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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Italian Finale After Russia Dominates

ReutersRussia's Matvei Korobov, right, punching his way to gold against Alfonso Blanco of Venezuela in the middleweight division at the World Boxing Championship.
CHICAGO -- Russian boxers finished the World Boxing Championship with a tournament-best three gold medals but were upstaged by Italian fighters when heavyweight Clemente Russo and super-heavyweight Roberto Cammarelle scored upset wins in the championship's final two bouts Saturday.

It had been 16 years since Tommaso Russo won Italy's only world championship gold medal, the unrelated Clemente Russo ending the drought with a narrow 7-6 decision over Russia's Rakhim Chakhkiyev. He was followed by Cammarelle, who tamed Ukraine's Vyacheslav Glazkov 24-14 to give Italy two gold medals in 15 minutes.

Saturday's championship bouts had a distinctly former-Soviet Union flavor, with the six Russians joined in the ring by boxers from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Russia had wins in the bantamweight division, where Sergei Vodopyanov beat Mongolia's Enkhbat Badargot-Uugan 16 points to 14; in the featherweight, with Albert Selimov downing Ukraine's Vasyl Lomachenko 16-11; and in the middleweight, where Matvei Korobov defended his world crown with an easy 29-9 win over Alfonso Blanco of Venezuela. In addition to the heavyweight Chakhkiyev, Russia got second place in the light welterweight, Gennady Kovalyov losing 20-5 to Kazakhstan's Serik Sapiyev, and light heavyweight, Artur Beterbiyev going down 20-17 to Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan.

The United States and England both ended gold medal droughts at the tournament. The United States came into the championship without a gold medal in eight years, while England has never had a world champion.

U.S. Flyweight Rau'shee Warren out-pointed Thailand's Somjit Jongjohor 13-9 to the roars of the capacity crowd at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion, while welterweight Demetrius Andrade did not have to work nearly as hard, Thailand's Non Boonjumnong retiring in the second round with a shoulder injury.

Lightweight Frankie Gavin became the first Englishman to lift a world title by out-pointing Italian Domenico Valentino 18-10.

The final day opened with China's Zou Chiming successfully completing the defense of his light-flyweight title with a 17-3 decision over the Philippines' Harry Tanamor, becoming China's first two-time world champion.

The path to the podium was cleared of a major obstacle when amateur boxing powerhouse Cuba did not send a team to the world championships. Four world championship titles were left vacant when Cuban leader Fidel Castro decided to keep the country's world and Olympic champions at home to stem the flow of recent high-profile defections.

The Cubans, however, are expected to be quickly back at full-strength for Olympic qualifiers in Trinidad and Tobago in March and Guatemala in April.

Fighters from 36 countries qualified for the Beijing Olympics in Chicago.