Duke Ragan, an American featherweight boxer, has advanced to the Olympic gold medal round after defeating Samuel Takyi in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Ragan, 23, won a split 4-1 decision at Tokyo’s Kokugikan Arena in a fight in which he was strong and measured against Takyi, who was more kinetic and flashy.
The American sealed his victory in the third and final round with solid punches on target that Takyi was unable to counter.
However, Takyi in the blue trunks won the first round 3-2 on a strong finish after Ragan in the red appeared to have beaten the Ghanaian early.
Takyi came out strong in the second round, gaining points that fed a swagger visible in his stance, which remained even as Ragan landed solid rights as the frame came to a close.
Ragan’s card was a decisive 4-1 winner.
Ragan came out fast in the final round, picking up early points that put him in a good position and forced Takyi to take risks as the bout came to a close.
The split decision sends the Ghanaian, who dyed his hair gold to match the medal he was aiming for, to the bronze medal match, while ensuring that Ragan will return home with either a gold or silver medal around his neck.
The final bout in the men’s featherweight division will take place on Thursday. Ragan will face the winner of the feather semifinal, which will be held later Tuesday between Cuba’s Lazaro and Russia’s Alert Batyrgaziev.