Daniyar Yeleussinov became Kazakhstan’s fourth successive Olympic Welterweight Champion on Wednesday afternoon after defeating Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov in a high-tempo final in Riocentro Pavilion 6. The country’s dominance of the weight category since 2004 has been remarkable, and second-seed Yeleussinov was another worthy champion.
Opening his campaign with a tough match against Britain’s Josh Kelly, Teleussinov then defeated Venezuelan Gabriel Maestre and Souleymane Cissokho of France to reach the final, and it was a determined Giyasov who stalked his opponent to all four corners of the ring in the opening rounds. The Uzbek struggled to get close enough to land scoring punches, however, with the Kazakh’s counters proving more effective. After winning the first two rounds, 2013 World Champion Yeleussinov extended his lead in the final three minutes, and the referee raised his hand to confirm a new Olympic Welterweight Champion
“This has been my dream ever since I was a kid watching the 2004 Olympic Games. Thanks to all my friends and supporters in Kazakhstan and everyone that has been cheering for me and wishing me success. I am just so happy that I have been able to fulfil their expectations. Giyasov was a strong opponent, and had already beaten some big names in the tournament and he helped to make it a really good final. The atmosphere in there was unreal, totally electrifying,” said Yeleussinov afterwards.
The silver medal went to Shakhram Giyasov, with Souleymane Cissokho of France and Morocco’s Moammed Rabii winning bronze.