Day 14: YAFAI wins Team GB’s first boxing title in Tokyo as he becomes the new Men’s Flyweight champion

07/08/2021
TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 07: Galal Yafai of Team Great Britain celebrates winning a goal medal in the Men’s Fly (48-52kg) Final bout between Carlo Paalam of Team Philippines and Galal Yafai of Team Great Britain on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Day 14 of the Olympic Boxing Tournament saw four thrilling final matches in the Men’s Fly (48-52kg), Women’s Fly (48-51kg), Men’s Middle (69-75kg) and Women’s Welter (64-69kg) divisions.

Team GB celebrated as Galal YAFAI won the gold medal match against Philippines’ Carlo PAALAM in the Men’s Fly (48-52kg) weigh class.

YAFAI dominated the first two rounds, while PAALAM gave it all to claim the third, but the final result eventually turned in favor of the British athlete. The Birmingham-born boxer claimed a brilliant 4:1 victory, becoming the new flyweight Olympic champion. YAFAI also became the first man representing Great Britain to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing since the Olympic Games London 2012, when Anthony JOSHUA and Luke CAMPBELL took gold. Furthermore, the British boxer gave Great Britain its first Olympic medal in the men’s fly since 1956, when Terence SPINKS won gold in this event.

Speaking after the final, YAFAI said: “Yeah Olympic champion, man, it’s crazy. You don’t really get much of a smile out of me, but I’m over the moon now.”

“It’s a massive day for me, I dreamt this moment since I was young. I’m overwhelmed. I grew up watching Olympic boxers winning medals and I’m so glad that I can follow their footsteps.”

On his side, Carlo PAALAM (PHI) can be extremely proud of his silver medal, as he becomes the first man representing the Philippines to claim an Olympic medal in any sport since boxer Mansueto VELASCO took silver in the men’s light fly at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, 25 years ago.

“The silver medal symbolizes what I went through because when I was a young boy, I was a scavenger and I collected junk and garbage.” PAALAM commented. “I know this medal is made out of recycled materials, and I can identify with it because it is also made from waste material and garbage.”

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity I had, I’m young but I believe in myself.” He also added.

Ryomei TANAKA (JPN) and Saken BIBOSSINOV (KAZ) took the two bronze medals.

TANAKA, who won Japan’s third medal in the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament, said: “Many people told me that is my greatest match and I was aiming for this. I feel very happy because I got the medal, but I really wanted to be part of a fight that everyone can remember. The happiest thing is that I fought a match you guys can remember.”

“This is my greatest achievement ever, I want to thank everyone.” – the Japanese boxer added.

Updated Draw Sheets:

Men’s Fly (48-52kg)

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