The Final Olympic Boxing Preview W/ Bracket Insights
Favorite – Bakhodir Jalolov ( Uzbekistan)
Jalolov got a weird bracket, and despite being the odds on favorite will have to face Mourad Aliev of France more than likely who could disrupt the bracket as he is a live dog against anyone. I don’t love the draw Jalolov got, but if he wins gold, he will earn it.
Best Path – Richard Torrez (United States)
Richard Torrez Jr. got the best draw he could get as he will be in the other bracket from rival Jalolov, and will have only one formidable foe, in my opinion, in Pero of Cuba. I see Torrez getting to the finals with this draw.
Dark Horse – Mourad Aliev (France)
I am very high on the upside of Aliev as a professional, but I think he very well could be the only fighter to have the capabilities of beating Jalolov. If Aliev gets by, who we think will be Frazer Clarke in the quarterfinals, that would set up a match between himself and Jalolov in the semi-finals.
Projected Final – Jalolov vs. Torrez Jr.
Favorite and Best Path – Muslim Gadzhimagomedov (ROC)
Gadzhimagomedov has been a solid amateur fighter, and has a path to the finals along with #1 seed, as I view his bracket void of the true spoiler who could really shake things up for him.
Best Path – Julio Cesar Castillo Torres (Ecu)
Torres will not have to fight either Levit (Kaz) or Cruz of Cuba until the semi-finals, and despite being a super amateur-based style he has a good chance to medal based on his draw.
Dark Horse – Vassiliy Levit (Kaz)
Levit is the number two seed, but has two potentially tough bouts ahead of him Cruz of Cuba early and Torres. Levit, who is seeking Olympic redemption will have to earn his medal if he wants one this year.
Projected Final – Muslim Gadzhimagomedov vs Julio Cesar Castillo Torres
Favorite – Arlen Lopez (Cuba)
Lopez has a pretty straightforward path to the finals and true amateur style that is often rewarded in the Olympics. I see Lopez as the man to beat in this division.
Best Path – Ben Whittaker (GBR)
Despite not being seeded, I see Whittaker as being the guy who will emerge into the medal rounds at this tournament in one of the weaker division in this year’s Olympic Games. He would face the #1 seed in the semi-finals and beyond that it would be surprising to see Whittaker lose any earlier than that.
Dark Horse: Rogelio Romero (Mexico)
You know promoters will sign up Romero, a Mexican Olympian in a big money division, but Romero if anyone beats Lopez it will be Romero, prior to the finals bout.
Projected Final – Ben Whittaker vs Arlen Lopez
Favorite – Gleb Bakshi
Bakshi is the most experienced and a very tough out for anyone, I am interested in his potential bout with Troy Isley of the U.S., but outside of Isley I see Bakshi making it to the finals.
Best Path – Oleksandr Khyzhniak (UKR)
If Khyzhniak was a musician he’d be a punk rocker, he has a live fast, die young attitude, with an all offensive-style approach to boxing. I see him making it to the semi-finals, unless he get hit with something which is very possible, and Khyzhniak will be a fast-tracked pro, who will excel early in his career.
Dark Horse – Eumir Marcial
A Filipino power puncher, who has a high-punch output. I am expecting a lot from Marcial in this tournament, and to see him as a heavily sought-after professional by all major promoters.
Projected Finals – Gleb Bakshi vs Eumir Marcial
Favorite – Pat McCormack (GBR)
Many boxing insiders are debating about who the true blue-chip boxer from this class is, Keyshawn Davis or Pat McCormack, and many believe it is McCormack. I would be shocked if he doesn’t win a medal. He feels like a generational-type fighter.
Best Path – Andrei Zamokovi (ROC)
He will only have to face the toughest fighters in his division in the semi-finals and onward allowing the talented boxer a good chance to get into the medal rounds with solid performances.
Dark Horse – Delante “Tiger” Johnson (U.S.)
Johnson got the worst bracket possible with India, Cuba, Japan, Kaz, all being in the first few rounds of his tournament, the positive is if he wins those bouts – he will medal. Johnson has as much talent as any fighter on the team, he just has to show it.
Projected Finals – Pat McCormack vs. Andrei Zamokovi
Favorite – Andy Cruz (Cuba)
Is designed to be a great amateur and an average pro. This will be his moment to become a gold medal Olympian, barring Davis does something incredible. Cruz moves and knows how to win rounds.
Best Path – Jonas Jonas (NED)
Being on the lower bracket directly opposed to Andy Cruz, Jonas should make it to the semi-finals, but getting beyond that will prove far too much I believe.
Dark Horse – Keyshawn Davis (USA)
I know he is many people’s favorite to win gold, but his draw is rough. He will fight Sofiane Oumiha of France in the second round, as well as more than likely Gabil Mamedov and Elnur Abduraimov before getting to the finals. That is a hard draw.
Projected Final – Andy Cruz vs Keyshawn Daivs
The Favorite – Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov (Uzb)
Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov is my favorite fighter in the tournament, who knows what kind of a pro he will be, but I would be shocked if he doesn’t medal. He is smart, aggressive and strong.
Best Path – Lazaro Alvarez (Cuba)
Your traditional Cuban fighter, who will be elusive and hard to hit who got a very favorable draw, and should get a medal.
Dark Horse – Peter McGrail (GBR)
McGrail has the tools to beat Alvarez, and if he does he would be a sure-shot to win a medal. McGrail is the fighter under the radar to keep tabs on based on the seeding.
Projected Final – Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov vs Lazaro Alvarez
The Favorite – Amit Panghal (India)
This is Panghal’s tournament to lose. He has a very good draw and only needs to win one fight to find himself in the semi-finals.
Best Path – Bilal Bennama (France)
France has a very strong team and Bennama, is in a bracket in which he should find himself in the medal rounds, unless something occurs. Bennama is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the Olympics.
Dark Horse – Shakhobidin Zoirov (UZB)
The bout between himself and Amit Panghal which seems inevitable, should determine the gold medal winner, and Zoirov could be inspired by the success of his peers at this Olympic Games.
Projected Final – Bilal Bennama vs Shakhobidin Zoirov
The Favorite – Ginny Fuchs (USA)
I have liked Ginny Fuchs (listed as Virginia Fuchs on the bout sheet) since she made the team. Fuchs is a southpaw with good power and a ton of experience. I see her winning this tournament, and being a feel-good story.
Best Path – Huang Hsiao-Wen
The path is laid out for Hsiao-Wen to make it to the finals as Irish Magno is her chief rival in her bracket.
Dark Horse – Mary Kom
Everyone expects to see Ginny Fuchs vs Mary Kom in the semi-finals and I favor Fuchs, but Kom has a good chance in that bout. I see these three as the class of the division.
Projected Final – Ginny Fuchs vs Huang Hsiao-Wen
The Favorite – Ramla Ali (Somali)
A symbol of hope for those from Somali, I expect Ali, to have a career-defining performance, though I don’t see her being an amazing pro, I see her as a profitable pro, and I favor her to win gold.
Best Path – Yu-Ting Lin
One of the best fighters in the division will have a fairly mellow road to the finals as Nesthy Petecio will be her hardest bout until the medal rounds.
Dark Horse – Michaela Walsh
Walsh has a fairly open bracket, and a lot of experience and if she performs can see herself in the semi-finals against Lin.
Projected Finals – Yu-Ting Lin vs Ramla Ali
Favorite – Beatriz Ferreira
As dominant a fighter the division has with plenty of dog in her, she will be tough to beat in this tournament.
Best Path – Rashida Ellis
If Rashida Ellis wants to medal she has a great chance, as she has a clear path to the semi-finals needing just two wins to get there.
Dark Horse – Mira Potkonen
The 39-year-old veteran will make one more return to the Olympics and drew a hard opening bout with Maïva Hamadouche. If Potkonen wins that bout we could see her in the semi-finals.
Projected Finals – Mira Potkonen vs Kellie Harrington
The Favorite – Oshae Jones
This is the Oshae Jones division, if she doesn’t win gold it is either on her or bad judging. Jones is the clear favorite.
Best Path – Busenaz Sürmeneli
Tournament number one seed Busenaz Sürmeneli has a clear path to the finals if she performs.
Dark Horse – Shakhnoza Yunusova
Shakhnoza Yunusova is part of the most dominant boxing team in this Olympic Games, and should pull of an upset or two.
Projected Finals – Oshae Jones vs Shakhnoza Yunusova
The Favorite – Lauren Price
She is really good. Promoters sign her. She will medal, probably will get gold.
Best Path – Lia Qian
A clear path to the semi-finals with some favorable match-ups give Qian a good chance at a medal.
Dark Horse – Noami Graham
Graham should be a favorite but I hate her opening bout against Zenfira Magomedalieva. Despite a long winning streak, got no favors in this tournament.