Shakur Stevenson, viewed by many as the United States’ best chance for medals in men’s boxing, has achieved that exact goal.
With a perfect 30-30-30 unanimous victory over Mongolia’s Erdenebat Tsendbaatar, Stevenson will now face Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin on Thursday in the bantamweight semifinals.
But with Stevenson’s victory in the quarterfinals, he has also clinched at least a bronze medal in the bantamweight division, a weight class the USA has not medaled in since the 2000 Sydney Games.
Nikitin scored a tough victory over top seed Michael Conlan of Ireland, but not without sheding a lot of metaphoric and literal blood during the quarterfinal matchup.
Compared to Nikitin, Stevenson never let up against Tsendbaatar, despite the many hits his opponent was able to land. It led to a unanimous decision overwhelmingly in Stevenson’s favor, perfect 10s across the board.
With a victory over Nikitin, Stevenson would earn a place in the finals and a shot at bantamweight gold, which the United States has not held since the 1988 Seoul Games.