Esquiva Falcão Florentino came thisclose to making history at the 2012 Olympic Games…
The 22-year-old Brazilian fighter lost an oh-so-close bout to Japan’s Ryota Murata in the final of the men’s middleweight contest at the London Games. With the win, Murata denied Brazil its first Olympic boxing gold.
Falcão appeared to serve notice to the rest of the middleweight division when he destroyed Britain’s Anthony Ogogo in the semifinal.
But Murata, a silver medalist at last year’s world amateur championships, gave the aggressive Falcão a lesson on how to score points in the final, defending expertly and catching the Brazilian each time he came in close to win the bout 14-13.
Murata countered splendidly in the first round to open up a two point lead and even though Falcão cut that down to a single point after the second round with a couple of big lefts, Murata never panicked.
When Falcão received a warning in the final round his fate was sealed and the Brazilian nodded in agreement as the judges gave the bout to Murata by just a point.
Falcão, who flirted with a life of street crime before his father Touro Moreno, a big name in Brazilian boxing, intervened, remembered his humble roots after achieving his country’s best boxing result.
“I’m very happy. I wanted a lot to achieve this moment. It’s the most important day of my career,” said Falcão, who wants to fight at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.
“It is very important for my family, I come from a humble family and this is very important for all of them,” said Falcão. “There will be a huge celebration for me when I get back to Brazil.”
Brazil’s only previous boxing medal before the three won in London came in the 1968 Olympic Games.