U.S. lightweight boxer Keyshawn Davis came one step closer to making history on Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo.
As Davis entered the third and final round of his quarterfinal fight with ROC's Gabil Mamedov, four judges had the bout scored as a draw, and the final judge had it scored in favor of Mamedov. Needing an emphatic, dominant third-round performance to keep his gold medal hopes alive, Davis delivered: his combo consisted of a right jab, left hook, then a final right hook to the head, forcing Mamedov to lose his balance. The referee proceeded to stop the match for a standing eight-count, and although Mamedov gestured to the referee that he was ready to continue the fight, Davis had already taken control.
A few minutes later, Davis was declared the winner by split decision.
With the win, Davis clinched a medal in the men's lightweight division. Better yet: two more wins, and Davis will end U.S. men's boxing's longstanding gold-medal drought, as the men's division of the national team has not claimed a gold medal in any Olympic Games since Andre Ward won it all in Athens, Greece, at the 2004 Olympic Games.
As for the last U.S. men's lightweight boxer to claim a gold medal? Oscar De La Hoya, who earned the distinction at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Davis' win over Mamedov brings his Tokyo Olympic record to 3-0; his first win came against Netherlands' Enrico Lacruz, and his second win was a dramatic upset via TKO over the top-seeded boxer, France's Sofiane Oumiha. His next match, a semifinal bout, will take place on Friday afternoon in Tokyo.
Davis is not the only U.S. men's boxer enjoying success in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Team USA has two more men's boxers, Duke Ragan and Richard Torrez Jr., fighting for medals of their own. Ragan, a featherweight, will compete for a gold medal on Thursday, while Torrez Jr., a super heavyweight, fights on Wednesday in the semifinals.