By Philip O’Connor
TOKYO (Reuters) – Ireland’s Kellie Harrington won an enthralling battle against Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira and Cuba’s Andy Cruz scored a split decision win over Keyshawn Davis in their lightweight gold medal bouts on the final day of boxing at the Tokyo Games.
Harrington narrowly lost the first round before finding her range and rhythm, using her superior height and reach to circle on the outside and score while staying out of range of her hard-hitting opponent.
The 31-year-old showed her experience late on, coming inside to land to the body before clinching to tie up Ferreira and prevent her from striking back as she became the first Irish woman to win gold since Katie Taylor in 2012.
In the men’s lightweight final Cruz won the first round comfortably, sticking and moving as Davis controlled the centre of the ring, but in the second the American tightened up his guard and landed some heavy right hands.
The final minute of the third round turned into a slugging match as both fighters tried to convince the judges that the gold should be theirs, with the Cuban having his hand raised.
The 15th and final day of the boxing programme continues with medals to be decided in the women’s middleweight and men’s super-heavyweight classes.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Peter Rutherford)