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Johnson and Ragan Advance to Round of 16 of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

By USA Boxing | July 24, 2021, 10:10 a.m. (ET)

Boxing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 officially kicked off today at the Kokugikan Arena, with Team USA finishing 2-1 for the day.

Duke Ragan’s (Cincinnati, Ohio) first bout in Tokyo did not come with ease against Samuel Kistohurry of France. Ragan, who became the first American professional boxer to represent Team USA in the Olympics when he entered the ring, began round one by taking four of the five judges’ cards.

Ragan kept his composure during a somewhat difficult second round, and, saw three judges’ award Kistohurry the round, before only taking one judges’ card in the third, however, he ended the bout with three judge’s scoring it 29-28 in his favor to advance to the round of 16 of the featherweight division. The now 4-0 professional boxer will have a few days of rest before returning to the ring on Wednesday, July 28 against Kazakhstan’s Serik Temirzhanov.

Welterweight Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) closed out the day for Team USA with his own 3-2 decision victory. Johnson took 3 judges’ cards during the first round of his bout against 2018 Youth Olympic Champion Brian Agustin Arregui of Argentina, before taking a standing eight count after Arregui caught Johnson with a solid punch that dropped Johnson to the canvas in the second round.

Johnson, who is the fourth straight Cleveland boxer to represent Team USA in an Olympic Games, came back strong to take a 4-1 advantage in the final round to advance to Tuesday’s round of 16 matchup with Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zhussupov.

After finding out she would compete in Tokyo a little over two weeks ago, featherweight Yarisel Ramirez (Las Vegas, Nev.) was the first American boxer to step into the ring today, putting up a strong performance against Croatia’s Nikolina Cacic.

Ramirez fell short of taking the first round of the bout but came back strong in the second round to take all five judges’ cards that round, however, the third round was another close matchup and saw Cacic take the round and the end decision.

Two American’s, Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) and Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas), will make their Olympic debuts tomorrow. Davis will compete in the first session, while Fuchs will be in the second. Follow all the action here.

Day 1 Results

57 kg: Nikolina Cacic/CRO  dec. over Yarisel Ramirez, Las Vegas, Nev./USA, 5-0

57 kg: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, dec. over Samuel Kistohurry/FRA, 3-2

69 kg: Delante Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, dec. over Brian Agustin Arregui/ARG, 3-2

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

Yarisel Ramirez Quotes

On competing at the Olympic Games:

“You know what? It was crazy to get back in the ring after such a long time but was such a great experience. It was such an honor to represent my country, I gave it all and put my heart out there.”

On being one of the few Cuban Americans competing for Team USA:

“It such an honor to represent both countries (Cuba and United States), especially the United States. It was the country that gave me the opportunity to compete in these Olympics.”

On a message to send to friends and family:

“I want to thank everyone for their endless support and love. It really helped me push through the down moments and the up moments. I really appreciate the help.”

 

On her fight:

“It was a very close fight; I give props to my opponent. She did a wonderful job and did her thing out there. Unfortunately, it did not go my way, but I will get back in the gym and work harder for whatever is next.

On her teammates in the stands cheering for her:

“I am so thankful for my team to be here watching me. I am so grateful, and I love them so much. They made this experience wonderful. I would not be here without them.”

 

Duke Ragan Quotes

On competing at the Olympic Games:

“It feels great. It’s obviously a dream come true. Even when I’d turned professional, I thought my Olympics dream was over, so to be able to come back, it means a lot to me, so hopefully I get a chance to fight at gold and win gold.”

On his fight:

“Yeah, I’d definitely say it was a wrestling match, the guy was like wrestling me, making it hard for me. It was a great fight though - he did what he came to do to try to make it rough on me cause guys know that I like to box and be on the outside.”

On what he can take from this fight:

“Listen to my coaches. I was a bit hard-headed, going to try and do what I thought was right. I’ve got to listen to the eyes on the outside to make adjustments.”

On the support of his teammates:

“It means a lot, particularly when you’ve got nine other athletes out there rooting for me, I like that. And what, two other coaches? They made it seem like there was fans there.”

On the Olympics being delayed one year:

"If they were not delayed, I would not be here."

On transitioning back from professional to amateur boxing:

“Yeah, it was kind of tough for me. I got into the Olympic cut kind of late, so it was definitely hard for me to adjust. But it’s just the first day. Come July 28 I’ll be much better, I promise you that.”

On boxing at this venue (which is usually a sumo venue):

“I feel great being here. Like I said, it’s a dream come true. When I actually walked into the arena, I was kind of emotional, just like unbelievable that I was actually here.”

 

Delante Johnson Quotes

On his overall performance:

"I made some mistakes but that's the past now. It's just move on to the next fight now."

On the second round:

"He caught me with a good shot, but it was a flash knockdown. He didn't hurt me or anything. I just got up and continued the game plan.

“It was a rough second round, but we stuck to the plan and I just kept boxing, kept going and I got the victory.

"It was a good fight. It was a good warm-up for my next fight so it's straight back to training as there's things to work on."

On the challenge of his first personal coach passing in 2015:

"In the beginning it was difficult, but I will keep my promise to him that I will be a gold medalist and that's why I'm here."

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