The USA boxing team is now assured of a gold or a silver medal in the men’s bantamweight boxing division. This has happened after Shakur Stevenson’s Russian opponent backed out of their semi-final fight in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin decided to forfeit the bout because of an injury to his face. He sustained the injury during his quarterfinals fight against Michael Conlan of Ireland.
Despite his face being bloodied throughout the fight, Nikitin carried on to win the bout.
Nikitin’s split decision win over Ireland’s Conlan has been marred with controversy. Conlan believes that he was robbed of the fight and that he should have been the winner. The Irishman’s rant came before the day when the International Boxing Association (AIBA) relieved a number of officials in the 2016 Rio Olympics because of suspicious decisions.
Meanwhile, Stevenson confirmed the good news on his twitter account.
Well my opponent pulled out of the fight due to injury, I will be fighting Saturday for the Gold medal. I'm in the finals #1MoreFight 🏅
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) August 18, 2016
Because of Nikitin’s forfeit, Stevenson moves to the gold medal round by default, where he will fight Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana of Cuba.
Although Shakur advanced to the finals quite easily, he really deserves this feat. The USA boxer has had commanding wins in his 2016 Rio Olympics boxing campaign so far.
He recently won against Tsendbaatar Erdenebat of Mongolia in the quarterfinals via unanimous decision.
The gold medal bout of the men’s bantamweight boxing division is scheduled on August 21 at 2:15 PM Rio local time.