Bravo, Mr. Bravo!

Nicaraguan boxer Osmar Bravo beat Montenegro’s Bosko Draskovic in his Olympic debut Monday night

LONDON—When the bell rang to end the first round of his Olympic debut fight, Osmar Bravo’s hopes of progressing further in the Olympic Games looked bleak. His opponent, Bosko Draskovic, of Montenegro, had come out swinging and the panel of five judges scored the first round in his favor, 5 points to 2. Bravo’s body language was that of someone in pain, and only a few of his punches had connected with the younger Draskovic.

Nicaragua’s top Olympic athlete in the 2012 Summer Games appeared nervous and winded as he returned to his corner. He was huffing and puffing after spending the first three minutes on the receiving end of several hard jabs to the stomach and ribs. Though Bravo countered with several head blows, the 27-year-old Nicaraguan fighter had spent most of the first round on his heels.

But the quick breather in between rounds served him well. When the bell sounded for the start of second round, Bravo came out of his corner to show London, Montenegro and the rest of the world why he is an Olympic athlete.

Osmar Bravo catches his breath (photo/ David Hutt)

By the second minute of round two, Bravo had changed the pace of the fight after landing several successful combination punches to Draskovic’s head. Just towards the end of the round Bravo delivered a powerful right and sent the 25-year-old opponent stumbling backwards. The judges scored the second round 5 points to 2 in Bravo’s favor.

The judges’ score was even going into the final round, but the Nicaraguan Light Heavyweight had the momentum and a newfound confidence as he looked to add to his career record of 66 wins. The second round had taken a visible toll on Draskovic, who cautiously came out of his corner to meet Bravo in the center of the ring.

The third round would be Bravo’s finest. His simple two-punch combination of a left jab followed by a right hook, and then by a quick retreat, seemed to be working. Both fighters exchanged body shots but Bravo was the more accurate of the pair as he hammered away constantly at his opponent’s head.

In a bustling ExCeL arena in London’s East End, a crowd of almost 10,000 became more animated and chants of “Bravo! Bravo!” could be heard from the stands. The British commentators were applauding the Nicaraguan’s comeback, his character and courage. It was clear Bravo was leading the final round and would come out on top.

To leave no doubt in the judges’ minds, Bravo landed a huge right-hand blow to Draskovic in the closing minute of the fight, forcing the referee to give the dazed opponent a standing 8-count.

When the final bell rang to signal the end of the match, Bravo returned to his corner jubilant and optimistic. The referee brought both boxers to the middle of the ring and waited for an announcer to call out the judges’ final scores: Bravo 16 – Draskovic 11. The Nicaraguan had won and his coaches were ecstatic.

Both fighters received a standing ovation from the crowd for their efforts. Bravo will now progress into the round of 16 where he will go up against the Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Gvozdyk on Saturday at 11 p.m (GMT).

The four days in between fights will give the Nicaraguan an opportunity to reflect on his victory and prepare for his next bout. He will also have the opportunity to enjoy the moment of being part of the greatest sporting competition in the world—a long way from home and his job as a cabinetmaker in the Caribbean town of Muelle de los Bueyes.

 

David Hutt is a freelance writer from London, UK, who will be on the trail of Latin America during the next year and will be working as a tour guide in Leon, Nicaragua. Follow his travels and misadventures on his blog.

  • John Shepard

    I watched him march at the head of the small Nicaraguan contingent carrying the Nicaraguan flag in the opening ceremonies. He looked really proud -and so serious!

    Bravo Bravo!

  • http://aol EL JUSTICIERO

    congratulation,SR.BRAVO TE LUCISTES Y PUSISTES EL NOMBRE MUY ALTO DE LOS VERDADEROS ATLETAS QUE NO ESTAN ALIADO CON ESTA DICTADURA CHUPASANGRE Y MIGAJERA QUE NOS RECETA DANIELITO.SIEMPRE LLEVA LA CABEZA EN ALTO COMO UN TREMENDO LUCHADOR.TE DESO QUE LA PROXIMA PELEA VUELVAS A DEMOSTRARLE AL MUNDO,QUE ERES UN CAMPEON,QUE VIVA NICARAGUA LIBRE.

  • donna tabor

    As long as there has to be a champion, I’m happy that it’s a Nicaraguan. But can’t help feeling so uneasy after reading this story. Hitting the crap out of your opponent! Causing pain, hopefully unconsciousness. WTF! While we wish for harmony and peace throughout the world, we reduce ourselves to some heathen level, cheering while one human being batters “his brother.” Well, congratulations….I think…Sr, Bravo.

  • Robert Smith

    I am so proud and happy to be able to cheer for two countries (U.S. and Nicaragua). Congratulaions Mr. Bravo!

    • Henry

      Well done!
      I support the Nicaraguan athletes cause. Please do not make a political nonsense of the Olympic Game. Osmar is an athlete.
      I wish him well. Que pelees con madurez e inteligencia! Mantente concentrado, hermano!

      • Mem

        Well said Henry!!!! All Nicaraguans should be proud that Bravo is representing us in the Olympics. Lets wish him the best and don’t turn his glory into political grounds. Buenas Suerte Bravo y gracias por representar a Nicaragua con dignidad.

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    • Alfredo

      Sos un campeón, asi es mi compatriota nicoya, tenes la puerta abierta para demostrarle al MUNDO que sos el mejor light heavy weight de las olimpiadas! A noquearlos a todos mi campeon! Arriba Nicaragua!

  • Alfredo

    I’m glad he is starting to get comfortable fighting far away from home, if he beats the psychological stress, he can win the gold, unstoppable! Viva Nicaragua! Viva Muelle de los Bueyes! Jodido!

  • yesenia gonzalez

    Proud Nicaraguan. Bravo gave a great show & proudly heald our flag in the ring with pride. The opponent Bosko went wrong by going to hard to soon in the first round. He should of taken it slow before going to hard.

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