Tokyo Olympics: Ben Whittaker into final as Frazer Clarke beats Mourad Aliev

Great Britain's Ben Whittaker will compete for Olympic gold after "a masterclass" win over Imam Khataev saw him into the 81kg final at Tokyo 2020.

The 24-year-old lost the first round of his semi-final but boxed stylishly to beat the Russian by a split decision.

And moments after Whittaker's success, super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke ensured he will win at least a bronze medal.

Briton Clarke reached the semi-finals when Mourad Aliev was disqualified for repeated use of the head.

In a controversial +91kg bout, Clarke lost the opening round and as round two neared its conclusion, he was cut over both eyes after head clashes.

Aliev had been warned about the use of his head but upon being disqualified with seconds of the round remaining, the Frenchman kicked out at the floor and remonstrated with both Clarke and the officials in protest.

The 26-year-old later sat on the ring apron and refused to leave the arena for around 30 minutes.

Clarke, who will now face Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan, played down concerns over his cuts going into his next bout, saying: "I'm an Olympic medallist. These are little cuts. This is my job and what I do. I'm a tough man, a proud man. It will take more than a little cut to stop me."

But BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Steve Bunce said: "Clarke has two gashes. Both would rule him out of any professional fight, no matter where you are. They have got to do some serious work behind the scenes."

Frazer Clarke and Mourad Aliev
Aliev (right) could not hide his anger after being disqualified

Much has been made of Clarke as a talismanic figure in the GB Boxing set-up, given the decade he has spent in and around the team.

The captain of the boxing team assembled in Tokyo entered the ring moments after Whittaker had danced away from the power-punching of the Russian Olympic Committee's Khataev to land the biggest win of his career and a place in the light-heavyweight gold-medal match.

"I've had so much social media saying 'the Russian lad will knock you out'," Whittaker told BBC Sport.

"Nobody was beating me today and we don't stop here.

"I think I put on a masterclass and on to the next one."

Arlen Lopez of Cuba or Loren Berto Alfonso Dominguez of Azerbaijan await Whittaker in the final on Wednesday, 4 August.

Wins for Whittaker and Clarke follow on from Great Britain's recent success in Tokyo, with Pat McCormack also set for an Olympic final, while Karriss Artingstall has secured bronze, and a number of other athletes remain in with a chance of a medal in their respective weight categories.

Great Britain are therefore guaranteed to pass their haul of three boxing medals - won by Joe Joyce, Joshua Buatsi and Nicola Adams - from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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