Since the inception of the Olympic Games, amateur boxing has been one of the most pivotal competitions in the quadrennial extravaganza. Except for the 1912 Games, it has been included in every Olympics since it was introduced in 1904.
Team USA has a hallowed history in the boxing events of the Olympics. With a staggering 114 medals to their name, it is head and shoulders above second-placed Cuba who has finished on the podium 73 times.
However, the US dominance in amateur boxing has been on the decline in recent years. In the 2016 Rio Games, they came up with one gold, one silver, and a bronze medal. Four years earlier in London, it was just a gold and a bronze apiece.
Other medallists Nico Hernandez and Shakur Stevenson have turned professional and will miss the Olympics as well.
Here are our predictions for Team USA’s boxing chances in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
#9 Rashida Ellis – women’s 60kg
Rashida Ellis won a bronze medal at the 2019 Women’s World Boxing Championships in Russia and will fight for a better result at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
A troublemaker at school, Ellis was known to fight with the boys. Once her father enrolled her in a boxing gym, she fell in love with the sport and never looked back. Despite a successful career, a lack of participation in international events has plummeted her to 15th place in the IOC Boxing Task Force rankings.
Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira and Ireland’s Kellie Harrington are the favorites to win the gold medal.
Prediction: Bronze medal
#8 Virginia Fuchs – women’s 51kg
Virginia Fuchs won a bronze medal at the 2018 AIBA World Boxing Championships in New Delhi and followed it with a silver at the 2019 Pan American Games. This will be the first Olympics for the 31-year-old.
Fuchs is currently ranked 22nd in her weight division. Favorites in her category to win the gold medal include Turkey’s Buse Naz Cakiroglu, China’s Yuan Chang, and India’s Mary Kom.
Prediction: Round of 16
#7 Naomi Graham – women’s 75kg
Naomi Graham is likely to etch her name in the history books as she will become the first active military member to participate in the Olympics at Tokyo 2020.
Claressa Shields won a gold medal each at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the middleweight division and Graham is set to represent the USA in the same weight category in Tokyo.
However, her path won’t be strewn with roses as the top contenders include Great Britain’s Lauren Price, the Netherlands’ Nouchka Fontjin, and Morocco’s Khadija El-Mardi. Graham is ranked 9th in the IOC’s rankings.
#6 Delante Johnson – men’s 69kg
Delante Johnson announced his arrival in the amateur boxing world by winning a gold medal in the 2016 Youth World Championships and followed it with a bronze medal at the 2019 Pan American Games. This will be his debut Olympics.
Johnson is ranked 23rd in the world. The likes of Great Britain’s Pat McCormack, Russia’s Andrei Zamkovoi, and Jordan’s Zeyad Eashash are favorites to take the top honors.
Prediction: Round of 16
#5 Oshae Jones – women’s 69kg
Oshae Jones comes from a family of boxers. Her two brothers and father have played the sport professionally in the past. The 23-year-old won a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in the women’s welterweight division.
Jones is ranked 11th in the IOC’s rankings and will have to overcome the likes of Busenaz Surmeneli (Turkey), Gu Hong (China), Nien-Chin Chen (Chinese Taipei), or Oumayma Bel Ahbib (Morocco) for a podium finish.
#4 Richard Torrez Jr – men’s 91+ kg
Richard Torrez Jr is a third generation boxer who will make his Olympic debut in Tokyo. Currently ranked 17th in the world, the 22-year-old finished third in the 2019 Pan American Games.
The favorites in the men’s super heavyweight category include Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov, Kazakhstan’s Kamshybek Kunkabayev, and France’s Mourad Aliev.
#3 Duke Ragan – men’s 57kg
Duke Ragan turned professional in 2020 but is still eligible to participate in the Tokyo Olympics due to his high ranking in the amateur circuit. He is ranked 23rd according to the IOC’s rankings.
Ragan finished second at the 2017 World Championships and the 2019 Pan American Games. He holds a 4-0 clean win record in the professional circuit.
A dark horse in the category, Ragan will pose a serious challenge to the likes of Uzbekistan’s Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, Russia’s Albert Batyrgaziev, and Zambia’s Everisto Mulenga for an Olympic medal.
Prediction: Bronze medal
#2 Keyshawn Davis – men’s 63kg
Keyshawn Davis is another pro boxer who will represent the USA in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. He was even featured twice on the same card as Canelo Alvarez. He has won a silver medal each in the 2019 World Championships and the Pan American Games.
The lightweight category will see top names like France’s Sofiane Oumiha and Cuba’s Andy Gomez gunning for the top honors. Though ranked 12th in the IOC’s rankings, Keyshan Davis is expected to cause a few upsets in Tokyo.
Prediction: Silver medal
#1 Troy Isley – men’s 75kg
Troy Isley won a bronze medal each at the 2017 World Championships and 2019 Pan American Games. He is the third pro boxer on the list to make it to the Olympics.
Currently ranked 27th in the world, Isley’s medal prospects at Tokyo are bleak at best. Favorites in his category include Russia’s Gleb Bakshi, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak, and the Philippines’ Eumir Felix Marcial.