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Brazil’s Hebert Sousa scores shock comeback KO of Oleksandr Khyzniak for middleweight gold

07
Aug

Ahead 20-18 on all five scorecards heading into the final round, all Oleksandr Khyzniak needed to do was play it safe for three minutes. Instead, the Ukrainian fought like a warrior, and it cost him the gold.

Brazil’s Hebert Sousa put the granite-chinned Khyzniak down on the mat with a perfectly timed left hook, leading to a referee’s stoppage at the 1:29 mark of the final round on Saturday, August 7.

The upset knockout earns Brazil its second boxing medal of the 2020 Olympics, following heavyweight Abner Teixeira’s bronze.

Khyzniak, an all-out brawler who was seemingly impervious to his opponents’ punches, had survived back to back street fights with Euri Cedeño of the Dominican Republic and Eumir Marcial of the Philippines on split decisions, but appeared even more dominant in this fight prior to the knockout.

The loss is his first since 2016.

Sousa of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil had previously been a bronze medalist at the 2019 World Championships and 2018 South American Games, and earned silver at the 2019 Pan American Games.

There were three other gold medals handed out on the penultimate day of Olympic boxing. Stoyka Krasteva of Bulgaria won a 5-0 decision over Buse Kakiroglu of Turkey to pick up the women’s flyweight gold, while Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey earned the women’s welterweight gold with a 3-0 decision over China’s Hong Gu.

In the opening bout of the day, Great Britain’s Galal Yafai outpointed Carlo Paalam of the Philippines to win the men’s flyweight gold.

There are four more gold medal matches planned for Sunday, with Keyshawn Davis and Richard Torrez Jr. seeking revenge for past defeats against Cuba’s Andy Cruz in the lightweight final and Bakhodir Jalolov in the super heavyweight final, respectively. Also, Beatrize Ferreira of Brazil faces Ireland’s Kellie Anne Harrington in the women’s lightweight final, and Lauren Price of Great Britain faces Li Qian of China in the women’s middleweight final.

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