Bantamweight Duke Ragan Wins Silver at 2017 Elite Men’s World Championships

Sept. 02, 2017, 6:45 p.m. (ET)

HAMBURG, GERMANY - Team USA finished the 2017 Men’s Elite World Championships with it’s best medal haul since 1999, including a decade best silver medal finish by bantamweight Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) after an epic battle with Kazakstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev on Saturday’s grand finale. The gold medal bout was one for the history books coming down to the wire between two of the world’s best with Ragan falling short to a heartbreaking 3-2 split decision. The U.S. ends the grueling nine-day competition with one silver and two bronze.

Ragan was slow to take control against Yeraliyev in the first round, with the Kazakstan opponent showing more aggression than his normal counter tactics. He picked up the pace in the second round, throwing more combinations to the body and letting his straight punches going a little further, throwing Yeraliyev off after his pace in the first. Ragan attempted to come out with more aggression in the third securing cleaner shots against the Kazakstanian but ultimately the judges decision went the other way.

“My first world championships experience went very well,” said Ragan. “I’m only 19-years-old and this is my first elite championship experience so I was impressed with how far I made it. In the finals, I was disappointed with the decision because I thought I won but I feel like I left it too close so I’m going to go back home, learn from the experience and work on what i need to work on.”

Ragan is the highest placing American boxer to medal in the elite men’s world championship bantamweight division since Ricardo Juarez took the title at the 1999 Houston edition. Ragan had a tough road to silver in the most recognised level of competition since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where fellow bantamweight Shakur Stevenson also came away with a historic silver medal finish.

Head coach Billy Walsh (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and resident coach Kay Koroma (Alexandra, Va.) continued to make their mark on the international stage leading the U.S. team to another outstanding historical tournament performance. Walsh was awarded the 2017 AIBA Coach of the Year in front of packed house at the Sportshalle.

“I think it’s a fantastic achievement for USA Boxing, it’s a mark of respect for everybody within the program and the hard work to help these kids achieve what they achieved at these World Championships,” said Walsh. “I’m very honored to accept this on behalf of the coaching staff, the national office staff in Colorado Springs and everybody associated with the team.”

Five Team USA traveled to Germany for the 2017 Men’s Elite World Championships. The team will travel back to United States tomorrow to enjoy three weeks of rest before they return to training camp in Colorado Springs in early October.

U.S. Result

57 kg: Kairat Yeraliyev, KAZ, dec. Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, 3-2