Olympic boxer Richard Torrez Jr. from Tulare got off to a strong start early in his gold medal bout against Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan on Saturday night but ultimately could not overcome his opponent’s advantages in his Tokyo Olympics finale.
Jalolov won gold in the super heavyweight division in the final boxing match 2020 Games, with a 5:0 victory over Torrez.
Torrez Connects in First Round
Torrez won the first round but struggled to land effective blows against Jalolov in the remaining two.
Before the fight, the 22-year-old was confident he and his corner had come up with a strategy for defeating Jalolov, who had knocked him out in a 2019 bout.
In the first minutes, Torrez landed a strong blow to Jalolov’s head that seemed to validate the plan’s effectiveness. But his larger opponent adjusted in the next round and dominated for the remainder of the fight.
Opponent Towered Over Torrez
The 6-foot-7 Jalolov towered over Torrez and nearly every other fighter in the Olympic sport’s largest weight class, yet he also has the stiff jab of a much smaller man. He dominated all four of his bouts in Tokyo, sweeping every judge’s decision in three fights and winning by stoppage in the semifinals.
the last American athlete of the Olympics is fighting the largest man in the world. pic.twitter.com/m7E0W106od
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) August 8, 2021
Torrez Reflects on Olympic Result
After the fight, Torrez’s disappointment was clear.
“I’ve been on the medal podium before, and it’s one of the best and worst feelings to ever feel. To not have that flag raised, to not have that anthem played, to sit there and one guy crying tears of joy and the other sadness, being in that position is really tough,” Torrez said in an interview published by The Washington Post.
With Torrez’s silver, the U.S. boxing squad still had its most successful Olympics since 2000 in terms of total medals. The Americans are the most successful boxing nation in Olympic history, thought they haven’t won a men’s gold medal since 2004.