Delante ‘Tiger’ Johnson survived a hellacious scare to advance to the Candy 16.
The Cleveland-bred welterweight used a last spherical rally to outpoint Argentina’s Brian Arregui of their opening spherical battle Saturday afternoon at Kokugikan Area in Tokyo. Johnson received by scores of 29-28 on three scorecards, with the identical rating touchdown in favor of Arregui on the remaining two playing cards.
The opening spherical noticed Johnson boxing on his toes, trying to neutralize the naturally aggressive strategy of Arregui who brings his professional fashion to newbie’s highest stage. It does not at all times translate but it surely served the Argentine boxer properly, even when narrowly shedding the opening spherical as Johnson claimed a 10-9 lead on three of the 5 playing cards.
Johnson was down twice in spherical two, one for an official eight depend. The 22-year-old welterweight struggled to maintain his footing, almost doing a cut up as he fell to the canvas in his personal nook which was precisely dominated a cut up.
Arregui lodged an official knockdown mere seconds later, connecting with a left hook to the physique after which a clear left hook upstairs as Johnson’s chin was within the air. Knockdowns aren’t scored the identical in amateurs as is the case within the professionals, although it added to Arregui’s dominance to comb the spherical.
Johnson returned to the jab within the third and last spherical. It labored to a level, although by no means to the purpose of forcing Arregui to take a backward step. Arregui continued to search for openings to crank his straight proper and left hook, with Johnson doing a greater job of avoiding a giant shot discovering his chin.
It was sufficient to advance to the Spherical of 16.
The win is the second of the day for the U.S. Olympic boxing group, with Johnson becoming a member of Cincinnati’s Duke Ragan within the winner’s circle.
Arregui’s late placement in Tokyo turns into a short-lived journey. He acquired an allocation after Venezuela’s Gabriel Maestre (3-0, 3KOs) dropped out of competitors to proceed his professional profession.
Along with his sudden early exit—and in a combat many will argue he deserved to win—Arregui will possible resume his professional profession.
Johnson—who places Cleveland boxing in 4 consecutive Olympics—will subsequent face Ablaikhan Khussupov (Kazakhstan) on Tuesday.
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox