Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) and Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez engaged in another historic USA – Cuba battle in Saturday’s bantamweight finale at the 2016 Olympic Games. The gold medal bout went down to the wire between the two talented boxers but Ramirez’s pulled out the closest of split decisions, giving Stevenson the silver medal.
One of the most highly anticipated bouts of the tournament, the Stevenson-Ramirez showdown lived up to the hype. Both boxers looked to use their strengths in the match-up which featured two of the greatest Olympic-style boxers in the world. Stevenson utilized his range and distance early while Ramirez looked to smother the American boxer. All three rounds were hotly contested but Ramirez took the first three minutes on the judges’ cards. Stevenson turned the judges in the second round, showcasing his boxing skill and landing the cleaner punches to tie the bout up at one round a piece. He started the third round strongly, showcasing his ability to judge distance and catching Ramirez with effective straight shots. As the bout neared the end, Ramirez fired off a combination of punches, none of which connected and Stevenson looked to answer as the final bell rang. After nine minutes of boxing at its highest level, the two boxers waited at the center of the ring for the announcement. The verdict came by split decision and it was Ramirez taking his second consecutive Olympic gold medal.