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U.S. featherweight boxer Duke Ragan loses in finals for silver

Duke Ragan of the United States (L) won silver in the men's feather (52-57kg) final bout on Thursday after losing to Russian Albert Batyrgaziev by split decision. Photo by Rungroj Yongrit/EPA-EFE
Duke Ragan of the United States (L) won silver in the men's feather (52-57kg) final bout on Thursday after losing to Russian Albert Batyrgaziev by split decision. Photo by Rungroj Yongrit/EPA-EFE

Aug. 5 (UPI) -- American boxer Duke Ragan is taking home the silver medal from Tokyo after losing Thursday to Russian Albert Batyrgaziev in the gold-medal Olympic featherweight bout.

Ragan, 23, lost by a split 3-2 decision at Tokyo's Kokugikan Arena in a fight where the American came up short against the aggressive Russian despite having a strong final round.

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The Cincinnati native was posed and stood tall compared to his Russian opponent, who favored speed in his punches with quick feet work.

The bout opened with Batyraziev, 23, using the his feet to cover the ring and throw fast combinations in repetition, which Ragan countered with some nice uppercuts and body punches to end the onslaught.

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In the second round, the Russian literally came up running to Ragan in the center of the ring, picking up with the intensity he had in the first round and pelting his less frenetic opponent with punches.

Ragan seemed un-phased and landed strong shots amid the melee in a round that again was scored in Batyraziev's favor.

In the third and final round, Ragan fought strong, getting the better of Batyraziev with combinations while being able to dodge those of his opponent and he put up a good showing though it wasn't enough for a comeback. Ragan was awarded round but Batyraziev was named the Olympic featherweight champion.

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The United States hasn't won an Olympic gold medal in boxing since light heavyweight Andre Ward took gold in 2004 in Athens.

Team USA still has two boxers in contention for medals. Keyshawn Davis is to fight in the men's lightweight semifinals on Friday and Richard Torrez, Jr., in the men's super heavy finals on Sunday.

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