Roniel Iglesias – What To Know About The Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
At 32-year-old, and appearing in his fourth Olympic Games, and medaling in three-of-the-four Olympics he went to, Roniel Iglesias will go down as one of the great Olympic Cuban boxers, if for nothing else than his two gold medals, one in the 2012 Olympics at light-welterweight and this year, 2020 at welterweight. Add to it he won a bronze in 2008, and participated, but didn’t medal in 2016.
Iglesias despite his pedigree was viewed as long in the tooth, and mortal against Pat McCormack, the sexy pick to win the whole tournament, as he is as good of a prospect the U.K. has had in some time, but the robotic nature of McCormack caught up with him, as the fluid punches from Iglesias were too much to overcome. Iglesias even made an example of McCormack dropping him in the second round, though it was ruled a slip.
Iglesias is a hard fighter to evaluate as we will never see his prime in the professionals as he fought in the Olympics in three different decades, which is a very long-time, and if he does turn pro – it will be like Arvydas Sabonis coming to the NBA.
Iglesias’ 2020 Olympic gold medal path was an impressive one, after a first-round bye, Iglesias looked very vulnerable getting a narrow decision over Sewon Okazawa of Japan, who might have shown the blueprint to why Iglesias could be a vulnerable pro.
With high hopes from Team USA, who is having a resurgence in 2020, Cleveland’s Delante “Tiger” Johnson, won the first round against Iglesias but saw the Cuban adjust, and have trouble with the tricky, older, more experienced fighter. Iglesias beating Johnson showed the veteran amateur boxer still had something left, as many had written him off based around age.
Iglesias never lost a round after the Johnson bout as he rolled through a veteran of the sport Andrey Zamkovoy, and then made Pat McCormack look like a domestic-level talent, as well as brought about my early fears of McCormack possibly being an orthodox version of Luke Campbell.
Notable facts about Iglesias is at 16-year-old when Olympic champion Yuriorkis Gamboa was hurt, and couldn’t compete back in 2005. He was an amateur rival with now world champion Yordenis Ugas, losing his bout to him over a decade ago, if Iglesias were to turn, him be moved faced, and possibly rekindle that match-up. Iglesias holds wins over 2008 Olympian Javier Molina, Frankie Gomez, Ukraine’s Denys Berinchyk, and stopped Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas.
In short, Iglesias is a Cuban boxing legend, and a fighter I hope we see as a pro, though I think it is safe to say he left his prime in the amateurs.