Duke Ragan is one fight away from bringing home Olympic gold
Cincinnati Ohio’s Duke Ragan advanced to the featherweight Gold Medal round of the Tokyo Olympics with a hard-fought decision over Samuel Takyi at the Kokugikan arena in Tokyo, Japan.
Round one saw Ragan use his speed and timing to gain an early lead. However, Takyi showed why he’s been one of the surprise contenders during the Olympic box-offs. Only 20-years-old, the kid from Accra, Ghana opened up and went on the attack. Significantly taller and longer, Takyi used those physical advantages and overall hunger to storm back in the second round. He was on the front foot, keeping his opponents at bay.
Ragan had difficulty getting past the long stick of the Ghanian. When he tried to get on the inside, Takyi did a slick job of countering with two-and-three-punch combinations.
RISING TO THE OCCASION
It was nip and tuck heading into the final round. This was where the American made the adjustments and separated himself. Ragan has fought four times as a pro, and that experience started to show. He fought on the back foot and forced the younger man to come forward. This was a perfect strategy, as he used Takyi’s aggression against him and connected with counterpunches of his own. The difference in class is what sealed the fight.
In the end, Ragan won on the judge’s scorecards by a 4-1 split decision. Despite being on the losing end, Samuel Takyi is someone to keep an eye on. He displayed all kinds of raw talent and potential. That coupled with his imposing size, you could easily see him having a future as a professional.
As for the winner, he’s moving on to the Gold Medal match where he faces the winner of the second featherweight semifinal between Cuba’s Lázaro Álvarez and Russian Albert Batyrgaziev. Ragan is attempting to be the first American to win Olympic boxing gold since Andre Ward in the 2004 Olympics and the first American amateur featherweight to win Olympic gold since Medrick Taylor at the 1984 Olympics.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.