Boxers Keyshawn Davis, Duke Ragan And Richard Torrez Make History In Tokyo
by Karen Price
Keyshawn Davis reacts during the men's light boxing final bout at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 8, 2021 in Tokyo.
Decked out in his Team USA gear, boxer Keyshawn Davis held his coat open to show the most important piece of his outfit: a silver medal.
“One thing you can’t take from me, I will forever be a Olympian,” he wrote on his Instagram post from the Closing Ceremony in Tokyo.
Indeed, and not only is he an Olympian but he and teammates Duke Ragan and Richard Torrez are also Olympic silver medalists.
And they did it together.
Without fans, the U.S. team took the place of the family, friends and spectators who would have been there under ordinary circumstances to cheer for one another throughout the competition.
Ragan told USA Today that his team loved him like he loved them, and hearing their voices coming from the stands and knowing they were there watching and supporting gave him energy.
“We all take turns,” Ragan said. “Whoever's not fighting is in the stands rooting them on. Unless you've got a fight later in the day, you'll probably be back home resting. But even if one of my teammates missed my fight, I'd be at their fight.”
Duke Ragan celebrates during the victory ceremony at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 05, 2021 in Tokyo.
Coming into the Games, the U.S. men hadn't won a gold medal at the Olympic Games since 2004. At one point, it appeared as if they might end that drought with not one but three titles. Lightweight Davis, featherweight Ragan and super heavyweight Torrez all advanced to the gold-medal bouts in their respective classes.
None were successful, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.
Ragan, 23, was the first to fight, and he fell in a close bout with Albert Batyrgaziev of the Russian Olympic Committee, 3-2. Two of the judges were 29-28 for Ragan, while two were 29-28 for Batyrgaziev and the fifth was 30-27 for Batyrgaziev. After starting the tournament unseeded, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native became the first American featherweight to medal at the Olympics since Rocky Juarez in 2000 as well as the first professional boxer ever to medal for the U.S.
Next up was Davis, who fought two-time world champion Andy Cruz, from Cuba. Davis was also unseeded coming into the Olympic Games, and the 22-year-old from Norfolk, Virginia, lost in a 4-1 decision.
That left only Torrez Jr., the first super heavyweight to compete for the U.S. in the gold-medal bout at the Olympic Games since Riddick Bowe in 1988. Also 22, Torrez Jr. lost by unanimous decision to Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov. It was not only his first major senior international medal but also the first medal by a super heavyweight at the Games since Bowe.
Although they’ll have to now wait until 2024 to end the Olympic gold medal drought, the team’s success in Tokyo is undeniable. Since Andre Ward became the last U.S. man to win Olympic boxing gold in 2004, only three men had medaled in the sport until this summer (Deontay Wilder won bronze in 2008, and Shakur Stevenson won silver and Nico Hernandez bronze in 2016).
Richard Torrez Jr competes in the men's super heavy final during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 08, 2021 in Tokyo.
The four total medals, including welterweight Oshae Jones’ bronze on the women’s side, was the most for USA Boxing since 2000.
Even before the Games, Torrez posted a photo of the team decked out in their Opening Ceremony outfits and captioned it, “Surrounded by greatness.”
He told reporters of the end of the U.S. gold medal drought after the loss to Jalolov, “I believe it’s coming. I really do. I’m sorry I couldn’t be the one to do it."
Davis summed up the experience with a series of photos from the ring in Tokyo and this:
“The Olympics was my dream since a child & competing at the highest level is a blessing. To me it’s bigger than the trophy. A chance to show the world your talent is a opportunity any would take & I did just that. People that supported the entire U.S. Boxing team, us fighters appreciate everyone! For my teammates this was a fantastic Olympic Team. Everybody respected one another & we all helped each other reach our goals together. I can’t thank everyone enough but I Thank everybody & I hope y’all keeping following me. My career just getting started.”