Tokyo 2020 / Boxing
The Russian Imam Khataev, who had dominated the first two rounds, separates the Rioja from the medals
The Olympic adventure of Gazi Jalidov, the Riojan boxer from Dagestan (Russia), ended up on the canvas of the Kokugikan Arena. His rival, Russian Imam Khataev, a native of Chechnya and born less than a hundred kilometers from Gazi, knocked him down in the third round. The referee started the countdown, but when he saw the difficulties of the Spanish to get up, he decided to end the fight by KO. The fight was already clearly tilted in favor of the Russian contender, who the judges had considered superior in the first two rounds.
Jalidov, settled in Logroño since he was 12 years old, when his mother was forced to escape the war in her country, thus completes a satisfactory performance in his first Games, of which he says goodbye in the quarterfinals thanks to his victory in the round previous against the Australian Paulo Aokuso. Imam Khataev, who was attending the Tokyo appointment as a substitute, for the disqualification of the starting fighter, Giorgii Kushitashvili (arrested in April for assault, possession of drugs and participation in a Moscow gang of criminals), is now seen in his hands with a medal unexpected. It will be up to you to decide the color of the metal in the semifinals and in the final. In boxing, since the 1956 Olympics, two bronzes have been delivered.
That border is the one that Enmanuel Reyes Plá wants to cross this afternoon, who closes the day today (12:54, Spanish time) at the Kokugikan Arena against one of the favorites, the Cuban Julio la Cruz, alias ‘La Sombra’. Reyes goes to Tokyo with his Spanish nationality almost recently released, as it was granted “for exceptional circumstances” last year after completing a trip full of hardships from his native Cuba to La Coruña, where his family resided.
He went to Japan with the purpose of hanging the gold medal, a goal reaffirmed by the magnificent impression he left in his previous fight, after dispatching by KO the Kazakh Vassily Levit, Olympic runner-up. But to gain access to the metals he must first defeat Julio la Cruz, a rival he knows well and with whom he shared training and fighting in the Cuban national team. La Cruz is one of the favorites. He has the best Olympic record of all the competitors, although he has been forced to gain weight and that can hinder his mobility and weigh down his reflexes.