The U.S.A. boxing team heads to the 2021 Summer Olympics
The Summer Olympics will officially get underway in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday. Like many other sporting events scheduled for 2020, the 32nd edition of the Olympic Games were postponed and moved forward a year.
The amateur boxing segment will begin on July 24 and end on August 8 at Ryoguku Kokugikan.
The United States are favorites to top the overall medal table but less is expected from its male boxing roster, though the team isn’t without promise and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some of them win medals.
Initially just two men, Richard Torrez Jr. and Delante Johnson were scheduled to compete before the America’s qualifying tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was cancelled due to COVID-19.
That created some remaining spots that were given to the highest ranked fighters and opened the door to Troy Isley, Keyshawn Davis and Duke Ragan, who had all fought professional but were allowed to switch back to bolster the male contingent to five.
Here we look at the five U.S.A. male representatives and their chances in Tokyo:
Name: Richard Torrez Jr.
Weight class: Super heavyweight (201-plus pounds)
Hometown: Tulare, California
Credentials: Torrez, who is the captain of the team, has been dominant at home and touted to do well Internationally. However he was knocked out cold at the 2019 World Championships by medal favorite Bakhodir Jalolov, tapering those expectations.
Expectations: A medal would be considered unlikely but you never know with the big men.
Name: Troy Isley
Weight class: Middleweight (165 pounds)
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
Credentials: Isley initially jumped ship and turned professional, winning both fights before the opportunity came for him to return to the amateur scene on the grandest stage of all. Isley, who boasts amateur wins over Arlen Lopez and Israil Madrimov, is experienced Internationally, having claimed bronze at the 2017 World Championships and 2019 Pan-Am Games.
Expectations: Isley could medal if he gets a good draw and will be doubtlessly aided by Lopez competing up at light heavyweight.
Name: Delante Johnson
Weight class: Welterweight (152 pounds)
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Credentials: Johnson has won several nationals and is a mainstay on the national scene, boasting wins over a young Ryan Garcia and American amateur stalwarts Freudis Rojas and Charlie Sheehy. Johnson won gold at the World Youth Championships in Russia, in 2016, and claimed bronze at the Pan-Am games in 2019.
Expectations: Johnson will also hope to medal. It looks tough but not impossible.
Name: Keyshawn Davis
Weight class: Lightweight (132 pounds)
Hometown: Norfolk, Virginia
Credentials: Davis won several national titles and also claimed silver at the World Championships and Pan-Am Games in 2019. The tricky southpaw speedster is already 3-0 as professional and big things are expected of him.
Expectations: The most talented member and biggest hope on the team. However the biggest problem for Davis is likely to be Cuban Andy Cruz, who beat him in both the aforementioned finals. If he can find a way past Cruz, he could end the long wait for an American male to win gold.
Name: Duke Ragan
Weight class: Featherweight (125 pounds)
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Credentials: Ragan is a regular during finals week in the nationals and, like his teammates, has won medals Internationally at the 2017 World Championships and Pan-Am Games in 2019. Ragan is (4-0, 1 KO) as a pro.
Expectations: Another who, given the right draw, could go deep in the tournament.
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