Olympics: Cuban beats Mayweather protege for boxing gold

Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez (blue) in action against the US' Shakur Stevenson.
Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez (blue) in action against the US' Shakur Stevenson.PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez clinched a second Olympic title as he defeated a Floyd Mayweather protege to win bantamweight boxing gold in Rio on Saturday (Aug 20).

The American Shakur Stevenson, who will turn professional with Mayweather after the Games, was left distraught and in fits of tears after he suffered a split-points decision loss to Ramirez, 22, who won flyweight gold at London 2012.

This was a classy and eagerly anticipated contest between two of the finest boxers on display in Rio.

And there was very little in it from the off, with the crowd firmly behind the Cuban and boos every time there were a smattering of chants of "USA! USA!" The third round was especially cagey and close, although roars went up when Ramirez caught the 19-year-old Stevenson with a combination that had him back on the ropes.

Stevenson was enjoying this, smiling at the punishment and the challenge in front of him.

But he looked in some more trouble at the end of the third as Ramirez closed on a second Olympic gold, and even beckoned the American on at the end - beating his chest and urging more from his foe.

Bronze went to Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan - beaten by Ramirez in the semi-finals - and the Russian Vladimir Nikitin, who failed to make the semis with Stevenson after suffering too much punishment in his controversial, previous fight.