Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan spoiled the mood of an enthusiastic crowd hoping for another gold medal for Britain when he won a decisive verdict over Freddie Evans in the finals of the men’s welterweight competition at the London Olympics.
Sapiyev never really let Evans get into the fight, leading at the end of the first round by two points, extending the lead to 10-5 at the end of two and coasting home to win by a final tally of 17-9.
Evans is from Wales, which is a separate entity as far as AIBA is concerned (where he is rated #2 in the world) but he represented Great Britain in the Games. He is the defending European champion, and had high hopes for a gold.
Meanwhile, Sapiyev is a veteran on the international scene, having won a world championship twice, in 2005 and 2007, in the light welterweight division.
The 28-year-old Sapiyev won all of his bouts by considerable margins, and could be a candidate for the Val Barker Trophy as the outstanding boxer of these Olympics. In the four bouts he has had, he has outscored his opponents on the judges’ scorecards by a combined 80-41.
Evans has a moving personal story, in that during the formative years of his boxing career, while he was still a junior competitor, his mother and sister were killed in a car accident outside of Cardiff. So you can imagine he’s had a lot in the back of his mind as he’s risen through this Olympic tournament. He’ll be heard from again, if not in the amateur ranks, then as a potential pro star in the U.K.