Vladimir Nikitin

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Boxing: USA’s Shakur Stevenson will fight for gold after Russian walkover

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Shakur Stevenson will be boxing for gold with a significant advantage, after Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin was forced to pull out of the semifinal bout with injury.

Stevenson will fight either Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba or Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan for gold in the bantamweight class, and both will have fought more than Stevenson in Rio.

In the case of Ramirez, he’s risen from the Round of 32 in the bottom half of the bracket. If he beats Akhmadaliev, Ramirez ‘s fight with Stevenson would be his fifth in 10 days. If Akhmadaliev wins, it’ll be his fourth in 10.

Stevenson, 19, beat Brazil’s Robenilson de Jesus 3-0 in the Round of 16 before handling Mongolia’s Erdenebatyn Tsendbaatar 3-0 in the quarters. All semifinalists are guaranteed at least bronze.

Nikitin was bloodied but beat Ireland’s Michael Conlan in a bout that caused much chagrin and helped lead to some serious consideration from boxing’s governing body.

Here’s more on Stevenson’s “walkover”, from NBCOlympics.com.