Richard Quiñones (Journeymen Boxing) – Newark, NJ native and amateur standout bantamweight Shakur Stevenson will fight for the Gold medal Saturday after his expected opponent Vladimir Nikitin of Russia was not allowed to fight Thursday in their scheduled semifinal bout in Rio.
Stevenson, extended his undefeated international record to 25-0, while clinching a spot on the distinguished medial podium with his triumph over Mongolia’s Tsendbaatar Erdenebt in the boxing quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio on Tuesday.
However, his opponent, Nikitin was not cleared to fight and withdrew from the tournament after he took a beating by Ireland’s Michael Conlan in his controversial decision Tuesday.
That gave Stevenson the walkover win and path to the finals of the 123lb. weight class, where he will meet fellow southpaw Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba for the Gold medal on Saturday afternoon.
The upstart Ramirez, 22, won the flyweight Gold medal at the 2012 London Games before moving up in weight for the Rio Games.
Stevenson now has the opportunity to win the first men’s boxing Gold medal for Team USA since Andrew Ward, who turned the trick in the 2004 Athens Games when he captured the light heavyweight Gold.
“I’m ready to put on a show and we’re about to turn this place out. I think it’s about to be a great matchup,” said Stevenson, who was cheered on by Floyd Mayweather during his quarterfinal triumph.