Ragan Clinches Quarterfinal Spot
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
Featherweight Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) picked up his second win of these Olympics during a much better performance in the ring than his opening bout. Ragan, who advanced to the round of 16 following a 3-2 decision over France, faced Kazakhstan’s Serik Temirzhanov.
Ragan started off strong right from the first bell, taking all five judges’ cards at the end of the round, and causing looks of frustration from his opponent. The 2017 World Championship silver medalists and Temirzhanov looked to pick up the action and pace in the second round, leading to a 3-2 round in favor of the American, before Ragan closed out his performance with another strong third round to take the round 5-0 and the unanimous decision win overall.
After not being contested in 2012 and 2016, Ragan becomes the first Team USA featherweight to reach the quarterfinals since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where Ricardo ‘Rocky’ Juarez came home with the silver medal.
Middleweight Naomi Graham (Fayetteville, N.C) put up a tough fight against the 2019 light heavyweight World Champion Zenfira Magomedalieva of the Russian Olympic Committee, however, fell short in a 4-1 decision to see her 2020 Olympic Games come to an end in the round of 16.
Team USA will have three boxers, Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.), Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) and Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.), take to the ring tomorrow. All three boxers will compete in the second session of the day, which begins at 4:00 a.m. EST and can be watched live here.
USA Network will replay tonight’s bouts this evening, and a full schedule for today’s broadcast can be seen here.
Day 5 Results
57 kg: Duke Ragan, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA, dec. over Serik Temirzhanov/KAZ, 5-0
75 kg: Zenfira Magomedalieva/ROC dec. over Naomi Graham, Fayetteville, N.C./USA, 4-1
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Duke Ragan Quotes
On biggest difference between a professional six-round fight and amateur three-round fight:
“The pace of fighting is way faster, knowing you just have three rounds. These guys come in just try to fight. I am used to pacing myself and is much faster than what I am used to. You have to go and can’t really wait.”
On USA teammates cheering for him:
“It gives me motivation. My team loves me, like I love them. Knowing that I have people here, without family here, having my teammates puts me in a better spirit and extra energy.”
“They are very loud. They are louder than my family would be. My family would be biting their nails, and nervous.”
On team momentum:
“In those close fights, you get that extra boost hearing your teammates cheering you on, rooting for you to finish strong.”
On scouting for next opponent:
“Me and Kurt Walker have been to a few training camps together, but we will keep strategy to ourselves between the team. We will go back and watch his fight, and work on what we need to work on.”
Naomi Graham Quotes
On the fight:
“I just feel like it was me that was not on my game today. There are a lot of things I didn’t do tonight. I will go back and look at and fix next time.”
Memories from the Olympics:
“It has been the greatest experience. I enjoyed it. I may not be happy with the results, but I am going to learn from this and look at it again.”