Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Riocentro - Pavilion 6, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 6, 2016
Date Finished: August 18, 2016
Format: Single elimination tournament.
|Gold:||Julio CÃ©sar La Cruz|
|Bronze:|| Mathieu Bauderlique
Cuba, the nation that had long been the dominant force in amateur boxing, faced a number of challenges in the years before the Olympic Games arrived in Rio. Defections to professional boxing, the further rise of ex-Soviet nations and a change to the points system that many thought worked against the Cuban âpunch and move awayâ style threatened the Caribbean nationâs place as the best of the best in the sport.
[Julio CÃ©sar La Cruz] had been the star of the Cuban boxing since before the 2012 Olympics.
A three time world champion and two time Pan American Games gold medallist, the only thing missing from his CV was an Olympic title. His progress to the final was as smooth as possible with three successive wins where he won every round on each judgeâs scorecard.
His opponent in the gold medal match would be [Adilbek Niyazymbetov] of Kazakhstan who won silver in London four years earlier. The Cuban fighter stuck to his plan of whipping in quick blows and darting away to great effect in the first two rounds and, although the increasingly desperate attacks of the Kazakh were more effective in the last three minutes, it was enough to give Cuba the first of what would eventually be three boxing title in Rio.
La Cruz was hit by a bullet above his left hip in his home town of Camaguey in 2014 while leaving a restaurant.
[Mathieu Bauderlique] of France and [Joshua Buatsi] of Great Britain won bronze medals.