“Chechen Wolf” wins Canada’s first boxing gold at TO2015

Arthur Biyarslanov became the first Canadian boxer of these Games to win a gold medal bout, taking the win in the men’s light welterweight (64kg) division. The country previously had three bronze medals on the board.

As chants of “Let’s go Arthur” rained down on the ring at the Oshawa Sports Centre, Biyarslanov defeated Cuban Yasnier Toledo on a 2-1 decision. The last Canadian boxer to beat a Cuban had been Pan Am teammate and bronze medallist Kenny Lally in 2010.

Arthur Biyarslanov fights Cuba’s Yasnier Toledo in the light welterweight gold medal bout at TO2015 (Photo: Jason Ransom, COC)

As the match ended, Toledo looked confident that he had the win, pumping his fist in celebration before the referee raised Biyarslanov’s arm, confirming the gold medal for Canada.

“I definitely won in the first and third rounds,” said Biyarslanov, originally from the Chechen region of Russia who moved to Canada in 2005. “The second round I knew I lost. That’s why I picked it up on the third round. I gave it all I could. I was really tired, but I kept pushing myself. I fought dirty and he didn’t like that. I just kept going and won.”

Arthur Biyarslanov embraces coach Daniel Trepanier after winning gold at TO2015 (Photo: Jason Ransom, COC)

This is Canada’s first Pan Am Games gold medal in men’s boxing since 1975 when Chris Clarke took top spot in the lightweight division.

“It feels awesome. It was my goal to win gold for Canada, so I’m very happy. Canada hasn’t won a gold in men’s boxing for over 30 years, so I’m glad to have broken that and won a gold for Canada.”