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Brazil’s Sousa wins gold on stunning knockdown

TOKYO — Brazil’s Hebert Sousa won the men’s middleweight boxing gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in shocking fashion when his bout with Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak was stopped by a third-round knockdown.

The top-seeded Khyzhniak thoroughly dominated Sousa for the first two rounds and appeared to be cruising to Ukraine’s fifth-ever boxing gold. But Sousa caught Khyzhniak with a counter left hook during an exchange in the third, and Khyzhniak went to the canvas hard.

The referee waved off the bout while Khyzhniak got up and begged to continue, adding another instance to a series of Tokyo stoppages that would be considered far too early in professional bouts.

Sousa, who beat second-seeded Gleb Bakshi of Russia in the semifinal, joins lightweight Robson Conceicao as the only boxing gold medalists in Brazil’s Olympic history. Conceicao won his historic gold at home in Rio de Janeiro.

Bakshi and Eumir Marcial of the Philippines won bronze medals in likely the most talent-stacked division in Tokyo.

ESPN Boxing

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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