USA’s Duke Ragan outpoints Ireland’s Kurt Walker to advance to Tokyo semifinals
American featherweight Duke Ragan advanced to the medal stages in Tokyo with a 3-2 split decision over Kurt Walker of Ireland on Sunday local time.
The win was Ragan’s third of the tournament, and comes on the heels of his split decision over France’s Samuel Kistohurry and Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan.
Walker, the reigning European champion at bantamweight, had momentum behind him after defeating the reigning world champion, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan, in the previous round.
Ragan, 23, of Cincinnati, Ohio is already a professional with a 4-0 (1 knockout) record, having signed a promotional deal with Top Rank before turning professional in August of 2020.
Ragan will face Samuel Takyi of Ghana, who advanced to the semifinals with a split decision over Ceiber Ávila of Colombia. Tayki’s victory over Avila guaranteed the African nation its first Olympic medal since 1992, when they earned a football bronze in Barcelona, Spain.
The United States still has four boxers active in the tournament, including super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr., who is scheduled to face Cuba’s Dainier Pero in a quarterfinal match later in the day, plus lightweight Keyshawn Davis, who is facing Russia’s Gabil Mamedov in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, and women’s welterweight Oshae Jones, who faces China’s Hong Gu in the semifinals on Wednesday.
The United States hasn’t had a men’s gold medalist since 2004, when Andre Ward took home top honors in Athens. The closest the country has come since then was in 2016, when Shakur Stevenson narrowly lost to Robeisy Ramirez in the bantamweight final of Rio.
GET THE LATEST ISSUE AT THE RING SHOP (CLICK HERE)