The 2020 Olympics Boxing Preview – Who Are The Favorites To Win Gold?
This is a preview of the 2020 Olympics in the sport of boxing taking place in the Summer of 2021, by your boy Lukie.
Favorites: Bakhodir Jalolov (Uzbekistan), Richard Torrez Jr. (United States)
Bakhodir Jalolov is a resounding favorite as he is undefeated as a professional with eight wins, all by knockout. The southpaw, who is six-foot-seven-inches tall has a lot to like. Beyond that, Jalolov’s last recorded loss was a split decision loss in 2017, to Kamshybek Kunkabayev, in Germany, and 2016 loss to world title contender Joe Joyce. Beyond all of this, Jalolov knocked out Richard Torrez Jr., in September of 2019, and Torrez was viewed as one of, if not, the best in the world.
Richard Torrez Jr. has had the most excitement around him for a super heavyweight in the United States since Tyrell Biggs, and Riddick Bowe, as Torrez has made more inroads as an amateur than 2008 bronze medalist Deontay Wilder. Yet, despite his impressive slew of wins, many by way of knockout, the big question is, what happens when and/if Torrez faces Jalolov again, as Jalolov hurt some of the mystic of Torrez going into the Olympics.
Live Dogs: Mourad Aliev (France), Frazer Clarke (Great Brittan)
Aliev is a big puncher, who when facing overmatched competition shows traits of Artur Beterbiev, but when facing tough competition knows how to win ugly, which is a skill. The French have invested heavily into boxing, and showing major developments as in 2016 Tony Yoka of France won the Gold medal, and even though Aliev might not win that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him medal.
Clarke is well-rounded though nothing jumps off the page, it is hard not to compare him to Joe Joyce as he has solid fundamentals and can push his opponents back as well. In the past two Olympics, U.K. has done well with Anthony Joshua winning gold, and Joe Joyce getting a silver, I expect to see Clarke excel.
Favorites: Muslim Gadzhimagomedov (Russia), Julio César La Cruz(Cuba)
Muslim Gadzhimagomedov is a well-rounded solid fighter, and despite this being in my opinion one of the most interesting divisions, sadly I can see a lot of these fighters ending up in the abyss that is the cruiserweight division in which more people tell you about the fights than you’re able to see them, Gadzhimagomedov is beyond noteworthy. At roughly, six-foot-five-inches, and 24-years-old, Muslim Gadzhimagomedov is a straight punch machine and has a good bounce for a big man. He also hasn’t lost since 2017 which was to Bektemir “Bek The Bully” Melikuziev as well as a loss Joseph Ward that same year, a bit prior.
Julio César La Cruz is a fighter that if you love watching defensive masters, he is one to watch. Matchroom USA prospect Khalil Coe a/k/a “The Big Steppa” announced his arrival to the boxing world by KO’ing him at the 2018 Chemistry Cup. That being said, La Cruz will be tough to beat and may just be the fastest fighter in this division with some of the most experience as well.
Live Dogs: Vassiliy Levit (Kazakhstan), Radoslav Pantaleev (Bulgaria),
Levit is a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, as the man who throws every punch with bad intentions and never takes a backward step will look to make the 2020 Olympics, a memorable one. Levit’s style is straightforward pressure with some subtle feints as he looks to wear on you with power and push a fast pace to question your conditioning.
Pantaleev is mauling and tough, as his style is simple – be stronger than his opponent and put a ton of pressure on them. Pantaleev has a style, but in a very raw sense to a Murat Gassiev, as he relies upon his power to change fights and never backs down. Pantaleev will need to have a career-defining tournament to medal, but if managed right, will be a solid pro.
Favorites: Dilshodbek Ruzmetov (Uzbekistan), Benjamin Whittaker (England),
Ruzmetov is the type of guy who can disrupt a tournament bracket, with smart pressure, a southpaw stance, good volume, and a pro-ready style. The major issue I see is that the amateur game at this level might not be suited for him anymore as the volume could be his kryptonite if people can take his punch with the big gloves. Ruzmetov could be a very good pro, and I hve him circled as someone to watch for.
Whittaker looks to be one of England’s stars of the event and should parlay a good event, into a lucrative professional career as he has the chance to get a whole nation behind him, at a higher weight class. Whittaker seemingly loves to put himself on the ropes at times, which will be a problem in the pros, but his volume, and movement should carry him into the medal rounds. Whittaker also has the perfect style to get robbed or for someone to debate the validity of his win.
Live Dogs: Bekzad Nurdauletov (Kaz), Arlan Lopez (Cuba)
Despite the #2 ranking and world-level success, I have Nurdauletov as a dog, rather than a favorite as his hop-in, hop-out style with his chin a bit high in the air for me, makes him prone to be upset. That being said, his southpaw stance, high-level IQ, and ability to control the action could see him medaling or winning the tournament.
Lopez is a solid counter puncher, who is one of the rare Cuban who is willing to fight on the inside. Arlan has the potential to be a special fighter since he can box but also has the dog in him to be great. This Olympic Games will show a lot about what Lopez wants from the sport of boxing as his division is open to whoever wants to take it.
Favorites: Gleb Bakshi (Russia), Oleksandr Khyzhniak (Ukraine)
Oleksandr Khyzhniak hasn’t lost since 2016, and is a great distance fighter. The only downside to Khyzhniak seems to be that his answer to fighting on the inside is holding, which may or may not work. Khyzhniak has all the skills and capabilities to be an Olympian medalist but will need to be moved carefully as a pro.
Gleb Bakashi seems to be the most well-rounded and versatile fighter in the division. Bakashi is not unbeatable, and definitely has lost fights he should’ve won, but he fights similar in each and every fight, with his flaw being sometimes he starts a tad bit slow, which is a professional habit.
Live Dogs: Troy Isley (United States), Ashish Kumar (India)
Troy Isley is a smart pressure fighter, who is strong and durable, and the day-one project of Coach Kay Koroma. Isley is now a professional, but will be representing the U.S. at this years Olympics and has the style to beat a lot of the top guys as the physical and rough nature he can excel at, some of the guys at the top of the division don’t do as well in.
Ashish Kumar will give anyone an honest days work as he is unpredictable, and hard to time or plan for. Kumar thrives in chaos and is a disrupter, and though he can be outboxed, he can also be a difficult outing for anyone on any given day, and seems like a fighter who rises to the occasion.
Favorite: Andrey Zamkovoy (Russia), Pat McCormack (England)
Andrey Zamkovoy is a seasoned veteran having fought in the 2012 Olympics, and defeating Errol Spence Jr. Zamkovoy has the experience and understands the amateur game well. Though it is doubtful we will ever see 34-year-old Zamkovoy turn professional or if he does for a meaningful extent, this Olympic Games will be his capstone to his career and should see him fight to his limits.
Pat McCormack, another British boxer, who should medal, and hit the ground running on his pro career Pat McCormack, who has been wining gold and silver at every international event for the past four or so years. McCormack is a smart well-rounded fighter, and seemingly a trend amongst the favorites on this list, a southpaw. McCormack is not just going to be a good Olympian, but he will be a noteworthy pro, who will usher in the new era of British boxing.
Live Dogs: “Tiger” Johnson (United States), Gabriel Maestre (Spain)
Delante “Tiger” Johnson is one of my favorite boxers from this U.S. class, the only issue Johnson might have is that he is too pro-ready, already. Johnson fights like a seasoned veteran, sitting on shots, and landing meaningful punches, which has me interested to see how he progresses as pro. I am hoping to see Johnson as I see him being yet another great fighter from Cleveland, Ohio.
Gabriel Maestre will be a good pro if managed right, Maestre has a ton of power, and even worse intentions with that power. His left hook is something to dread and even though he leaps in with it, if it lands it is over. Maestre is uber confident as he is scheduled to fight undefeated Cody Crowley on a PBC August 14th, if he is still in fact in the Olympics. Maestre is someone to watch for.
Favorites: Andy Cruz (Cuba), Keyshawn Davis (United States)
Andy Cruz has the potential to be the Robeisy Ramirez of this years Olympics, as his style is perfeclty suited for the amateurs, but I don’t see him becoming a huge fan-favorite in the pros for the next decade, plus. Cruz is elusive with good legs and solid defense. Cruz is the most notable Cuban boxer since Ramirez, and has been considered the best in his division for some time now, holding two wins over Keyshawn Davis, who holds a single victory over him
Keyshawn Davis has the most hype of any American Olympian and for him to win a gold medal he will need to go through the Cuban Curz, as most are looking at this tournament boiling down to a finals match between these two. Davis has converted to a pro, but now upon returning to USA Boxing is one of the more interesting subplots to follow.
Live Dogs: Sofiane Oumiha (France), Hovhannes Bachkov (Armenia), Wanderson Oliveira (Brazil)
Sofiane Oumiha is an amateur boxing legend holding Olympic wins over Teofimo Lopez, and competed against Lomachenko at the Olympics. Oumiha will be fighting in more than likely his last Olympics, and is a fighter that all, who know of him respect. A very good amateur, who will transition into a solid pro.
Hovhannes Bachkov is in the style of an Arthur Abraham, walks you down and throws big punches. I don’t see him winning the tournament, but I see him having a lot of fights in Germany, and possibly becoming a regional draw.
Wanderson Oliveira is a flashy defensive-minded fighter who is entertaining to watch, but hasn’t quite perfect how to win consistently against the elite level. Oliveira reminds of a “And-One” hooper from the early 2000’s who is less worried about the score of the game, and more so trying to hit you with a smooth crossover.
Favorites: Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (Uzbek), Lázaro Álvarez (Cuba)
Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov provides pressure, pressure, and more pressure. Think of him as M.J. Allahkmedov 2.0, as he will force fighters into will fights quickly, and even scarier, he has skill as well. Mirzakhalilov will not just medal, but he will be a good professional as well. One of my favorites of the whole tournament.
Alvarez is your traditional tricky, Cuban fighter, who could be poised to make a run at the medals.
Live Dogs: Peter McGrail (Great Brittan) , Duke Ragan (United States)
Peter McGrail is a solid well-schooled fighter, who fights at range well, but sometimes wears his heart too much upon his sleeve. McGrail has good length for the division and reminds me of a U.K. verision of Bruce Carrington minus the dynamic traits Carrington has.
Ragan is a solid fighter, who could develop into a great pro, not unlike a few of the other American fighters, we just have to see if his style is too well suited for the professional game, as opposed to Olympic and amateur boxing, will tend to favor a solid assortment of volume over singular thudding blows. Ragan has as much international experience as anyone on the team and will look to make the most of this opportunity.
Favorites – Shakhobidin Zoirov (Uzbekistan), Amit Panghal (India)
Zoirov won gold at the 2016 Olympics and I don’t really see anyone stopping him from doing it again. Zoirov is the front-runner to do an impressive feat, with a solid skillset, who knows if we will ever see him as a pro, as it might be more profitable to just stay amateur and compete in world competitions for his country.
India’s best chance at a medal Amit Panghal will look to do everything that is needed of him to bestow this honor upon his country. Panghal, quite possibly could be the most talented Indian boxer ever, and winning a medal would add to that statement.
Live Dogs – Galal Yafai (England), Billal Bennama (France)
The younger brother of Kal and Gamal, Galal Yafai will have all the confidence to boot coming from a successful fighting family, and discount the experience of competition he has trained along side. Yafai has the personality to become an engaging personality for this year’s games.
Bennama has good height for the weight class but often gives it up at times, but his size and stature if used right could make him a rough outing for any and all.
No U.S. fighters qualified in this division.
Favorites: Ginny Fuchs (United States), Pang Chol-Mi (North Korea)
Ginny Fuchs is a southpaw, who can punch. One of the best female fighters I have ever seen, and she is constantly improving. Fuchs ability to set up power shots is nothing short of impressive.
Pang Chol-Mi is one of the more interesting stories of the tournament and fights with an anger unseen in women’s boxing. The flyweight is vicious and relentless, hopefully, we see her compete
Live Dogs: Buse Naz Çakıroğlu (Turkey), Irish Mango (Philippines)
Buse Naz Çakıroğlu is a tough competitor, a very fundamentally sound boxer who has all the tools to win a medal at the Olympics, and add to that, the fact that she is a southpaw.
Mango is a fighter who throws a lot of punches, sometimes defense goes out the window for the volume, and for that she can either get caught or overwhelm opponents.
Favorites: Nesthy Petecio (Philippines), Karriss Artingstall (England)
Petecio is very tough, and tricky, a fighter who is able to make distances seem further or closer based upon subtle shifts in weight. Petecio has solid power, and good timing as well.
Kariss Artingstall is one of the tallest and controls distance well. Artingstall reminds me a lot of what Mikaela Mayer brought to the table in 2016 Olympics, a big frame in a weight class with smaller fighters and keeping them off with straight punches.
Live Dogs: Skye Nicolson (Australia), Sena Irie (Japan)
Skye Nicolson has all the making of a star, good looks, talent, and a chance to be an Olympic medalist. Nicoloson is someone who if she wins a few could make it to the final stages.
Don’t be surprised if Japanese fighter medals and Sena Irie is one of the best chances Japan has in boxing to reach the podium.
Favorites: Beatriz Soares (Brazil), Mira Potkonen (Finland)
Beatriz Soares has been nothing short of dominant, so much so, I would be surprised if she didn’t win gold. Soares throws a right hand like a hammer in close exchanges and always seems to find a way to get it to land.
Mira Potkonen is the chief rival I see for Soares, as the Finnish boxing star, who is defying age at 40-years-old competing against the younger generation. Potkonen has nearly 300 amateur bouts, and the ring IQ to beat anyone.
Live Dogs: Rashida Ellis (United States), Kellie Harrington (Ireland)
Rashida Ellis is the most talented fighter in this division she just needs her talent to translate to fight night. Rashida Ellis vs Maiva Hamadouche was hopefully a learning lesson, as Ellis the sister of Ronald and Rashidi, has the ability to win gold, she just needs to apply it.
Harrington is a good boxer, and someone who has risen to moment time and time again, don’t be surprised if you another Irish women’s boxer win a medal in this years Olympics, as Harrington is often underestimated, and often achieve more than those who write blog posts about her.
Favorite: Oshae Jones (United States), Busenaz Sürmeneli (Turkey)
Oshae Jones is the second Soul City Boxing Gym fighter to make the Olympics, in consecutive Olympic years. Jones’ style is simple break the opponent down, not unlike the great Aaron Pryor, another Ohio native. Jones should be one of our best bets for a gold medal.
Sumeneli fights like a female version of Avni Yildirim, coming forward high guard and volume on the inside. Her style is effective based upon volume and great conditioning.
Live Dogs: Myriam de Silva (Canada), Karolina Koszewska (Poland)
Myriam Da Silva has a lot of experience and fought some of the best in the division. Da Silva has the knowledge to sneak into the later rounds.
Karolina Koszewska is one of the tallest fighters in the division and uses range well. On top of that, she has thirteen professional fights.
Favorites: Naomi Graham (United States), Lauren Price (Great Brittan)
Naomi Graham was one of the most dominant fighters from USA Boxing last year, and appears to me to be the top of the heap in terms of the women’s middleweight division. An all-around solider fighter with lots of experience.
Lauren Price is tricky and elusive, plus has sneaky power. Price hasn’t lost in years and is the bigget threat to Graham for the gold medal.
Live Dogs: Zemfira Magomedalieva (Russia), Tammara Thibeault (Canada)
Zemfira Magomedalieva is one of the best in the tournament, but has had trouble in facing Price in the past. Magomedalieva does everything well, it simply comes down to how she fares with Graham and Price.
Tammara Thibeault, a six-foot tall southpaw, with a lot of international experience could be a fighter to keep a watchful eye, and as her talent is a plenty.