Shakur Stevenson of Newark, NJ became the last hope for gold medal contention on the US Men's Olympic boxing team as he assured himself of at least a bronze medal earlier today with a victory over Mongolia's Erdenebat Tsendbaatar. It was the second straight unanimous decision victory for Stevenson after receiving a bye in the first round of the Olympic tournament. There was a familiar face in the crowd as Stevenson's idol Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in attendance for the fight and sat in the stands with the family of Stevenson. Mayweather, like many other promoters has been on hand in Rio to scout amateur talent from the crop of competitors and Stevenson is considered to be at the top of list of boxers he has his sights on signing.
Many expected the 19-year old Stevenson to face Ireland's Michael Conlan in the semifinals, a fight that was more than worthy of being the gold medal bout. However, Conlan was upset in a highly controversial decision against Russia's Vladimir Nikitin. There have been a few controversial decisions throughout the tournament and the result of the Conlan-Nikitin fight further fueled the flames of A.I.B.A. tainting amateur boxing. Stevenson will have a day off in between fights as the semifinals are scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 18th. The fight against Nikitin is a very winnable fight for Stevenson and if victorious, he will most likely face 2012 Olympic flyweight gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana of Cuba in the final for the bantamweight gold medal. Carranza faces Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan in his semifinal bout.