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5 years on: Olympics 2012 where are they now. Part 1/4

Anthony Joshua Vasyl Lomachenko

By Gav Duthie: This summer marks the 5 year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic games with some fantastic stories for the heroes. Of the 10 successful male gold medalists we have 4 world champions with the 7 boxers who turned pro boasting a combined record of 88-4-1 (67). Some have gained super stardom, others are already pound for pound contenders and 3 never turned professional at all. Here follows the mixed fortune of the 10 male Olympic gold medalists at the 2012 games. Following articles will discuss the successful women followed by team GB and team US.

Anthony Joshua 18-0 (18)
WBA/IBF world champion

Arguably the most successful Olympian of the bunch, certainly financially. He has been fast tracked to super stardom and boasts the joint most professional fights at 18 with fellow Brit Luke Campbell. He has won all 18 of his fights by knockout with his most impressive win coming in his last outing over former heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko. The win earned him around £15 million and there are many more opportunities in the resurgent heavyweight division to make lots more. Fellow Brit Tyson Fury is waiting in the wings and the other champions from different sides of the world Deontay Wilder (America) and Joseph Parker (New Zealand) makes up the other list of champions. All are currently undefeated.

Oleksandr Usyk 12-0 (10)
WBO Cruiserweight champion

A stand out amateur with a 400-10 record many wondered if Usyk would ever turn professional. The big Ukrainian impressively beat all comers to win gold including top prospect Artur Beterbiev who campaigns in the light heavyweight division. Usyk won a world title in his 10th fight and is already seen as the best cruiserweight in an already talented division. He plans to unify and then move up into the heavyweight ranks. He is to fight Marco Huck next as part of the new boxing tournament he has entered.

Egor Mehkontsev 12-0-1 (8)
Light heavyweight prospect

Mehkontsev is a 32 year old Russian residing in Los Angeles. He turned professional in 2013 with an easy victory. He had a busy 2014 with 6 fights scoring 5 by knockout. Despite the promising start he has now not fought in almost a year after a surprising draw against Alexander Johnson 16-4. He was poor that night and the hype train at light heavyweight now circles around Beterbiev and Gvosdzyk.

Ryota Murata 12-1 (9)
World title challenger

Only 7 Gold Medalists turned pro and four have already won world titles but it should be five. Murata fought in his home country of Japan against two time challenger Hassan N’Dam. As always the Cameroonian boxer showed his talented but was outworked and muscled by Murata. Some called it the worst decision of the year giving the title to N’Dam and the WBA acted quickly to order an immediate rematch.

Serik Sapayev

Sapiyev hails from Kazakhstan and will never turn professional. He was now 33 years old and has been an outstanding amateur. He has 5ft 10 so very tall for a welterweight fighter. On top of the 2012 Olympic gold he also earned 2 Gold medals at the world championships. Sapayev is still heavily involved in the sport retaining a position as the General Director for ‘World Series Boxing’ the prestigious amateur tournament taking the sport by storm.

Roniel Iglesias

The Communist regime in Cuba prohibits its boxers from turning professional. In this era many standout amateurs are choosing to defect in order to make a living in the pro ranks but Roniel Iglesias resisted the urge. Iglesias was a national champion at only 16 years of age when Yuriorkis Gamboa was injured. Iglesias picked a bronze medal in 2008 when he was only 19. He won Gold in 2012 but was DQ in 2016 in the last 16. At only 28 years of age he will be likely aiming to go again in 2020.

Vasyl Lomachenko 8-1 (6)
WBO World Featherweight champion
WBO Super Featherweight champion

He lost once as an amateur in 397 bouts and cruised to Olympic Gold medals in 2008 (featherweight) and 2012 (lightweight). It all threatened to unravel though as he was bullied and beaten by Orlando Salido in his second pro bout. Not deterred he fought for another world title in his next fight against Gary Russell Jnr. A few fights later he is now already considered one of the best boxers in the world.

Luke Campbell 17-1 (14)
Lightweight contender

Campbell is looking close to getting a world title shot after stopping former champion Darleys Perez on the undercard of Joshua V Klitschko. This would have happened sooner but for an uncharacteristically poor performance losing to French champion Yvan Mendy. He seemed to struggle with the pressure and there were question marks but he has won 5 times since this bout. There are rumours he could challenge Jorge Linares for his WBC title next.

Robeisy Ramirez
Cuban amateur boxer

Just 23 years of age and a double Olympic Gold medalist. He was only 18 when he picked up Gold in 2012. In Rio 2016 he moved up in weight and was up against America’s next superstar in Shakur Stevenson but he still grabbed Gold. The Stevenson fight was high class but Ramirez aggression won 2 of the 3 rounds. Only 3 men have ever won 3 gold medals in boxing, 2 of them Cuban legends in Teofilo Stevenson and Felix Savon, the other Hungarian legend and undefeated professional Laszlo Papp. At such a young age if Ramirez doesn’t turn pro he could join this list and potentially could win 4 as he will only be 30 in 2024.

Zou Shiming
WBO Flyweight champion

The Chinese boxer was 32 when he turned professional after his London flyweight success so he couldn’t waste anytime looking for big fights. He fought for a world title (IBF) in his 7th pro contest but lost to Amnat Ruenroeng but won the WBO version in his 10th fight against Prasitsak Phaprom. Shiming has since left his management team and Top Rank promotions to organise his own show at the end of July against Sho Kimura in Shanghai.


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