Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Bakhodir Jalolov outfights Richard Torrez Jr to win super heavyweight gold, extends USA boxing drought


The USA men’s boxing gold medal drought continues.

Richard Torrez Jr. fought valiantly in his super heavyweight final against Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov but was unable to win the United States’ first men’s gold since 2004. All five judges scored the bout for “The Big Uzbek,” by scores of 30-26 on two cards, 29-27 on another two and 29-26 on a fifth card.

Despite the scores, and the fight’s increasing lopsidedness as the rounds progressed, it was a lot more competitive than the last time they fought, when Torrez was laid out cold by Jalolov in round one in the quarterfinals of the 2019 World Championships.

Torrez gave America supporters a reason to hope in the opening round, using his relative lack of height at 6’2″ to his advantage, bobbing and weaving to get on the inside against the 6’7″ Jalolov. The body work and weaving opened up opportunities to the head, including an overhand left that momentarily rocked Jalolov.

Three of the five judges scored the round 10-9, but Torrez’s success would be short-lived.

Jalolov, an 8-0 (8 knockouts) pro signed by DiBella Entertainment, began to find the range with his own left hand in the second round, rocking Torrez repeatedly on the way in and opening a cut near his left eye. The referee issued a standing eight to Torrez in the second, and deducted a point from Torrez for leading with his head, putting Torrez in a hole heading into the third.

There would be no miracle Hail Mary comeback ala David Reid at the Atlanta Games, as Jalolov landed his left hand from distance and leaned on the smaller Torrez to sap his energy.

The gold is the only medal for Uzbekistan, which dominated boxing at the 2016 Games, with three gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes. Despite not winning a gold, the United States had its best medal tally in Olympic boxing since 2000, with three silvers and a bronze.

Featherweight Duke Ragan and lightweight Keyshawn Davis also earned silver, with women’s welterweight Oshae Jones earning a bronze.

Torrez’s silver is the first for a United States super heavyweight since Riddick Bowe in 1988. The last time an American super heavyweight won gold was Tyrell Biggs at the 1984 Olympics.

Lauren Price gave Great Britain its second boxing gold of the Tokyo Games, defeating China’s Qian Li to win the women’s middleweight gold. The 27-year-old southpaw from Newport, United Kingdom continuously ran Li into straight left hands, and showed a strong command of the ring.

Price becomes the first boxer not named Claressa Shields to win the gold in that category.

Price, the reigning middleweight world champion and European Games gold medalist, joins flyweight Galal Yafai as the two boxing gold medalists from Great Britain at the Tokyo Games.


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