Richard Torrez Jr. was the last man standing for the United States men’s team but unable to end a 17-year Gold medal drought.
The 22-year-old super heavyweight representative for the United States came up short in his Olympic Gold bid following a points loss to number-one seed Bakhodir Jalolov in the final bout of Tokyo Olympics competition Sunday afternoon at Kokugikan Arena. Jalolov won by scores of 30-26, 30-26, 29-27, 29-27 and 29-27 to become the first Uzbek to win Gold in the super heavyweight division.
The bout was a rematch of their meeting in the 2019 World Amateur Championship tournament, which Jalolov knocked Torrez out cold inside of one round. The fight drew scorn over pro fighters competing against young amateurs, with Jalolov—who also fought in 2016 Rio—is currently 8-0 (8KOs) as a pro.
Torrez has shown much he has grown since that session, enjoying a strong opening round. Left hand shots from the California-bred southpaw found their mark against the 6’7” Jalolov, doing enough damage to win on three of the five cards.
Jalolov turned the tide in a big way in a near-disastrous round two for Torrez. Jalolov landed several left hands, one which produced a cut outside the left eye of Torrez, who was also deducted one point and also suffered a standing eight count after being rocked midway through the round.
Torrez did his best to set up his left hand in a round three where he needed a knockout to win. The American produced third-round stoppage victories in wins over Chouaib Bouloudinat (Algeria) in round of 16 and again over Kamshybek Kunkabayev (Kazakhstan) in semifinals, the latter leaving him as the first American to medal at super heavyweight to medal since 1988.
Jalolov was not to be denied, however. The Uzbek was too strong and too consistent with his left hand shots, with Torrez never giving up but ultimately unable to pull ahead.
The run by Jalalov spared Uzbekistan of coming up empty amongst their 11-member team. Jalolov—who fights pro for Hall of Fame promoter Lou DiBella and manager Vadim Kornilov—was the only one to medal, assuring his nation at least Silver following a third-round Referee Stops Contest (RSC) of Great Britain's Frazer Clarke in the semifinal round.
Clarke and Kunkabayev claim Bronze, joining Jalolov and Torrez at the medal podium.
Despite falling short of Gold, Torrez still served as an integral part of a U.S. team that enjoyed its best overall run in seven Olympic cycles. Torrez, Keyshawn Davis (lightweight) and Duke Ragan (featherweight) all take home Silver medals, marking the first time since 1988 that the U.S. earned three medals of Silver or better.
Torrez is the first at super heavyweight to medal for the U.S. since Riddick Bowe took him Silver in 1988 Seoul. The only other American to medal at the weight was Tyrell Biggs, who won Gold in 1984 Los Angeles, the first year where the division was introduced in the Olympics.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox