| Event type

Heavyweight (81-91 kilograms), Men

Date24 July – 6 August 2021
LocationRyōgoku Kokugikan, Sumida, Tokyo, Japan
Participants17 from 17 countries
FormatSingle elimination tournament.

By winning the world championships in 2019, Muslim Gadzhimagomedov of Russia established himself as a clear favourite for the Olympic title. Back then his only competitive fight had been against Kazakhstan’s Vasily Levit so when Levit was knocked out by Pedro Reyes of Spain in his first bout in Tokyo it appeared that Gadzhimagomedov had a clear run to the gold.

Unfortunately for the Russian, this seriously underestimated the claims of Julio César la Cruz, the reigning light-heavyweight Olympic champion. The Cuban, who still had the scars of an armed robbery from 2014 where he been shot in the hip, totally outclassed the man from Dagestan who had not a lost a fight in the previous five years.

For the bronze medals, David Nyika of New Zealand survived an attempt at being bitten to share a medal in his first bout to share a medal with the unheralded Abner Teixeira of Brazil.

1Julio César la CruzCUBGold
2Muslim GadzhimagomedovROCSilver
=3Abner TeixeiraBRABronze
=3David NyikaNZLBronze
=5Enmanuel ReyesESP
=5Ammar AbduljabbarGER
=5Hussein IashaishJOR
=5Uladzislau SmiahlikauBLR
=9Elly Ajowi OcholaKEN
=9Abdelhafid BenchablaALG
=9Cheavon ClarkeGBR
=9Vasily LevitKAZ
=9José María LucarPER
=9Julio CastilloECU
=9Ato Plodzicki-FaoagaliSAM
16Sanjar TursunovUZB
ACYouness BaallaMARDisqualified in round two match.

Round One (24 July 2021 — 14:12)

Winner of each match advanced to the second round.

Match #1 Muslim GadzhimagomedovROC Bye
Match #2 Abdelhafid BenchablaALG Sanjar TursunovUZB Decision (4 - 1)
Match #3 Ammar AbduljabbarGER Bye
Match #4 José María LucarPER Bye
Match #5 Ato Plodzicki-FaoagaliSAM Bye
Match #6 Uladzislau SmiahlikauBLR Bye
Match #7 Youness BaallaMAR Bye
Match #8 David NyikaNZL Bye
Match #9 Julio CastilloECU Bye
Match #10 Hussein IashaishJOR Bye
Match #11 Abner TeixeiraBRA Bye
Match #12 Cheavon ClarkeGBR Bye
Match #13 Elly Ajowi OcholaKEN Bye
Match #14 Julio César la CruzCUB Bye
Match #15 Enmanuel ReyesESP Bye
Match #16 Vasily LevitKAZ Bye

Round Two (27 July 2021 — 12:03)

Winner of each match advanced to the quarter-finals.

Match #1 Muslim GadzhimagomedovROC Abdelhafid BenchablaALG Decision (5 - 0)
Match #2 Ammar AbduljabbarGER José María LucarPER Decision (5 - 0)
Match #3 Uladzislau SmiahlikauBLR Ato Plodzicki-FaoagaliSAM Decision (4 - 1)
Match #4 David NyikaNZL Youness BaallaMAR
Match #5 Hussein IashaishJOR Julio CastilloECU Decision (4 - 0)
Match #6 Abner TeixeiraBRA Cheavon ClarkeGBR Decision (4 - 1)
Match #7 Julio César la CruzCUB Elly Ajowi OcholaKEN Decision (5 - 0)
Match #8 Enmanuel ReyesESP Vasily LevitKAZ

Quarter-Finals (30 July 2021 — 13:39)

Winner of each match advanced to the semi-finals.

Match #1 Muslim GadzhimagomedovROC Ammar AbduljabbarGER Decision (5 - 0)
Match #2 David NyikaNZL Uladzislau SmiahlikauBLR Decision (5 - 0)
Match #3 Abner TeixeiraBRA Hussein IashaishJOR Decision (4 - 1)
Match #4 Julio César la CruzCUB Enmanuel ReyesESP Decision (4 - 1)

Semi-Finals (3 August 2021 — 12:30)

Winner of each match advanced to the final match.

Match #1 Muslim GadzhimagomedovROC David NyikaNZL Decision (4 - 1)
Match #2 Julio César la CruzCUB Abner TeixeiraBRA Decision (4 - 1)

Final Round (6 August 2021 — 15:05)

Match 1/2 Julio César la CruzCUB Muslim GadzhimagomedovROC Decision (5 - 0)