Olympic Silver Medalist Duke Ragan Returns For Second Fight In Six Weeks This Saturday

2021 Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan (Cincinnati, Ohio) will step back in the ring this Saturday, May 21 at the Resorts World Event Center in Las Vegas. The featherweight contest will be Ragan’s second fight in just six weeks following a unanimous decision victory over Diuhl Olguin on April 9. He will face Victorino Gonzalez in a bout scheduled for four or six rounds on the undercard of Janibek Alimkhanuly – Danny Dignum.

Just two weeks ago, Ragan reunited with his Tokyo teammates for an important post-Olympic visit. He and the full U.S. Olympic Team had the opportunity to visit the White House and meet President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in recognition of the athletes’ incredible accomplishments. Ragan enjoyed the once in a lifetime opportunity before returning his full focus to his sixth professional fight.

Ragan is competing in Las Vegas for the first time since his three bouts in the Top Rank bubble in 2020. He has been through quite a rollercoaster of experiences since that time. Following his fourth professional bout, Ragan represented the United States in the Olympic Games in the summer of 2021. He won a silver medal for the United States squad, becoming the first American featherweight to claim Olympic hardware since Rocky Juarez in 2000.

After his Olympic run, Ragan turned his attention back to his professional career, but he suffered a tragic loss just months after getting home from Tokyo. As Ragan was preparing for his first fight following the Olympic Games, he suddenly lost his father, Derek Ragan.

Ragan’s family and friends rallied around the boxer following his father’s passing. It was his father that first brought him to the gym, and he was actively involved his career even after he was incarcerated in 2019. The two spoke daily and the elder Ragan also kept in consistent contact with his fellow Coach Kay Koroma to ensure his son was on track, even while he was competing on the other side of the world in the Olympic Games.

As he prepares to compete for the second time since his father’s death, Ragan works to honor him with his performances in the ring. He continues to enjoy a strong support system around him through his many siblings as well as his boxing family.

Once again, Ragan is finalizing his preparations for Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas and he will have several of his boxing brothers by his side in addition to Koroma when he takes the ring.

Ragan will be one of four U.S. Olympians to compete in Saturday’s action with his 2021 Olympic teammate Tiger Johnson, 2016 Olympian Karlos Balderas and 2012 Olympian and former World Champion Jamel Herring all fighting on Saturday’s card.

Ragan’s bout is expected to begin at approximately 3 p.m. PT and will stream live on ESPN+.

DUKE RAGAN

BIRTHDATE: 09/18/1997
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, Ohio
COACHES: Kay Koroma, Jeffrey Johnson, Derek Ragan
WEIGHT CLASS: Featherweight
HEIGHT: 5-6
RECORD: 5-0 (1 KOs)
2021 OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST
2017 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SILVER MEDALIST

Duke Ragan has been involved in boxing since he was a small child, but the sport now holds an even stronger significance for the 24-year-old Olympic silver medalist following the passing of his father, Derek Ragan, in December.

Ragan was drawn to the sport when he was just five years old, following his older brother to the boxing gym. Ragan’s hometown of Cincinnati is well known for producing elite amateur boxers and he would soon add to the Queen City’s extensive resume. Ragan’s father took over his boxing training once he entered the open division, and the two navigated quite the journey together.

As a youngster, Ragan looked up to three-time Olympian and amateur and professional world champion Rau’shee Warren. The only U.S. boxer to compete in three Olympic Games, Warren piqued Ragan’s interest in becoming an Olympian himself. When he returned home from his second Olympic Games in 2008, Warren gave Ragan his Olympic gear, including his Jordan boxing boots. Thirteen years later, it would be Ragan competing on the world’s biggest stage.

DAZN & MISFITS BOXING LAUNCH MF & DAZN: X SERIES

Ragan relishes the chance to be the latest boxing star from Cincinnati and it’s important to him to provide a positive role model for the kids coming behind him in addition to continuing the great boxing tradition of his hometown.

He enjoyed a stellar amateur career, competing in the 2016 Olympic Trials and winning a silver medal in both the 2017 World Championships and 2019 Pan American Games. He became a familiar face on the international scene, traveling the world with USA Boxing. Yet he fell short in his second Olympic Trials in 2019, losing to eventual champion Bruce Carrington.

He thought that his Olympic dream was over and made the decision to turn professional, making his pro debut in August of 2020. Ragan moved out to a 4-0 professional record by the following April, but he would soon learn that he may still have a chance to compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo. When Ragan received word from USA Boxing that the Olympics were a possibility, his thoughts went to 2020 Olympic

Trials champion Bruce Carrington. He let them know that he didn’t want to take an opportunity away from Shu Shu who had earned that opportunity. Yet once he learned that qualifier cancellations due to COVID would eliminate any chance for Carrington to compete in Tokyo, Ragan accepted the invitation.

He would report to Olympic Training Camp in June before heading off to Tokyo in July. Ragan went on an impressive run all the way to the gold medal bout. After dropping a close, split decision in the featherweight finale, he claimed a silver medal, becoming the first professional boxer from the United States to win an Olympic medal.

Although Ragan’s father was incarcerated in 2019, he remained highly involved in Duke’s life as well as his boxing career. The two would speak daily and the elder Ragan remained in consistent contact with his son’s fellow coach, Kay Koroma. Ragan would visit his father weekly when he was home in Cincinnati.

They remained in daily contact during Ragan’s time in Tokyo as well. He looked forward to the calls from his father the morning after each of his fights, getting his thoughts on his performance and future opponents once his fights aired at home in the U.S.

Once Ragan returned home following the Olympic Games, he visited his father with his hard-earned Olympic hardware. As he showed his father his silver medal, Ragan let him know that that it was his medal.

Just a few months after Ragan returned home from the Olympics, his father passed away from COVID-19, which he contracted while in jail. Each American Olympic medalist receives an Order of Ikkos medal to give to their coach or a person who was impactful in their journey to the Olympic podium. Although he wasn’t able to give it to him during his incarceration, he buried his father with the Order of Ikkos medal commemorating his son’s silver medal.

As Ragan remembers the many lessons that his father taught him, he notes that his father prepared him to survive without him. He is now navigating that world, but he has a good amount of support from both his family and his boxing brotherhood. He notes that he and his many siblings are closer than ever following their father’s death and they stay connected through a group text and often check on Duke.

Ragan also has his boxing family which is doing their best to support him through this time. He is currently preparing for his second fight since his father’s death and is in training camp in Las Vegas with Coach Kay Koroma and fellow professional boxers Kenneth Sims and Bruce Carrington.

He says that training alongside his brothers helps him stay focused and that they as well as Troy Isley, Keyshawn Davis and Shakur Stevenson have often provided much needed motivation for Ragan.


Sharing is Caring!

Help spread the word. Thanks