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Four new champions give the Rio 2016 Olympic Boxing Tournament a shining finale

American Claressa Shields and Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontijn were first into the ring, both with an added incentive to win besides the glory of Olympic gold. For Shields, the prospect of retaining the title she won in London 2012 and firmly underlining her dominance of the Middleweight (75kg) class over the last four years, while Fontijn was eager to erase the memory of her World Championship final defeat to the American in May.

As ever, Shields’ attacking instinct was clear from the opening bell, launching bursts of punches that Fontijn struggled to fend off. As Netherlands’ top female boxer came forward, Shields defences stayed strong, dodging some fierce punches to help establish a commanding lead at the halfway stage. With the first three rounds won, the defending champion remained focussed, and though Fontijn won the last two minutes, Shields had already earned a unanimous victory and a place in American boxing folklore.

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Olympic Boxing: Nicola Adams, Robeisy Ramirez and Arlen Lopez are crowned Olympic Champions on golden Saturday in Rio

It was a truly golden day of Olympic Boxing in Riocentro Pavilion 6 on Saturday, with three finals deciding the Rio 2016 Champions in the Women’s Flyweight (51kg), Men’s Bantamweight (56kg) and Men’s Middleweight (75kg) competitions.

The first bout of the day saw two experienced athletes going head-to-head, as Britain’s defending Olympic Champion Nicola Adams faced Sarah Ourahmoune of France at Flyweight. With the French team buoyed by Estelle Mossely’s gold on Day Fourteen, Ourahmoune looked to press from the off, but Adams also took little time to find her range, outscoring her opponent across the first two rounds to establish a commanding lead.

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Rio Olympics Boxing Round-up: France's Estelle Mossely wins Lightweight gold

Estelle Mossely won Olympic gold on Friday afternoon to cap a brilliant year for the French Lightweight (60kg). It was a gripping final, with China’s Yin Junhua powering into an early lead before Mossely dug deep to deliver a memorable turnaround. The Chinese boxer had managed to frustrate her opponent for long periods, but as her volume of punches thrown increased, Mossely’s accuracy gradually picked up too, earning a tight split-decision victory to the delight of the French fans.

Earlier on, the Men’s Flyweight (52kg) Semi-Finals had begun the day, with Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov and Venezuelan Yoel Finol kicking off the action. Finol looked to come forward at every opportunity, but Zoirov waited and countered time and again, leaving a tiring Venezuelan to pick up a hard-earned bronze while the Uzbek progresses to meet Russia’s APB World Champion Misha Aloian for gold on Sunday afternoon.

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Daniyar Yeleussinov becomes Kazakhstan’s fourth successive Olympic Welterweight Champion

Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan won the Rio 2016 Men’s Olympic Welterweight (69kg) gold on Wednesday afternoon after a high-tempo final against Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov in the Riocentro Pavilion 6 boxing arena. Yeleussinov becomes the fourth successive Olympic Welterweight gold medalist for his country.

A determined Giyasov stalked his opponent to all four corners of the ring in the opening rounds but struggled to get close enough to the elusive Yeluessinov to score, with the Kazakh’s counters proving more effective. After winning the first two rounds, the 2013 World Champion Yeleussinov extended his lead in the final three minutes, and the referee confirmed the new Olympic Welterweight Champion.

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Brazil’s Robson Conceição crowned Olympic Lightweight Champion

The crowd raised the roof inside a packed Riocentro Pavilion 6 on Tuesday night as Robson Conceição and Sofiane Oumiha of France entered the arena for the Men’s Lightweight (60kg) Final, and the Brazilian responded with a flourishing start. Oumiha, too, found his range early on, but it was Conceição who shaded the first round, and then fended off a late surge in the second to establish a commanding lead. As the adrenaline flowed, the two boxers delivered a grandstand finish, but it was Conceição who’s hand was raised, prompting 9,000 fans to erupt in wild celebrations.

“I want to thank all the Brazilian people, all the fans who have spurred me on with their messages and thoughts. This isn’t just my medal, its for all of Brazil. Sofiane was a tough opponent, it was difficult out there tonight, and I want to congratulate him on helping to make it a brilliant final and I wish him a great future”, said an exhausted Conceição afterwards.

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