Women’s flyweight (Quarterfinals)
- Buse Naz Cakiroglu (Turkey) def. Jutamas Jitpong (Thailand), 5:0: Top seed Cakiroglu looked vulnerable in her first outing in Tokyo, but here, she looked very much like a top seed. Jitpong had been formidable, but Cakiroglu just outclassed her here, and now the Turkish fighter is in the semifinal and guaranteed at least a bronze medal.
- Hsiao-wen Huang (Chinese Taipei) def. Nina Radovanovic (Serbia), 5:0: Huang is tall, really lanky, uses her long arms well. Not the most thrilling style to watch, not technically great by any means, but what she does works. She’ll have her advantages against Cakiroglu, too, but Cakiroglu is better than Radovanovic, who gave her best but could never figure out the distance here, and saw her rushes cut off routinely. Huang also moves around a lot, doesn’t stay in one spot long.
Men’s featherweight (Quarterfinals)
- Duke Ragan (United States) def. Kurt Walker (Ireland), 3:2: Ragan is now guaranteed at least bronze, as he cuts down the strong run of Walker, who eliminated the top seed in the round of 16. This is also about as close as it gets, too. Ragan won the first round clearly, took all five cards. Walker won three cards in the second, meaning those three judges — Algeria, Lithuania, and Kazakhstan — had the fight on the line in the third round. Walker needed all three of them in his favor, Ragan only needed one, because he had two other cards locked up for the win barring catastrophe. The third was close, but Walker was the one pushing. Walker did win four of five cards. He did not win the Lithuanian judge’s card, and Ragan goes through. Tough loss for Walker, who had a very good run in Tokyo and damn near pulled this one out of the fire, too.
- Samuel Takyi (Ghana) def. Ceiber David Avila (Colombia), 3:2: We wound up with the exact same scenario in this fight as we saw in the Ragan-Walker bout. Avila swept the first round, Takyi won three cards in the second, and Takyi needed all three of those same exact judges in the third to win. Unlike Walker, he got the exact three he needed; in fact, he swept the round. Avila had a great effort in the first, but he expended a lot of energy, and the younger, taller Takyi had more in the tank for the second and third rounds. By that third, Avila was running on fumes, and it was clear. Takyi did enough to chase him down, land, and advance to the semifinal, guaranteed at least bronze.
Men’s welterweight (Semifinal)
- Pat McCormack (Great Britain) def. Aidan Walsh (Ireland), WO: Usually a walkover means a fighter picked up some cuts, an injury in a fight, maybe got sick, stuff that happens. This one, though, was due to an ankle injury Walsh suffered celebrating his quarterfinal win over Merven Clair of Mauritius. He was pulled just a few hours ago, hoped to fight but scans revealed enough of an issue that they wouldn’t let him through. Walsh gets bronze. McCormack goes on to fight for gold.
Men’s middleweight (Quarterfinals)
- Oleksandr Khyzhniak (Ukraine) def. Euri Cedeno (Dominican Republic), 4:1: An action-packed fight that got tense after the second round and was still quite so after it was all over. Cedeno was surprised he’d lost, but he lost. His style gave Khyzhniak some fits in the first round, but all in all it stayed an aggressive fight through three, and it was Cedeno who blinked first, running out of steam in the third, as Khyzhniak just kept hunting. He’s technically sound, better defensively than he looked here, and has some good power and great technique. The top seed is a tough out.
- Eumir Marcial (Philippines) def. Arman Darchinyan (Armenia), KO: First round knockout. Darchinyan, nephew of Vic, wound up on the wrong end of his family’s mixed history against Filipino opponents. Darchinyan also complained a lot post-fight that the shot was behind the head. It absolutely was not:
That was, as Jim Watt would say, “BANG ON THE CHEN!” I’m not trying to pile on Darchinyan (who was still out of sorts at center ring for the official announcement and may be concussed), I’m just saying to avoid any controversy talk, there you go. It was a clean knockout, and Marcial moves on to the semis to face Khyzhniak, a great matchup.
Men’s light heavyweight (Semifinal)
- Ben Whittaker (Great Britain) def. Imam Khataev (Russian Olympic Committee), 4:1: This was always going to be a matchup about who could impose their style. Most specifically, whether or not Khataev — the shorter, stronger bruiser who had marched through three fights thus far — could force Whittaker to engage close. He could not, as Whittaker moved and jabbed and used his superior height and length, and flustered Khataev for three rounds. Frankly, I wouldn’t have given Khataev a round here, but three judges gave him the first. Honestly, the fight didn’t look all that different round-to-round, so what changed their minds after that comes down to, I guess, a scant bit more aggression from Whittaker, I suppose. But the secret is that while the officiating has gotten better in Tokyo compared to Rio and London, there are still questions of consistency among judges round-to-round, let alone fight-to-fight. But I do think Whittaker won this, and on he goes to the gold medal bout.
Men’s super heavyweight (Quarterfinals)
- Bakhodir Jalolov (Uzbekistan) def. Satish Kumar (India), 5:0: Jalolov dominated here, but Kumar — India’s first-ever super heavyweight Olympian — didn’t just let him sleepwalk, either, giving this his very best, and he got some respect from Jalolov after the fight. Kumar can leave this one with his head held high. No, it wasn’t close, but he didn’t go out there in awe of the clear gold medal favorite, either. He gave this what he had.
- Frazer Clarke (Great Britain) def. Mourad Aliev (France), DQ: Huge controversy here, as Aliev is DQ’d in the second for fouls (leading with the head, holding) — he’d been warned, and there was already a cut on Clarke. Clarke wasn’t thrilled winning this way, but was happy to win, of course, he’s guaranteed at least a bronze medal. Aliev was absolutely furious and as of this posting (several minutes after the fight was ended), he still hadn’t left the ring area.