Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan becomes Olympic men’s super heavyweight champion

Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan became the gold medalist in Olympic boxing’s marquee event on Sunday–the men’s super heavyweight division. Jalolov defeated American Richard Torrez of Tulare, CA on all five cards to become the third Olympic gold medalist for Uzbekistan at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.

Jalolov joins men’s 68-kilogram taekwondo gold medalist Ulugbek Rashitov and men’s 109-kilogram weightlifter Akbar Djuraev. In all, Uzbekistan had five Olympic medalists. Davlat Bobonov won the Olympic bronze medal in the men’s 90-kilogram judo division, and Bekzod Abdurakhmonov won the Olympic bronze medal in the men’s 74 kilogram freestyle wrestling division.

Throughout the gold medal bout between Jalolov and Torrez, Jalolov seemed to use his size to his advantage. Jalolov is 6’7″,  while Torrez is only 6’2″. The added five inches in height for Jalolov was definitely a benefit when delivering powerful punches, and preventing Torrez in delivering his fair share of counter blows.

Jalolov meanwhile is a superstar in Uzbekistan despite currently living in the American state of California. At the last two opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, has been the Uzbekistan flag bearer. Now a professional boxer, Jalolov has won his first eight fights of his career, including six via a knockout. When Jalolov competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he won his first fight in the round of 16 by knocking out Edgar Munoz of Venezuela, before losing to eventual silver medalist Joe Joyce of Great Britain in the quarterfinals.

There were three other gold medal bouts in boxing on Sunday. In the lightweight division, Andy Cruz of Cuba beat American Keyshawn Davis in the final. Cruz was one of four Cuban Olympic gold medallists in men’s boxing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021. Meanwhile, in women’s boxing, Kellie Harrington of Ireland won gold in the lightweight division, and Lauren Price of Great Britain won gold in the middleweight division.

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