The ninth day of boxing at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo, Japan will be an exciting one, as victories for Team USA will secure at least a bronze medal for the boxer and USA Boxing, as well as see the boxers advance to their respective semifinal bouts. Below is a closer look at Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Richard Torrez Jr.’s (Tulare, Calif.) opponents.
Duke Ragan vs. Kurt Walker/IRL – Session 1, Bout 3 (Approx. 10:30 p.m. EST)
Featherweight Duke Ragan has two impressive victories thus far in these Olympics and will look for his third to clinch the first featherweight medal for Team USA since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Ragan’s opponent, Kurt Walker of Ireland, is ranked 14th in the Boxing Task Force (BTF) rankings after earning points from his fifth-place finish at the 2019 World Championships, as well as his finishing first at the 2019 European Championships and third at the 2017 edition.
Walker has two huge wins under his belt in Tokyo, including a 4-1 decision over the Games top-seeded boxer and reigning World Champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan to secure his place in these quarterfinals.
Ragan and Walker have participated in numerous training camps over the years, including the final training camp leading into these Games, however, have never boxed each other in official competition. This matchup is surely one to watch, as Ragan squares off with our head coach, Billy Walsh, former team and home country.
Richard Torrez Jr. vs. Dainier Pero/CUB – Session 2, Bout 9 (Approx. 6:00 a.m. EST)
Super heavyweight Torrez lived up to expectations in his opening bout, that including a clean body shot that dropped his opponent to the canvas and receiving an eight count. Now Torrez takes to the ring against a familiar opponent, Dainier Pero of Cuba, who enters these quarterfinals after his own unanimous decision victory in his first fight.
Torrez and Pero met in the semifinals of the 2019 Pan American Games, with the bout going to the Cuban by a 3-2 decision. The bout in Peru was extremely close and included Torrez giving Pero an eight-count in the third round of the bout, leading to the crowd showing their disagreement with the final decision.
Now, as they look to face each other on the biggest stage in amateur boxing, the bout is shaping up to be one of the top bouts of the tournament and one not to miss!
Photo Credit: Getty Images
*Edited to update past results of Richard Torrez Jr. vs. Dainier Pero, as they only have competed once, not twice, like previously reported.