Russian heavyweight bruiser into Rio boxing final


RIO DE JANEIRO: Russia’s world and European amateur boxing champion Evgeny Tishchenko bulldozed his way into the heavyweight final of the Rio Olympics on Saturday to guarantee at least silver.

He will face Vassiliy Levit in Monday’s gold-medal clash after the Kazakh battled past Cuba’s Erislandy Savon, nephew of the triple Olympic champion Felix, on unanimous points.

The 25-year-old Tishchenkko, who holds a master’s degree in physical education and only knew days before the Games that he could compete, defeated Rustam Tulaganov of Uzbekistan on unanimous points to reinforce his reputation as the man to beat in Rio.

“I’m more satisfied today than I was with my previous fights,” said the Russian, who stands 1.96 metres tall (six feet five) and enjoyed a noticeable height advantage over his opponent.

“I tried to use that advantage as much as I could. I’ve seen most my opponents before, especially the boxer from Uzbekistan.

“I plan to rest today and tomorrow and then we will look at the plan and the tactics for the final.”

Russia’s 11-strong boxing team, along with all Russians at the Games, only knew days before the start that they would be able to compete in the wake of the revelations of state-run doping across Russian sport.