Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Riocentro - Pavilion 6, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 10, 2016
Date Finished: August 20, 2016
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Bronze:|| Vladimir Nikitin
The bantamweight division at the Rio Olympic Games served up high quality boxing and controversy in equal measures. The favourite for the title was [Michael Conlan] of Ireland but he exited the tournament in one of the most contentious fights of the Games. Most observers thought he had the better of Russiaâs [Vladimir Nikitin] in their quarter-final but the judges unanimously gave the fight to the Russian on a score of 29-28. Two of the judges were later sent home by the AIBA for scoring that was ânot at the level expectedâ. Conlan responded with a barrage of foul mouthed abuse towards the sportâs governing body and accusing them of cheating him out of his Olympic dream. He was fined for his behaviour but, since he had already turned professional by the time of the announcement, refused to pay. To make things even worse he was later reprimanded by the IOC for placing bets on other bouts during the Olympic boxing tournament.
Nikitin, suffering from facial injuries incurred during his fight with Conlan, withdrew from his semi-final which allowed [Shakur Stevenson] to be the only male American to reach a boxing final in Rio. Stevensonâs opponent would be the 2012 flyweight champion [Robeisy RamÃrez] of Cuba. Ramirez fought on four occasions to reach the gold-medal bout, while Stevenson only fought twice after an opening round bye and the semi-final walkover.
The two finalists put on a high-level display for the crowd and shared the first two rounds. The third saw the Cuban land with 18 punches to 17 from Stevenson though Ramirez threw many more punches and appeared busier than his opponent. This was enough to convince two of the three judges to vote for RamÃrez and make him only the sixth boxer to win Olympic gold in two weight divisions.
For Stevenson, who was named in honour of the rap artist Tupac Shakur, this was his first defeat in international competition.