Iglesias joins Cuban Olympic boxing greats with Tokyo gold
Cuba's Roniel Iglesias celebrates after winning against Britain's Pat McCormack after their men's welter (63-69kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In doing so he joins a star cast of Cuban boxers to seal a hat-trick of Olympic boxing medals. They also include Felix Savon (three gold), Teofilo Stevenson (three gold) and Lazaro Alvarez (three bronze).
Iglesias, who failed to win a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, said he does not plan to stop there and is already eyeing the Paris 2024 Games.
He said that, following injury and his disappointment in Rio, some people in Cuba had written him off.
"There are always fans who have their opinions and it is true that many people thought that Roniel would not make it in these Games," he said.
"Many people said that this was the end of the line for me.
"But only us boxers know what is happening, we know the injuries that we suffer and what we have to overcome.
"I always knew that I had it in me. Now those doubters have been proven wrong and those who believed in me were right."
The knockers spurred on him, said Iglesias.
"That was an extra push for me to get up every morning and give that extra bit of effort," he added.
Women medallists come out fighting
But women boxers say more needs to be done.
Underlining the challenge that women's boxing still faces for recognition in some countries and the stereotypes that endure, Irie said that some people have the impression that women fighters "are violent or scary or aggressive".
"I want to wipe out those aggressive images of boxers."
That defiant message was echoed by Irma Testa, the bronze medallist from Italy.
"I can only say that I am really proud," said the 23-year-old, who had also made a small piece of boxing history for her country.
"For me it was really important to win a medal in order to make women's boxing in Italy more popular.