Team GB match their best ever boxing performance at the Olympics for a century

After a controversial super-heavyweight bout which guaranteed Frazer Clarke at least a gold medal, Great Britain matched their best ever boxing medal tally at the Olympic Games.

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Great Britain equalled their best boxing performance at the Olympics for more than 100 years amid astonishing super-heavyweight controversy.

Frazer Clarke is guaranteed at least a bronze medal after his French opponent Mourad Aliev was sensationally disqualified for excessive use of the head four seconds from the end of their quarter-final bout.

Aliev staged a sit-down protest, and was still perched on the edge of the ring more than half an hour after the Peruvian referee’s shock verdict.

Clarke was cut over both eyes – neither of them caused by a punch – when the drama unfolded at the Kokugikan Arena, the spiritual home of sumo.

Tokyo , Japan – 1 August 2021; Frazer Clarke of Great Britain, left, and Mourad Aliev of France during their men’s super heavyweight semi-final bout at the Kokugikan Arena during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

But Aliev lost his rag completely, spitting out his mouthguard and kicking it across the ring petulantly, gesticulating angrily into a ringside TV camera and making plain his disagreement with the decision.

Clarke’s controversial passage into the super-heavyweight semi-finals means Team GB will at least match their haul of five boxing medals from London 2012.

Commonwealth Games champion Clarke, 29, from Burton-on-Trent, said: “I told him not to ruin his reputation. He is a good man, and I believe he will be a champion one day.

“I can’t stand here and accuse him of using his head deliberately, but we have a great team of referees and officials out here and you have to respect them and believe in what they do.

“I fought Mourad six weeks ago and lost – but I beat him twice before that, so it was always going to be a tight contest.

“My advice to him would be to get out of that ring and don’t do anything he will regret later.

France’s Mourad Aliev refuses to leave the ring after he was disqualified for headbutting Clarke Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

“In the heat of the moment, it was all a bit confusing – obviously the referee stopped the fight deeming the French guy used his head, but during the battle it all happens very quick.

“The referee made his decision, that is what he is there to do.

“I have a great respect for Mourad the French national team as a whole, and there is no animosity between us. Once he calms down, I will go and shake his hand and wish him all the best for the future.”

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