Women’s lightweight (Semifinals)
- Kellie Harrington (Ireland) def. Sudaporn Seesondee (Thailand), 3:2: This was a very tactical fight, with a tentative first round, and in the end Harrington nicked it, winning three cards on scores of 29-28, and Seesondee had two cards of the same score. Probably could have gone the other way, but I also had it 29-28 for Harrington, giving her the first and third rounds and Seesondee the second. The top seed from Ireland looks to take gold next.
- Beatriz Ferreira (Brazil) def. Mira Potkonen (Finland), 5:0: The 40-year-old Potkonen may have been in a major ring for the final time here. She gets her second Olympic bronze medal, and put what she had into this fight, but Ferreira is just rolling right now, she’s a terrific boxer-puncher, brings pressure but doesn’t do it sloppy, she’s got good craft. She also backed off and let the aggressive Potkonen lead, as Ferreira rightly scouted she had the quicker hands and could do well off the counter, which she did at times. Potkonen just didn’t have the gears, Ferreira did, and the 2019 Worlds gold medalist now goes for Olympic gold. Hats off to Potkonen, too. She took up boxing just to get in shape some years back, and she winds up a two-time Olympic medalist, and she has been damn fun to watch at two Summer Games.
Men’s flyweight (Semifinals)
- Carlo Paalam (Philippines) def. Ryomei Tanaka (Japan), 5:0: Quarterfinal judges pushed Tanaka into the medal rounds despite the fact that Yuberjen Martinez of Colombia was the better fighter. This time, Paalam was the better fighter and the judges just saw that and said so. Tanaka is the Takuma Inoue to his brother Kosei’s Naoya, really, not a bad boxer, but certainly not that top level talent. He’s also a little dirty, took a good few cheap shots in this one, and he struggled to land much clean on Paalam, who was steady, elusive, and kept landing right hands on the southpaw. He won every round on every card, except the Ugandan judge gave Tanaka the third. Paalam now fights for flyweight gold next.
- Galal Yafai (Great Britain) def. Saken Bibossinov (Kazakhstan), 3:2: Yafai wound up hanging on here, sweeping the first round, and then losing the second and third rounds 3-2 overall, but he got the one of three even cards that he needed in round three, from the Slovak judge. This was a much tougher fight in the second and third for Yafai, but more or less I think he deserved it, as hard as Bibossinov fought to get back in it. The Kazakh ate a clean left in the first round that forced a standing eight, too.
Men’s middleweight (Semifinals)
- Oleksandr Khyzhniak (Ukraine) def. Eumir Marcial (Philippines), 3:2: A fantastic fight, two fighters who are both very promising as pro prospects, both of them aggressive, hard-hitting, tough guys who give their all. Khyzhniak wound up having a bit more in the tank here, and a clean sweep in the third round put him through after Marcial won both of the first two rounds, 3-2. Marcial, 25, turned pro last December and will be a very hot prospect after his showing in Tokyo. If Khyzhniak, who just turned 26, wants to go pro, he will be a top prospect immediately. This was one I was hugely looking forward to and I was not at all disappointed.
- Hebert Sousa (Brazil) def. Gleb Bakshi (Russian Olympic Committee), 4:1: For two rounds, this went about exactly how Sousa would have wanted, and he was pretty much locked in, up on four cards after those opening rounds. But Bakshi did give it a serious go in the third, and Sousa had to play some keepaway. In the end, it’s still a 4:1 for Sousa, and he goes on to face Khyzhniak for gold, with Bakshi taking bronze alongside Marcial.
Men’s featherweight (FINAL)
- Albert Batyrgaziev (Russian Olympic Committee) def. Duke Ragan (United States), 3:2: Full recap here.