Torrez Jr Impresses in Olympic Debut
by Brian Taylor, USA Boxing
Super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr. (Tulare, Calif.) made his Tokyo debut after almost a week waiting for his turn to take to the ring. Torrez, the first super heavyweight boxer to represent Team USA since 2012, put on a strong opening round performance against Algeria’s Chouaib Bouloudinats to be the first American super heavyweight to reach the quarterfinals since Jason Estrada in 2004.
The first round saw Torrez land an impressive body shot that dropped his oppontent to the canvas, leading the ref to give Bouloudinats a standing eight count. After the bell, Torrez was up, 5-0, which saw two judges’ scoring the round 10-8. The third-seeded super heavyweight in these Games continued to show superior boxing to his opponent, taking all five judges’ cards in the second and third round, including two more 10-8 cards for the final round, to take the unanimous decision victory.
The 2019 Pan American Games bronze medalists will have a few days of rest for his quarterfinal bout with Cuban Dainier Pero, which will be a rematch of the 2019 Pan American Games semifinals, where Pero took a 3-2 decision over Torrez.
Middleweight Troy Isley (Alexandria, Va.) saw his Olympic run come to an end after a close 3-2 decision against the 2019 World Champion Gleb Bakshi of the Russian Olympic Committee, while flyweight Virginia Fuchs (Houston, Texas) could not revenge her loss against Stoyka Krasteva of Bulgaria from earlier this year, falling short in an unanimous decision to the two-time Olympian.
Team USA will have three boxers take part in tomorrow’s action, Rashida Ellis (Lynn, Mass.), Delante Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio) and Oshae Jones (Toledo, Ohio). Ellis will be making her Olympic debut in the lightweight round of 16, while Johnson and Jones will compete in the welterweight quarterfinals, where a win will guarantee them and USA Boxing a medal.
Day 6 Results
51 kg: Stoyka Krasteva/BUL dec. over Virginia Fuchs, Houston, Texas/USA, 5-0
75 kg: Gleb Bakshi/ROC dec. over Troy Isley, Alexandria, Va./USA, 3-2
91+ kg: Richard Torrez Jr., Tulare, Calif./USA, dec. over Chouaib Bouloudinats/ALG, 5-0
On how he felt during the fight:
“I felt good. I didn’t do everything I wanted to do, but I completed most of the tasks I had. I’d give myself a C+ or a C for that.
"The guy was no joke, everyone is an Olympian, but looking forward I know it will be a tough competition, and I want to be extremely prepared. I want to do my best performance every time.”
On using his speed to make up for being smaller than many of his super heavyweight rivals:
“This guy was more my size, he’s been in with the best as well, so I didn’t leave anything to fate. I didn’t try to overlook him or anything, he is one heck of a fighter.”
On fighting next after seeing teammate take a loss:
“I could see it out of the corner of my eye. It is tough, he was up against a very tough opponent, he was fighting a world champion. When I go back I’ll give him a big hug and shake his hand.”
On finally fighting at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020:
“Oh man, I’ve had to wait almost a week to get my first fight and everyone on the men’s side of the tournament won their first fight. I was sitting there, sitting there calling my dad, saying, 'what am I going to do?', and my dad was saying, ‘don’t worry, you’re going to win too, all you’ve got to do is go out there and perform’. That’s what I did.”