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Lomachenko steps up for second gold

Author: Reuters All articles by this author

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Aug. 12, 2012 17:12
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Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine celebrates victory over Soonchul Han of South Korea in the gold medal Lightweight (60 kilogram) boxing final of the 2012 London Olympic Games on Aug. 12
Photo by AFP

Ukraine's Vasyl Lomachenko showed why he is regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the amateur ranks on Sunday when he showed no ill effects in moving up in weight to romp home to a second successive Olympic gold.

Lomachenko was just about the hottest favorite of the London Games after he followed up the featherweight gold he won with ease in Beijing with a world title apiece at both feather and lightweight class.

It was the same story in London when he rarely had to move into top gear despite moving up a class and he had too much for South Korea's Han Soon-chul, easing to a 19-9 win in front of compatriot and world professional champion Vladimir Klitschko.

The irrepressible Lomachenko was in a different league to the Korean, taking the first round 7-2 with fierce right and left upper-cuts, punishing body shots topped off with sleek footwork that is almost unmatched among the amateur game.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian, who sports a tattoo of his father and coach Anatoly's face on his abdomen, continued boxing the kind of fight that would please any coach, keeping Han at bay to widen his lead by a point.

He was able to take his foot off the gas in the final round and coast to a victory.

Lomachenko, who will join the Olympic boxing governing body's professional league next year meaning he will still be eligible to go for a third gold in 2016, cracked his first smile of the Games when the result was announced.

Putting two fingers in the air to acknowledge both his second gold and the second for Ukraine at the Games, Lomachenko was hugged by Klitschko as he left the ring draped in the Ukrainian flag.

"I'm really proud of my countryman Lomachenko, it is not a common thing to win two times," Klitschko said from ringside. "It would be really exciting to see him in a professional ring."

Losing semi-finalists Yasniel Toledo Lopez of Cuba and Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania took bronze.

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