Darlaston boxer Ben Whittaker claims silver in Tokyo

Darlaston light-heavyweight Ben Whittaker had to settle for Olympic silver as he was edged out by Cuba’s Arlen Lopez at Tokyo 2020.

Cuba's Arlen Lopez (left) and Great Britain's Benjamin Whittaker in the Men's Light Heavy (75-81kg) Final Bout
Cuba's Arlen Lopez (left) and Great Britain's Benjamin Whittaker in the Men's Light Heavy (75-81kg) Final Bout

Experienced Lopez, the middleweight champion at Rio 2016, claimed a tense and tight gold medal bout on a 4:1 split-decision.

Whittaker left the ring in tears after the result was announced but can reflect on a terrific tournament in which he has shone both in and out of the ring.

Lopez unquestionably represented the toughest test of the 24-year-old’s career to date and the task got harder when the Cuban was awarded a close opening round by all five judges.

Whittaker tried to respond in the second and caught the eye with a thundering left hook but it was again his opponent who got the nod from four judges.

By then the Black Country ace needed a stoppage to claim the title but despite an impressive final round, Lopez proved immovable.

Whittaker, who is expected to turn professional, will return to the Midlands to a hero’s welcome.

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