Tokyo 2020: Team GB's Ben Whittaker takes silver and Frazer Clarke takes bronze in boxing

'I didn't win the gold. I lost the gold, so to me, it's a failure,' says silver medallist Ben Whittaker

Team GB boxer Ben Whittaker said he felt like a "failure" after winning silver in the men's light-heavyweight division of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but insisted he meant no disrespect when he chose not to wear his medal on the podium.

Meanwhile, fellow GB boxer Frazer Clarke celebrated his bronze in the super-heavyweight category after losing his semi-final against Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov due to cuts to his eyes from a previous fight.

Silver medallist Whittaker attempted to establish the range with his jab but was repeatedly beaten by his southpaw opponent, Cuba's Arlen Lopez, who won the first two rounds.

It left the GB boxer with a mountain to climb and, while he edged the final round, Lopez was crowned champion after getting the nod on four of the cards.

Great Britain's Benjamin Whittaker, refuses to wear his silver medal on the podium. Credit: PA

Whittaker appeared to break down after his defeat and looked dejected as he accepted his silver medal but did not wear it on the podium.

During a press conference, where he did wear the medal, he said: "I didn't win the gold. I lost the gold, so to me, it's a failure, so I'm not going to celebrate silver at the moment.

"I'm sure in a couple of years, I'll look back and see what an achievement it is, but as of now, I can't be happy with the silver. I wanted the gold medal."

Ben Whittaker looked dejected as he posed with his medal alongside, Cuba's Arlen Lopez, Russia's Imam Khataev and Azerbaijan's Loren Alfonso Credit: PA

He continued to congratulate Lopez and described him as a "great boxer".

He said: "I just have to go back to the gym, change a few things, work hard and hopefully next time it's my turn."

He also told PA: "At the time, I should have put this beautiful silver medal round my neck and smiled because this is not just for me, it’s for the country.

“Even when I’m playing FIFA with my mates and I lose, I’m not talking to them for the next couple of hours – I’ve always been like that since I was a kid – so please accept that I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to anyone.

“I wasn’t trying to take the shine away from Arlen’s moment but it hurt me so deep, and I felt so embarrassed. I will look back on it later and think ‘what was I doing?’ But I would like to thank everyone for getting behind me."

Great Britain's Benjamin Whittaker breaks down after losing the men's light heavy (75-81kg) final bout Credit: PA

Asked how the pandemic and the delayed Olympics has impacted his training, Whittaker said: "As a boxer, you don't need much. It's all about dedication, sacrifice and motivation.

"And just because of Covid, we couldn't go to the gym. Boxers don't need much equipment. There's things I could do at home, or things with my dad.

"Of course in the back of your mind, we had the goal of Tokyo and I knew when I come here the people up here will be training hard so I had these type of guys in the back of my head and I thought if they're training, I've got to train two times hard."

Frazer Clarke celebrates a bronze medal after a technical knockout loss to Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov Credit: PA

It is the second day that a British boxer came unstuck against a classy Cuban southpaw at the Kokugikan Arena. On Tuesday, Cuba's Roniel Iglesias beat GB's Pat McCormack in the men’s welterweight final bout.

Meanwhile, Clarke celebrated a bronze after losing his semi-final against Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov with a technical knockout.

Jalolov took a standing count after a big right hand from Clarke, but the GB boxer's success was short-lived.

The semi-final fight had to be stopped due to cuts to Clarke's eyes, which were caused by headbutts in his last fight with Mourad Aliev on Sunday. Aliev was disqualified in that fight.

Great Britain's Frazer Clarke gets treatment for a cut during the Men's Super Heavy (+91kg) boxing Credit: PA

The GB boxer's cut over his right eye opened up and grew worse during the third round, leading to a stoppage as Uzbekistan’s Jalolov progressed to the final.

The 29-year-old from Burton was looking to emulate Anthony Joshua at London 2012 and Joe Joyce at Rio 2016 but he lost the first two rounds according to four of the five judges.Clarke's bid to become the third successive Briton to reach the men’s Olympic super-heavyweight final ended after the semi-final defeat.

GB Boxing are guaranteed six medals – their best haul since the 1920 Games. Their hopes of bringing back a gold rest with men’s flyweight Galal Yafai and women’s middleweight Lauren Price.

Yafai takes on Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in their semi-final on Thursday while Price goes up against Holland’s Nouchka Fontijn, with a place in the gold medal match at stake.