Arlen Lopez earned his second Gold medal in as many weight divisions, outboxing Great Britain's Benjamin Whittaker to win out the light heavyweight division at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lopez won on four of the five scorecards to deliver Cuba its second consecutive Gold medal win at light heavyweight.
The final of seven bouts to take place Wednesday afternoon at Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo saw the third Gold medal crowned in Tokyo. Cuba now has two of the three, with Lopez joining fellow repeat medalist Roniel Iglesias in claiming top honors in their respective division.
Lopez moved up from middleweight—where he claimed Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics—in an effort to conquer his second weight class. The 28-year-old from Guantanamo was virtually without peer, winning four straight unanimous decisions to advance to the final round.
His mix of boxing and aggression has been enough to win over the judges, which proved to be the case in the opening round versus Whittaker, a charismatic boxing stylist. Whittaker has sweated out some close calls, his stick and move style not for everyone.
It wasn't for any of the five judges in the opening round versus Lopez, even as Whittaker found success with his jab and defense in often making Lopez miss. It didn't resonate on the cards, nor was the case in round two where he managed to win in the eyes of just one judge.
Lopez was successful in forcing much of the fight to take place at close range, which was outside of Whittaker's comfort zone. The multi-talented Brit adapted in the final round, though was too far in the hole to pull off the upset.
Whittaker improved upon the performance of Joshua Buatsi, who won Bronze for Great Britain at the weight in 2016 Rio. Still, taking home silver was not at all what Whittaker had in mind, telling in his all but refusing to smile while on the podium during the medal ceremony.
Imam Khataev (ROC) and Loren Alfonso (Azerbaijan) claimed Bronze medals following semifinal-round losses to Whitaker and Lopez, respectively. The light heavyweight division was one of three where the United States did not field a qualifying representative.
Whittaker was one of six Brits to medal in Tokyo, his four wins contributing to Great Britain's Olympic leading 21 victories in competition against eight defeats among its 11-person squad. His Silver medal haul comes one day after Pat McCormack reached the same status at welterweight.
Lopez is one of five Cubans guaranteed to medal and its second to win Gold. Cuba is now 17-3 in Tokyo and with Lopez and Iglesias among the candidates for the Val Barker Trophy awarded to the best boxer in Olympics competition. The last Cuban to do so was Roberto Bolano in 1992 Barcelona.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox