Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov won through to the Olympic welterweight final and a guaranteed silver medal on Monday after a clash of heads ended his bout with French opponent Souleymane Cissokho.
The fight was stopped in the second round, with one minute and eight seconds remaining, on medical advice after a gash on the Kazakh’s forehead was deemed too serious for him to continue.
But, because he was ahead unanimously on points at the time, he was awarded the win.
Yeleussinov’s opponent in Wednesday’s final will be Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyasov, who earlier out-pointed Morocco’s Mohammed Rabii 3-0.
Rabii and Cissokho both take bronze medals as losing semi-finalists.
The Frenchman, who had a slight cut to his head as well, took the decision in a sporting spirit.
“It’s a clash of heads and that’s boxing,” he said. “Its frustrating that the fight was stopped … but that’s how it is.
“The judges are professionals and I respect this. I am still happy to be taking a bronze home.”
The Rio Games are the first since 1980 without the headguards, for men, that have reduced the risk of cuts in the past but Cissokho said he was a strong supporter of fighting without them.
“I feel a lot better without a helmet, I have better vision and we need to make amateur boxing more professional,” he said.
In the middleweight category, Cuba’s Arlen Lopez and Azerbaijan’s Kamran Shakhsuvarly won their quarter-finals to secure at least a bronze. They will fight each other on Thursday for a place in the final.
Lopez, the 2015 world champion and top seed in the draw, beat France’s Christian Mbilli 3-0 while Shakhsuvarly overcame Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly on a 2-1 split points decision.
The other semi-final will be fought between Mexico’s Misael Rodriguez and Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev, who beat Egyptian Hosam Abdin and Indian Krishan Vikas 3-0 respectively to make sure of their bronze medals.
In the women’s lightweight class, Ireland’s 2012 Olympic champion Katie Taylor lost her quarter-final to Mira Potkonen, a 35-year-old Finnish mother of two.
Potkonen, who meets China’s Junhua Yin in her semi-final, is now assured at least a bronze medal.
The other semi-final will be between France’s Estelle Mossely and Russian Anastasia Beliakova, who beat Mikaela Mayer of the United States to secure her bronze.