Richard Torrez Jr Scores a Dominant Win Over Pre-Fight Favorite Kamshybek Kunkabayev
American Richard Torrez Jr has become one of the fan favorites of the Tokyo Olympics. The southpaw from Tulare, California is not the most technically skilled fighter you will ever see. He has used his relentless style and left-handed power to overwhelm the competition. However, prognosticators felt the hard-hitting southpaw had met his match when he faced Kamshybek Kunkabayev of Kazakhstan in the super heavyweight semifinals.
Kunkabayev won Silver at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. The prevailing thought was his skills and experience would be too much. That turned out to not be the case, whatsoever. In one of the bigger surprises of the tournament, Torrez bullied and beat up the pre-fight favorite by third-round TKO. The Californian now moves on to the Gold Medal match.
ATTACK EARLY AND OFTEN
Torrez Jr was dialed in from the opening bell and went on the attack early. He was all over his opponent like bad breath, not giving him time to think and process what was happening. Late in the first round, Kunkabayev was stunned by a straight left hand. At this moment, you could sense this was going to be the underdog’s night.
Now aware that he could hurt his opponent, Torrez stepped it up even more. After a troublesome opening round, Kunkabayev decided to stand and trade in the second. That proved to be a mistake. After being deducted a point due to excessive holding, he was knocked down from a Torrez left hand at the end of the round.
Going into the third and final round, Torrez led 20-17 on four of the five scorecards. All he needed to do was keep it safe, and the fight was his. That’s not in his nature. He is someone who knows only one way to fight, and that is to keep the pedal to the metal.
The man continued to find a home for his big left hand in the final round. At the midway point, one of those lefts opened a nasty gash on the bridge of Kunkabayev’s nose. Damage was so severe, the ringside physicians decided to call a halt to the contest.
GOING FOR GOLD
Overall, it was a devastating performance. Torrez is guaranteed at least a Silver medal, the first American super heavyweight to win a silver since Riddick Bowe in 1988. He will now face Bakhodir Jalolov in the Gold medal bout on August 8. He will attempt to become the first American super heavyweight gold medalist since Tyrell Biggs in 1984.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.