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Russian Boxer Tishchenko Takes Heavyweight Gold Amid Controversy

Evgeny Tishchenko (right) of Russia upset Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan to win the gold.

Russian boxer Evgeny Tishchenko won a prestigious heavyweight gold medal amid booing and controversy over a unanimous decision by the Rio Olympic judges against Kazakh fighter Vassiliy Levit.

Levit appeared to dominate the bout on August 15, launching relentless attacks against Tishchenko that put a gash in his forehead and caused a lengthy stoppage as Tishchenko received medical attention. Olympic fighters this year did not wear headgear for the first time since 1980.

But the judges thought Tischchenko, a 2015 world champion who landed some well-targeted punches, did enough to win, with all three giving him a 29-28 score.

Because Levit seemed to control most of the fight, the decision was roundly booed by the fans. A pocket of Russian fans waved flags and celebrated.

Levit looked stupefied at the decision and shook his head. The crowd roared as the Kazakh wiped away tears during the medals ceremony.

Tishchenko, 25, joins an elite lineup of Olympic heavyweight champions, including George Foreman, Ray Mercer, and Cuban champs Felix Savon and Teofilo Stevenson.

Levit had beaten Savon's nephew, Erislandy, to reach the final.

Savon, a Cuban fighter, and Uzbekistan's Rustam Tulaganov, another semifinal contender, both won bronze medals.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and dpa