At the end of each Olympics, the top boxer from the entire tournament, regardless of weight class, receives the Val Barker Trophy. It is like getting the MVP award or being declared the amateur pound-for-pound king.
As the Rio Olympics wrapped up Sunday, the hardware was doled out.
Uzbekistan's Hasanboy Dusmatov, the 23-year light flyweight gold medalist, received the award for outstanding male boxer at the Games. Dusmatov, the first fighter from his country to win the award, beat Nico Hernandez of the United States, Kazakhstan's Birzhan Zhakypov and Colombia's Yuberjen Martinez on his way to gold. (Dusmatov then became the first 2016 Olympian to sign a pro contract, going with South African promoter Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves.)
"I know my family will be happy for me and I am thrilled to be champion," Dusmatov said. "I want to thank Rio for an amazing Olympic Games experience."
Women's boxing was added to the Olympics in 2012, but there was no Val Barker Trophy given out that year. This year there was and it went to 21-year-old Claressa Shields of Flint, Michigan, the most dominant women's fighter in amateur boxing. Shields, who is 77-1 in her career, won her second consecutive middleweight Olympic gold medal, the only American boxer of either gender to win back-to-back gold.
"I made sure that my mind was prepared, but the fact that I won every round was amazing," said Shields, who dominated each of her Olympic bouts. "I've known that I'm the greatest female boxer since I was 17 years old, so to be the first American boxer to win two Olympic gold medals, I can't even believe it."
The Val Barker Trophy has been awarded to the outstanding boxer at the Olympic Games since 1934. It is chosen by a committee of officials from AIBA, which oversees amateur boxing. It is named after England's Val Barker, who was the president of the organization from 1926 to 1929. Past winners include the likes of Roy Jones Jr., Cuban legend Teofilo Stevenson and Ukraine's Vasyl Lomachenko.