Lightweight Mikaela Mayer began her Rio Olympics journey on the right foot with her
Mikaela Mayer opens the Olympics with unanimous decision victory.
unanimous decision victory over Jennifer Chieng (Micronesia), Friday. The scores were 40-35, 40-35, 39-37.
Mayer will next face Anastasia Beliakova, Monday. If she’s victorious she will clinch at least the Bronze medal.
In other U.S. Olympic action, Carlos Balderas lost a unanimous decision to Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez in a lightweight fight. All three judges scored the fight 30-27.
Nico Hernandez also suffered a defeat, falling to Uzebekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov (30-27, 29-28, 29-28). Hernandez had already clinched the Bronze Medal, making him the U.S. first medalist in boxing since Deontay Wilder in 2008.
Hernandez will receive his Bronze Medal Sunday following the light flyweight Golf Medal fight.
Claressa Shields has her first fight Wednesday.
Nico Hernandez, left, battles Carlos Pilataxi of Eduador on Wednesday in Rio/AP photo by Frank Franklin II
After not winning a medal in boxing in the 2012 London Games, Team USA is guaranteed of at least one in Rio. That is thanks to Nico Hernandez, who Wednesday defeated Carlos Pilataxi of Ecuador via split decision in the light flyweight quarterfinals.
That victory assures Hernandez, of Wichita, Kan., of no less than a bronze medal. He will next take on Uzbekistan’s Hassanboy Dusmatov in Friday’s semifinals.
Charles Conwell/Photo courtesy of USA Boxing
Charles Conwell’s stay in the Rio Games was a short one. The Team USA middleweight out of Cleveland on Tuesday lost a unanimous decision to Krishan Vikas of India and has been eliminated from competition.
Conwell, 18, was classy in defeat.
“I thought I pulled out the victory,” said Conwell, who graduated from Cleveland Heights High just two months ago. “He’s a good competitor, a good, tough guy. But I thought I did enough to pull it out. I can always do better. I’m a fighter, so I’m used to going out there and trying to get the feel and go off the momentum of the fight. I wish nothing but the best to my opponent and I hope he keeps pulling out victories.”
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.
Nico Hernandez/Photo courtesy of USA Boxing
Nico Hernandez of Team USA on Monday won his second bout in the Rio Games, and his latest was an upset of No. 2-seeded Vasilii Egorov of Russia in the light flyweight division.
Hernandez, of Wichita, Kan., won by unanimous decision. He will next box Wednesday in the quarterfinals against Ecuador’s Pilataxi Quipo. A victory in that one would guarantee Hernandez a medal.
Hernandez defeated Manuel Cappai of Italy in the first round Saturday.
Nico Hernandez/Photo courtesy of USA Boxing
Light flyweight Nico Hernandez and lightweight Carlos Balderas will be in action Saturday when boxing begins at the Rio Games.
Balderas, of Santa Maria, will take on Kazakhstan’s Berik Abdrahkhmanov in the morning session at Riocentro Pavilion 6. Balderas, of Wichita, Kan., will square off with Manuel Cappai of Italy in the evening session.
There are six American males and two females competing for Team USA.
Shane Mosley Jr. of Upland and David Mijares of Pasadena won their respective bouts Monday at the USA Boxing Elite National Championships in Spokane, Wash.
Mosley defeated Jason Taylor of Houma, La. 3-0 in the 165-pound division. Mijares took a 2-1 decision over Joel Ibarra of Hawaii at 141 pounds.
Mosley and Mijares will box again Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Mosley could be in tough because he’ll be taking on Jonathan Esquivel of Anaheim. He stopped Travis Jerig of Ohio in the third round.