Boxing: Kazakh Sapiyev pummels his way to gold
By Patrick Johnston
LONDON (Reuters) - Serik Sapiyev stunned a boisterous home crowd on Sunday when he pummeled his way to welterweight gold with a 17-9 demolition of Britain's Freddie Evans and earned Kazakhstan their first boxing title of the Games.
Kazakhstan, a rising force in amateur boxing who will host next year's world championships, pocketed a bronze and a silver elsewhere in the men's draw but when Sapiyev bounded into the ring, it looked like he was fully intent on getting gold.
"I have been waiting for this moment so long. In Beijing I lost in the quarter-finals and I was upset but I was dreaming about the next Olympics," Sapiyev told reporters.
The world championship silver medalist was much the quicker boxer in the opening exchanges, using his longer reach to keep Evans at bay with a right jab and scoring when he got in close with powerful right hooks.
Evans, who had been improving with every round, beating Ukraine's world champion Taras Shelestyuk in the semi-finals, looked shocked as the Kazak easily took the second round to open up a 10-5 lead going into the last.
Any slim chance Evans stood of adding to Britain's bumper Olympic gold haul evaporated when the busy Sapiyev landed all the powerful shots in the final round, one of them knocking Evans's gumshield out of his mouth.
After three rounds of absolute domination, Sapiyev threw his hands in the air and screamed as he returned to his corner. He left the arena draped in the baby blue Kazakh flag as a tired Evans exited with his head hanging.
"I beat the Ukraine world champion, the number one in the world. I've beat him. I've had four hard fights. That was my fifth but he was sharper today and obviously he came out on top," Evans said. Continued...