The men's featherweight semifinal bracket is set, with USA, Cuba, ROC and Ghana sending its divisional representatives to the medal round.
Duke Ragan became the first boxer from the U.S. men's team to secure a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Cincinnati does so following a split decision win over Kurt Anthony Walker (Ireland). Ragan built an early lead to come out ahead on three of the five scorecards and become the first American featherweight since Rocky Juarez (Silver, 2000 Sydney) to medal at the weight.
Full recap of Ragan-Walker can be found here: https://www.boxingscene.com/duke-ragan-edges-irelands-kurt-walker-advances-mens-featherweight-medal-round--159544
Ragan gets a bit of surprise in the semifinal round. Samuel Takyi (Ghana) gutted out a hard-fought win over Ceiber David Avlia (Colombia) to advance to the medal round.
Tayki never led on the scorecards until the very end, having lost on all five cards in round one and only two of the five judges awarding round two in favor of the Ghanaian featherweight.
The third and final round was a bit sloppy, with both fighters taking down the other to the canvas. Takyi managed to get the better of what clean punching took place, sweeping the final round to pull ahead on three of the five scorecards.
Lazaro Alvarez (Cuba) became the fifth member of his Olympic team to secure a medal, following a hard-fought split decision win over Chatchai Butdee (Thailand). Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 for Butdee and 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Alvarez, who trailed after the opening round but rallied to prevail.
With the win, Alvarez joins Iglesias as among a small handful of fighters to win three Olympic medals. Alvarez does it the hard way, claiming medals in three different weight divisions.
Alvarez won Olympic bronze at 2012 London as a bantamweight and at 2016 Rio as a lightweight.
Next up for the 30-year-old Cuban is Artur Batyrgaziev (ROC). The 23-year-old first-time Olympian rallied hard to upend two-time Olympic quarterfinalist Tsendbaatar Erdenebat, winning by split decision.
Both boxers won on two each scorecards, with the fifth judge initially scoring the bout even. Due to Olympic bouts not being able to end in a draw, a "preferred winner" has to be selected by any judge who has a bout even in a bout which does not produce at least a majority victor.
Batyrgaziev was given the nod on that card, doing so by earning a 10-8 round which included a standing eight count and a pummelling in the final minute of the fight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox