London - Bulgaria’s Tervel Pulev and Azerbaijan’s Teymur Mammadov won bronze in the men’s Olympic 91kg boxing here Friday after losing their respective semi-finals.
Ukraine’s Olexander Usyk will now fight Italy’s Clemente Russo for the gold medal Saturday, in a rematch of last year’s World Championship final, which Usyk won.
Usyk beat Pulev 21-5 in a resounding win, while 2008 silver medallist Russo defeated Mammadov 15-13.
Pulev, the silver medallist at the last two European Championships, tried to put pressure on Usyk early in the first round but the Ukrainian responded with force, sending Pulev to the canvas with 30 seconds remaining of the round, which he won 6-2.
Usyk again effectively subdued Pulev in the second, scoring good points with the Bulgarian up against the ropes to take the round 8-2, before dominating in a third round he won 7-1.
Mammadov’s quarter-final win over Siarhei Karneyeu had sparked discussions over the fairness of the scoring system and the Azerbaijani fighter’s penchant for holding his opponents, after he was jeered by some in the crowd as he danced up to the ring before the fight.
Mammadov held Russo several times in the second round but also scored some strong hits of his own, registering two knockdowns in the second round, which he won 6-4 after earlier taking the first 3-2.
The third round saw Russo knock Mammadov down twice and pound him against the ropes before both received warnings for holding.
Both fighters celebrated at the bell as they awaited the judges’ verdict, which gave Russo the final round 9-4 and the fight by two points.
Men’s boxing at the Olympics uses three three-minute rounds, unlike the four two-minute rounds used in women’s.