U.S. boxers Delante Johnson and Duke Ragan advanced with tight 3-2 decisions while fellow American Yarisel Ramirez was eliminated on the first day of Olympic boxing competition on Saturday.
Ramirez won round 2 on all five judges’ scorecards, but Croatian boxer Nikolina Cacic unanimously took rounds 1 and 3.
Ragan took a split decision over France’s Samuel Kistohurry in the men’s featherweight (57kg) class with scores all over the place, winning 29-28 on three cards while losing 28-29 on another and 27-30 on the fifth. Two judges gave Ragan, the runner-up in 2017 World Championships at bantamweight, the first and second rounds. Another gave him the first and third.
The scoring was equally contentious in Johnson’s welterweight (69kg) bout against Argentina’s Brian Augustin Arregui, the gold medalist at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. After two rounds, the American was down 20-18 on one scorecard and tied 19-19 on the other four, three of which gave Johnson the first round and one of which gave him the second, even though Arregui knocked him down. Johnson won the last round on four of the scorecards for a 3-2 decision.