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Ohio Duo Advance to Quarterfinals of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing

Welterweight and Ohio duo, Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio), picked up wins six and seven for Team USA during the fourth day of boxing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 

Johnson continued his winning ways in the welterweight division with his 4-1 decision over Kazakhstan’s Ablaikhan Zhussupov, ending the countries welterweight Olympic dominance that goes back to Athens 2004. 

Johnson, who was down 3-2 after the first round, adjusted in the second round, leading him to take all five judges’ cards after coming out more aggressive, landing more combinations and body shots to his opponent. The final round saw the American continue to show dominance in the ring to take four out of five judges’ cards in the round to end the fight with the 4-1 victory and Team USA’s sixth win in a row. 

The welterweight will have two days of rest before taking to the ring for Friday’s quarterfinals matchup with Roniel Iglesias, a three-time Olympian from Cuba. The two met in the semifinals of the 2019 Pan American Games, where Iglesias defeated Johnson, 4-1. 

Jones made history this evening as being the first American female to represent the United States in the welterweight category, as it is being contested for the first time in the Olympics for female boxers. 

The 2019 Pan American Games champion was competing in her first bout, as she received a bye in the opening round, after receiving the three seed for these Games. Jones started the bout strong, taking a 4-1 lead, before grabbing three out of the five judges’ cards in the second. The second round saw Jones only grab one of the cards, however, her performance from previous rounds held her on the winning end of a 3-2 decision against Mexico’s Brianda Cruz to advance to the quarterfinals.

Team USA, who has won seven fights in a row, will look to continue to impress in tomorrow’s bouts, with Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C.) taking to the ring. Ragan will compete in the first session, which begins at 10:00 p.m. EST this evening, while Graham will compete in the second session, set to begin at 4:00 a.m. on July 28. Click here to follow the action. 

USA Network will replay the welterweight bouts later today, and a full schedule can be found here. 

Day 4 Results

69 kg: Delante Johnson, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, dec. over Ablaikhan Zhussupov/KAZ, 4-1

69 kg: Oshae Jones, Toledo, Ohio/USA, dec. Brianda Tamara Cruz Sandoval/MEX, 3-2

Delante Johnson Quotes

On adjusting going into the second round:

"At the end of the first round, my coaches told me I was going a bit too slow, so I had to get more aggressive and throw more combinations and body shots.

"Going into the second round they told me he was trying to counter me."

On whether he believed he had won the fight:

"Yes, the last round I had more clean shots to his body. 

"But I'm just keeping it one fight at a time now, so I can go get that gold medal."

Oshae Jones Quotes

On her performance:

"I'd give myself a five out of 10 as I had a bye in my first fight, and I was kind of rusty. But I'll be happy to get back in the ring to show the world I'm better than that.

"I need to work on my movement, and my ankles. My legs were kind of staying behind as I was boxing."

On being inspired by other USA boxers:

"My teammates are not really my teammates; they are my family. We hear each other in the crowd and that just pushes us to be the best."

On her victory dance:

"That was just off the dome, to celebrate all my hard work. I had a two-and-a-half month camp, so I just like to celebrate all the hard work paying off."

On whether a fire at home in Toledo, Ohio, in May 2021 disrupted her preparations:

"It did set me back as far as my material things but they can be replaced. I can't. USA Boxing helped me with that, but it just really pushed me to go harder."