in Tokyo tomorrow with Andy Cruz, who beat fiery Aussie Harry Garside with a unanimous decision in the men’s lightweight semifinals. Garside was relentless in his attack and led the fight against the two-time world champion, but his quick punches were no match for the Cuban’s precision.
Cruz’s opponent will be American Keyshawn Davis, who ended Armenia’s last gold hope at the Tokyo Games with his semi-final loss to Hovhannes Bachkov. In the women’s middleweight, reigning world champion Lauren Price of Great Britain made an exciting comeback in the last round to reach the final, where she will face Li Qian, who earned a chance to win the first ever medal. boxing gold since London 2012.
Price beat Nouchka Fontijn by the slimmest of margins to deprive the Dutchwoman of a place in her second Olympic final, while Li defeated Russian Zenfira Magomedalieva in a difficult and sometimes rambling fight.
Price fought from the start, but Fontijn used his composure to keep the Briton’s quick punches at bay and win the round with a narrow margin, with a chance of winning boxing’s first gold. Dutch in almost a century if it qualified. Price, 27, scored one point for excessive detention in the second round and ended up with a tough fight, but reversed the fight in the dying minutes to claim a stunning victory.
Li, a bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics and two-time world middleweight champion, will face Price in the final and is one of two Chinese boxers to still have a shot at gold in Tokyo. Li defeated a moored point against Magomedalieva.