Great Britain's Galal Yafai puts on masterful display to win men's flyweight gold

Galal Yafai of Team Great Britain punches Carlo Paalam of Team Philippines during the Men's Fly (48-52kg) Final bout between Carlo Paalam of Team Philippines and Galal Yafai of Team Great Britain on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Galal Yafai of Team Great Britain punches Carlo Paalam of Team Philippines during the Men's Fly (48-52kg) Final bout between Carlo Paalam of Team Philippines and Galal Yafai of Team Great Britain on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The Team GB fighter had the Philippines' Paalam down in the first round before seeing out a sensational victory. Paalam takes home the silver after an impressive run to the final. 

Galal Yafai of Great Britain boxed brilliantly against the Philippines' Carlo Paalam to win gold in the men's flyweight final.

In the first round, Yafai knocked Paalam to the floor with a one-two that slipped straight through the Filipino's guard. Paalam took a standing eight count but looked shaky on his feet as the round continued. Paalam fought back in round two, as the fight turned into a slugfest in the middle of the ring, neither fighter giving an inch as they traded blows for the second three minutes. Even with the extra effort from Paalam, Yafai won both of the first two rounds, leaving him in an almost unassailable position at the beginning of the third.

Yafai bobbed and moved in the final round, slipping out of reach of Paalam in the knowledge that his win was secured. And after a relatively uneventful round, Yafai was named the Olympic champion at the Kokugikan Arena.

Yafai comes from a family of boxers, with brothers Gamal and Kal, both fighting on the pro scene. Paalam, for his part, has risen from poverty to the Olympic stage. He has received support from across the Philippines, including from their most famous pugilist, Manny Pacquiao, who wrote on his Facebook page: "Fight for Gold, Carlo Paalam! We are rooting for you."

However, it was Britain's Yafai who took the win and will return home with a hard-won Olympic gold medal.

After the fight, Paalam spoke about his incredible journey to the Olympic silver medal.

“The silver medal symbolises what I went through because when I was a young boy, I was a scavenger and I collected junk and garbage. I know this medal is made out of recycled materials. I can identify with this medal because this is also made from waste material and garbage."

Yafai was ecstatic with his flyweight gold, saying: “Yeah Olympic champion, man, it’s crazy. You don’t really get much of a smile out of me, but I’m over the moon now.”

And turning his attention to the people of Britain, the new Olympic titleholder said he was left shocked by their response to his gold-medal-winning run: “The support has been unreal. The amount of messages that I’ve got has been absolutely ridiculous. I didn’t know how friendly people were before the Olympics.”