Like it or not, boxing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year is over, and all the possible medals have their rightful owners. History was made, upsets occurred and great judgment was strangely present.
We can now understand who was at their best and who should have done more. As is after every Olympics, it’s always the talk about who will turn professional and make the most of their amateur pedigree.
Here is who you should look out for in the future…
Claiming the gold medal at lightweight, Cuba’s Andy Cruz was arguably the most delightful boxer to watch in Tokyo. The 25 year-old came into the Games as a rightful favourite. His multiple gold medals in the AIBA World Championships and Pan America games from 2015 showed his talent.
Facing familiar opposition in the final against Keyshawn Davis, Cruz had previously beaten Davis in other competitions. The Cuban managed to convince four of the five judges at ring side with his performance. He became one of the four boxers from Cuba to win gold in Tokyo.
Cruz too possess a little bit of everything in the ring. His footwork, timing and accuracy is what makes him stand out from the others. His ability to switch from attacking the body to the head and then dodge punches at the same time is remarkable to watch and there is no doubt he will have a great career in the pros.
In a record breaking Games for Team GB boxing, Galal Yafai claimed gold to bump up the tally to six medals in Tokyo for Great Britain. Now a boxing hero back home, Yafai defeated Carlo Palaam of the Philippines in the flyweight division.
The 28 year-old from Birmingham managed to show surprising punching power in the bout when he dropped Palaam in the first round. Any gold medalist from Britain is anticipated to turn professional. It is now time to see when and who Yafai will sign for.
Brother to former world champion Kal Yafai (26-1, 15 KOs) and also Gamal Yafai (18-2, 10 KOs), it is clear that boxing is in his blood.
The proud Irish lightweight won gold at the Olympics against Beatriz Ferreira from Brazil after showing elite boxing ability. Harrington became the third Irish women ever to win gold.
Her story is different from most, Harrington worked part time at a hospital before travelling to Tokyo to compete for her country. Following in the footsteps of unified lightweight queen Katie Taylor (18-0, 6 KOs) will be a hard task to prove, but she can use Taylor as inspiration if she ever wanted to turn pro.
Although falling short in the final against Cruz, Keyshawn Davis stands out as a promising talent for American boxing. Improving with every win, Davis would have been a gold medallist against any other opponent.
Davis turned professional after the Olympics were postponed last year and won his first three pro fights. Then, five months after turning pro, Davis received an invitation to return to the U.S. Olympic team because the pandemic disrupted the qualifying process.
We know what the future holds for Davis, but can he follow in the footsteps of those before him?
Former WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs) will act as inspiration for Davis. Stevenson won silver in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games and managed to win a world title just three years after.
Team GB were inches away from multiple golds this summer, however Ben Whittaker (light heavyweight) proudly managed to secure silver. He lost in the gold medal bout to Arlen Lopez from Cuba but showed signs of good boxing earlier in the tournament.
Although a long time away, it would be brilliant to see domestic clashes between Whittaker and the light heavyweight division in the future. Whittaker becomes part of the deep array of talent that Britain has been pumping out into the amateur scene in recent years.
There is many talented boxers we saw at the Games, boxing certainly has a bright future. Other names to keep an eye out for include…
Lauren Prince (Great Britain) – Gold Medallist (Middleweight)
Duke Ragan (United States) – Silver Medallist (Featherweight)
Roniel Iglesias (Cuba) – Gold Medallist (Welterweight)
Pat McCormack (Great Britain) – Silver Medallist (Welterweight)
Herbert Souza (Brazil) – Gold Medallist (Middleweight)
Julio la Cruz (Cuba) – Gold Medallist (Heavyweight)
Frazer Clarke (Great Britain) – Bronze Medallist (Super Heavyweight)