Serik Sapiyev receives Best Men’s Boxer Trophy
Impressive and dominant from start to finish, Kazak Serik Sapiyev not only claimed the Olympic Welterweight (69kg) title, but has also been awarded the coveted Best Men’s Boxer at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Val Barker Trophy) by the accredited media.
The southpaw, also a two-time AIBA World Champion (2005 and 2007), beat Great Britain Anthony Joshua to the award by a single vote (11 to 10). The Super Heavyweight Olympic Champion was then preceded by Ukrainian Lightweight (60kg) Vasyl Lomachenko (seven), Flyweight (52kg) gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana of Cuba and Ukrainian Heavyweight (91kg) Oleksandr Usyk (both five), Cuban Light Welterweight (64kg) Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo (three).
When he was told the news, the Kazak was overcome by emotion.
Sapiyev battled European Champion Freddie Evans of Great Britain for the Welterweight (69kg) title. The experienced Kazak threw a huge amount of jabs in the first with the Brit having to bide his time before looking to land with the straight one-two combination.
Good tight defenses by the 21-year-old Evans allowed him to soak up some of the early pressure but Sapiyev was in all-action mode, continually throwing a lot of punches to take the first 4:2.
It was the same scenario in the second, with Sapiyev the aggressor, constantly unloading and not giving his rival a moment to find any kind of rhythm.
The young Brit was being out-thought and outclassed by the soon-to-be APB boxer, who took the second 6:3. Evans had to go for broke in the third but his rival was moving better, faster and simply showed more determination. The British southpaw was devoid of ideas as 28-year-old Sapiyev dominated the final round to claim the gold medal with a resounding 17:9 victory.
After the bout he said: “I am very glad to be here and this victory is for the whole of Kazakhstan. I have been waiting for this moment for so long. In Beijing I lost in the quarter-finals but was resolute as my attention immediately turned to these next Olympics.”