Tokyo 2020 - Galal Yafai progresses to men's flyweight gold medal bout after thrilling semi-final victory
Galal Yafai will win either a gold or a silver for Great Britain on Saturday in what will be Team GB's sixth boxing medal of a successful Olympic Games in the ring. The 28-year-old survived an engrossing encounter with Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov, winning a tight battle in a split decision. You want it? We have it. Stream every Olympic event live on discovery+
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 05: Galal Yafai (red) of Team Great Britain celebrates victory over Saken Bibossinov of Team Kazakhstan during the Men's Fly (48-52kg) semi final on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on August 05, 2021 i
It was an engrossing, gruelling fight over three rounds, with Yafai forced to dance by an attacking showing from Bibossinov.
The fight began dramatically when less than a minute into the first round Yafai forced a standing eight count with a powerful left hand, set up by a flurry of early blows, finding success both with shots to the body and higher.
Yafai maintained the advantage throughout the opening round, with all five judges scoring in his favour.
The Kazakh boxer fought back with a strong second round, but two judges had it as the British fighter's round to leave him in a strong position as the penultimate bell sounded.
Both fighters threw everything they had at one another in the final round, fatiguing in the final 30 seconds as each dodged and ducked to avoid the other's punches.
In the final five seconds Bibossinov held his arms aloft in celebration, but his confidence was misplaced.
Three judges ruled in the Kazakh's favour in Round Three, but Yafai clung on for a 3:2 split decision after a thrilling semi-final fight.
Victory guarantees Yafai at least a silver at a successful Olympic Games for Team GB in the ring.
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 05: Galal Yafai (red) of Team Great Britain exchanges punches with Saken Bibossinov of Team Kazakhstan during the Men's Fly (48-52kg) semi final on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on August 05, 2021 in
Image credit: Getty Images
Yafai's medal will be Great Britain's sixth in boxing at Tokyo 2020.
He faces a tricky clash with Paalam for the gold, with the Filipino producing a fine semi-final performance to beat Ryomei Tanaka of Japan in a unanimous decision.
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