Vasyl Lomachenko realized what many ringside observers predicted he would, winning the Olympic gold medal in the lightweight division with a 19-9 decision over Soon-Chul Han at the ExCel Arena in London.
Lomachenko, who hails from the Ukraine, had defeated, with a bit of difficulty, the troublesome southpaw Yasniel Toledo Lopez in the semifinals, while Han beat Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania in the other semifinal.
Lomachenko set the pace right from the start, taking it by a score of 7-2 on the judges’ cards, and had Han playing catch-up from there, which was too tall an order. Going into the final round, Han was six points down, and there was very little except a knockout that was going to save him.
Instead, Lomachenko put an exclamation point on his performance with an 8-4 edge in the final stanza to seal the double-digit win and stamp Lomachenko as a favorite to be named outstanding boxer for the second straight Olympics.
Known as perhaps the best pound-for-pound boxer in the men’s side of amateur boxing, Lomachenko won the 2008 Olympics in the featherweight class and did so well that he was given the Val Barker Trophy as the outstanding boxer in the Games. He outscored the four boxers who went the distance with him in that ’08 tournament by a cumulative margin of 49-12.
This time it wasn’t as decisive, although Lomachenko was never in any serious trouble. He won his four bouts by a total of 62-32 in storming to a gold in his second weight division.