Ragan Advances to Finals; Davis Clinches Fourth Medal for Team USA
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
USA Boxing had another strong performance during the 10th day of boxing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, with Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) clinching Team USA’s fourth medal of these Games and Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) advancing to the featherweight finals.
Ragan started the team off with a 4-1 decision over Ghana’s Samuel Takyi to become the first professional boxer from the United States to advance to a final for USA Boxing.
The featherweight saw himself down after the first round, which saw the judges score it 3-2 in favor of Takyi. However, Ragan came back strong in the second round to take four of the five cards, making one card in favor of Ragan, while the other four judges had the bout tied.
With the finals on the line, Ragan kept his composure and stuck to the game plan they had set for the third and final round, using his jab to keep touching Takyi, as well as landing overhand rights to confirm the round. Ragan saw four of the five judges score it in favor of the American, giving him the victory and a chance to fight for gold.
Davis, who has put on dominating performances throughout these Olympic Games, had his first true test against Russian Olympic Committees Gabil Mamedov.
The American lightweight saw the first round go in favor of him, 4-1, however, the second round went 5-0 to Mamedov, giving the Russian the lead on one card, while the other four were tied. Davis and his corner knew he had to step up to his opponent during the third to clinch USA Boxing’s fourth Olympic medal in Tokyo, and most medals since the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Davis did exactly that, even giving his opponent a standing eight count following a massive right hand, the same throw that stopped his last opponent. Davis was able to take all five judges’ cards in the final round to give him the 4-1 decision.
Team USA will have Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio) and Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.) take to the ring tomorrow for their semifinal matchups, with both boxers looking to join Ragan in the finals. Jones continues to make history at these Olympic Games, as she is the first female welterweight to represent Team USA in an Olympic Games, as well as the first to win a medal, while Torrez became the first superheavyweight to earn a medal since 1988. Click here to follow all the action.
Day 10 Results
57 kg: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, dec. Samuel Takyi/GHA, 4-1
63 kg: Keyshawn Davis, Norfolk, Va./USA, dec. Gabil Mamedov/ROC, 4-1
On his performance:
“My game plan was just trying to box. In the first round, I fell short. In the second round, I had to pick it up. In the third round, I think he was outworking me. But I landed more cleaner shots, harder shots, and neck-breaking shots.”
“I have been trying to be a patient fighter, be smart and outthink these fighters. ”
“I was trying to time his rhythm, because last time he was just trying to throw jabs and sneak in a right-hand uppercut. He had it a couple of times, but I just shook them off.”
On his opponent:
“It was not hard dealing with him. I’m professional. He’s amateur and young. I think he’s 20 years old. So all he wants to do is let his hands go.”
“People from his country were saying to me that he’s going to beat me and bring the first gold medal. That’s great for him, but he has to go home with the bronze today. Maybe next time, he has a lot of time.”
On securing a medal:
“I feel like I made history. I know that I already made history by being the first professional from the USA going to the Olympics. So it’s a big step for me. Now that I’m able to fight for the gold, that's an even bigger accomplishment. But for me to win the gold, it’s even bigger for myself and the USA.”
On if winning a medal justifies his decision to compete at Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 having turned professional:
“Yeah, but I could have done a lot better than that. I was in the ring trying to turn it on but I just couldn’t turn it on. I was just trying to do what I could, sticking to my jab and trying to move as much as possible. When I did feel good I sat right there exchanging shots, putting in an amateur-style performance and I came out with the victory.”
On if he stunned MAMEDOV when his opponent took a count in the final round:
“He was definitely hurt. I hit him with a right cross. He definitely wobbled but he was smart enough to pick his hands up and move back and forth. I know he watched my last fight but unfortunately for him it still happened to him.”
On if he thought the referee might stop the fight as in his previous fight:
“I was hoping because I knew how tough he was. I was ready to get that over with. I kept fighting, kept trying to get him out of there but he was a tough opponent. I take my hat off to him. He kept coming and I could tell by his body language as he rejuvenated. But I am here to win gold, I’m ready for anything. Great day or bad day I’m here to win gold.”
On his performances so far:
“I’m a completely different fighter coming into these Olympics. I’m still not all the way there with the amateur style, but today I was just letting my arms go as I knew he was walking into my shots. I knew he was going to get hit eventually.
“When I am on the top of my game it will be easy work but my coach Billy (WALSH) said, ‘there ain’t nothing easy here’ and he’s right. These guys are coming here to win gold, same thing I’m here to do. Win, lose or draw I know I’m going to be a better fighter going to that next level.”
On if guaranteeing a bronze medal means something to him:
“No. If I go back to America with a bronze medal they (critics) will have everything bad and negative to say though my real supporters will say, 'keep your head up'. I’m not here to hear that, I want to win gold. That’s what I’m here to do, win gold, gold, gold.”
On why he feels he will be criticized if he 'only wins bronze:
“That’s boxing. Boxing is a harsh sport and we have got to roll with the punches.”
Photo Credit: Getty Images