Ragan Wins Featherweight Olympic Silver Medal
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) historic and impressive Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 run came to an end this evening at the Kokugikan Arena with a silver medal, the first for an American male featherweight since 2000.
Ragan, who became the first professional boxer to step into the ring for Team USA at an Olympic Games, fell short by a 3-2 decision against the Russian Olympic Committee’s Albert Batyrgaziev. Batyrgaziev, a professional as well, marked the first-ever Olympic final between two current professional boxers.
A string of first continued throughout these Olympic Games for Ragan, who joined two other American professional boxers in Tokyo, including the first-ever professional boxer from the United States to medal following his quarterfinal bout decision over Ireland’s Kurt Walker.
Ragan began his championship bout at a slower pace to figure out his opponent, however, it led to him being down 4-1 at the end of the first round. The featherweight seemed to pick up the pace in the second round, but again took only one of the five judge’s cards. A strong final round, which saw Ragan take four of the five cards closed his Olympic run on a high note, however, was not enough to take the end decision.
Ragan’s silver medal joins Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio) bronze medal that was secured during her semifinal bout yesterday. Two more Team USA boxers, Keyshawn Davis (Norfolk, Va.) and Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.), remain in competition. Davis will take to the ring tomorrow to box in his semifinal bout, while Torrez will compete in the super heavyweight finals on Sunday, August 8. A win for Davis will punch his ticket to join Torrez on Sunday, where he would take part in the lightweight finals.
USA Boxing’s four Olympic medals marks their best performance since 2000.
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Featherweight Final Results
57 kg: Albert Batyrgaziev/ROC dec. over Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, 3-2
On his performance:
“I thought I put up a good fight. I felt the better man won tonight due to his condition.
“I got into the training camp kind of late and the Olympic thing was last minute for me, but no excuses.
“I’m happy to be going home with the silver medal. It’s not a happy ending for me but I’ll take the silver medal over not getting on the podium at all.”
On the final:
“I feel like I gave it 100% effort. I feel like his condition won him the fight. I kind of found my rhythm later in the fight but it was too late then.”
On what his professional experience meant to him during the Tokyo Olympics:
“Coming from the USA, I was the first professional boxer to compete in the Olympics. I take that and run with it. It was a blessing to be here.
“I’m glad that I was a professional. A little bit more experience even though I didn’t get the gold, but it’s all good.”
On a potential fight against BATYRGAZIEV as a professional:
“If that was to happen I really look forward to getting revenge and stuff like that, especially me and him, both being in the final of this Olympics.
"It would be a big headline and I’m pretty sure that everyone that tuned into the Olympics would want to see that again, especially on a bigger level.”