Carlos Balderas/Photo by Harry How, Getty Images North America
Team USA now has two boxers in the quarterfinals at the Rio Games, thanks to a victory Tuesday by Carlos Balderas of Santa Maria. Balderas won a unanimous decision over Daisuke Narimatsu of Japan in the lightweight division.
“The guy was physically a lot stronger than me,” Balderas said. “He kept coming and I noticed that he was taking all of my punches; he has a good chin, so I couldn’t just tap and move. I had to find my way off of him or he would have been on me the whole fight. I just used more of my experience.”
Balderas, just 19, will next face Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba in Friday’s quarterfinals. Alvarez won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Games.
“It makes me happy because USA is getting really far, like I said they would, and now it’s time to enjoy this victory and I’ll be back on Friday against the Cuban,” Balderas said.
Balderas’ teammate, Nico Hernandez, on Wednesday will take on Ecuador’s Pilataxi Quipo in the quarterfinals of the light flyweight division.