(RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL) – Light welterweight Karl Dargan (Philadelphia, Pa.) ruled the ring for the U.S. team at the Pan American Games as the only U.S. boxer to compete in semifinal action on Wednesday. Dargan pulled out a slim 9-8 victory over Myke Carvalho of Brazil to earn a berth in the final round..
The bout was close from the opening bell, with Carvalho holding a slim lead through the early rounds. To the delight of the Brazilian crowd, their hometown boxer enjoyed a 3-1 lead after one. Yet Dargan pulled the bout to a 4-3 margin after two rounds as the bout began to grow sloppy. Carvalho began to tire in the third round of action, holding often, and Dargan pushed the bout to a 6-6 tie as the contest moved into the final round. The first minute of the fourth was filled with lead and momentum changes and as the final 60 seconds began, the two boxers were tied at eight. Yet with just 30 seconds remaining in the bout, Dargan scored the winning point and evaded the charging Carvalho to win the 9-8 final decision. The victory is Dargan’s first contested win in his two Pan American Games.
“I knew I was in incredible shape, he’s very big for 141, and I knew he was struggling to make weight,” Dargan said.” I figured it would be close, but not that close. I’ve never had a win in the Pan Ams, only two byes and walkover and this is the end of my amateur career so I knew that I had to go out with a bang.”
“I thought it was a spectacular bout; they weren’t scoring his punches until the fourth round. He was hitting this guy from round one, and finally they started scoring his punches,” Head Coach Dan Campbell said. “We told him to go in and stay close and make it a fight (in the fourth round).”
Boxing competition will have on off day on Thursday with championship round action kicking off in the light flyweight, bantamweight, lightweight, welterweight, and light heavyweight divisions on Friday. Light flyweight Luis Yanez (Duncanville, Texas) will take on Kevin Betancourt of Venezuela while welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) will face off with Pedro Lima of Brazil. Dargan will face off in final round action on Saturday when he battles Jonathan Gonzalez Ortiz of Puerto Rico. Championship round action will be shown on ESPN Deportes, beginning at 4 p.m. EST.
112 lbs/51 kg: Juan Carlos Payano, DOM, dec. Braulio Avila Juarez, MEX, 20-4
112 lbs/51 kg: McWilliam Arroyo, PUR, dec. Yoandry Salinas, CUB, RSC-2 (:34)
125 lbs/57 kg: Idel Torriente, CUB, dec. Orlando Rizo, NCA, 25-3
125 lbs/57 kg: Abner Cotto Roman, PUR, dec. Davi Souza, BRA, 16-13
141 lbs/64 kg: Karl Dargan, Philadelphia, Pa./USA dec. Myke Carvalho, BRA, 9-8
141 lbs/64 kg: Jonathan Gonzalez Ortiz, PUR, dec. Innocente Fiss, CUB, 4-2