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Boxing: Mayer stopped; Russian joins an elite lineage

Detroit News wire services

Rio de Janeiro — American Mikaela Mayer lost her women’s lightweight quarterfinal Monday at the Riocenter boxing pavilion, falling to hard-punching Russian Anastasiia Beliakova.

Two judges scored the fight 39-37 for the Russian while the third judge ruled it a draw.

Beliakova controlled the bout from the start, fighting off her front foot and keeping Mayer (Northern Michigan) on the retreat.

Although neither fighter landed any particularly damaging blows, Beliakova’s punches were crisper and she landed them more frequently than Mayer, who falls a win short of a medal.

Heavyweight history

Russian Evgeny Tishchenko held off Kazakhstan fighter Vassiliy Levit by unanimous decision and won the heavyweight gold medal.

Levit appeared like he had the fight won, and battered Tishchenko in the head that cut him open and caused a lengthy stoppage in the third round. (These are the first Olympics since 1980 where the fighters do not wear headgear.)

But the judges thought Tischchenko did enough to survive and win the bout. Tishchenko won 29-28 on all three scorecards.

Levit seemed to control most of the fight and the decision was soundly booed by the fans. Tishchenko was booed out of the ring as the medal stand was assembled. Levit simply smirked and shook his head as he headed to the locker room.

Tishchenko joins an elite lineage of Olympic champions at the glamour weight, including George Foreman, Ray Mercer and three-time Cuban champs Felix Savon and Teofilo Stevenson. Levit beat Savon’s nephew, Erislandy, to reach the final.

Another star out

Katie Taylor, star of the London Games, lasted just one bout in Rio.

Taylor, perhaps the most popular athlete in Ireland, was upset by Finland’s Mira Potkonen via split decision in a lightweight bout.

“A very challenging year, suffering so many losses,” said Taylor, who had lost in a Rio qualification event and at the World Championships. “I’m sick of losing at this stage this year. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, really. I really felt like I was prepared for every opponent here this week.”

Russian Evgeny Tishchenko held off Kazakhstan fighter Vassiliy Levit by unanimous decision and won the heavyweight gold medal.

Levit appeared like he had the fight won, and battered Tishchenko in the head that cut him open and caused a lengthy stoppage in the third round. (These are the first Olympics since 1980 where the fighters do not wear headgear.)

But the judges thought Tischchenko did enough to survive and win the bout. Tishchenko won 29-28 on all three scorecards.

Levit seemed to control most of the fight and the decision was soundly booed by the fans. Tishchenko was booed out of the ring as the medal stand was assembled. Levit simply smirked and shook his head as he headed to the locker room.

Tishchenko joins an elite lineage of Olympic champions at the glamour weight, including George Foreman, Ray Mercer and three-time Cuban champs Felix Savon and Teofilo Stevenson. Levit beat Savon’s nephew, Erislandy, to reach the final.

Another star out

Katie Taylor, star of the London Games, lasted just one bout in Rio.

Taylor, perhaps the most popular athlete in Ireland, was upset by Finland’s Mira Potkonen via split decision in a lightweight bout.

“A very challenging year, suffering so many losses,” said Taylor, who had lost in a Rio qualification event and at the World Championships. “I’m sick of losing at this stage this year. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, really. I really felt like I was prepared for every opponent here this week.”