Cubans Roniel Iglesias and Arlen Lopez win Olympic gold
At the conclusion of his Olympic games, Roniel Iglesias (270-36, 31 KO’s) walked away with the competition’s highest honors. In the finals, the Cuban welterweight defeated British boxer Pat McCormack to claim the gold medal. It was the third time that Iglesias has medaled in the Olympics and the second time that he has claimed the gold medal. In the 2008 games held in Beijing, he claimed the bronze. Then in London, in 2012, Iglesias, 33, first felt the joy of claiming Olympic gold.
Along with Iglesias, his fellow countryman Arlen Lopez (128-17, 20 KO’s) defeated Great Britain’s Benjamin Whittaker to claim gold at light heavyweight. Also like Iglesias, this was not the first time that Lopez, 28, has medaled. Back in Rio, during the 2016 Olympic games, the skillful pugilist captured the gold in middleweight.
Iglesias and Lopez now join a small fraternity of Cuban fighters who have won two Olympic gold medals. They share the distinction of winning in two different weight divisions. Iglesias won at light welterweight and welterweight, while Lopez was victorious at middleweight and light heavyweight. Only eight fighters have accomplished this before. Felix Savon and Teofilo Stevenson reside in an even more exclusive club. These are the only two Cuban boxers to win three Olympic gold medals. Yet, it should come as no surprise that Lopez and Iglesias went as far as they did. Each man had performed extraordinarily well through the games. In fact, Lopez won four straight unanimous decisions en route to landing in the finals.
By: Bakari Simpson