Today’s Olympic boxing action will feature two American bouts at Riocentro Pavilion 6. Light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) will return to the ring for his third bout of the tournament in a quarterfinal match-up with Ecuador’s Carlos Eduardo Quipo Palaxti at 5:15 p.m. Brazil time (4:15 p.m. ET/1:15 p.m. PT).
Should Hernandez emerge victorious in the bout, he will clinch at least a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic Games. Hernandez enters the ring fresh off an upset victory over tournament two seed Vasilii Egorov of Russia on Monday.
Later in the evening session, light welterweight Gary Antuanne Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.) will make his Olympic debut in a preliminary contest with familiar foe Richardson Hitchins, who is representing Haiti in the Olympic Games. The two are scheduled to step in to the ring at 6:45 p.m. Brazil time (5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT).
Both Russell and Hitchins competed in the 2016 Olympic Trials and met in the challengers bracket. Russell took the victory over Hitchins in December by a 3-0 margin and will look to repeat the feat in tonight’s action at Riocentro Pavilion 6. The youngest member of the boxing Russell family, Gary Antuanne’s bout will be the culmination of many years of hard work for Russell and his father/trainer Gary Russell, Sr.
To watch the live stream of both Hernandez and Russell’s bouts, click here.
If Hernandez is able to clinch a medal tonight, he will be the first American light flyweight since Michael Carbajal in 1998 (silver) to win an Olympic medal.
The U.S. Olympic Boxing Team will be off on Thursday and the two American lightweights are both scheduled to compete in Friday’s action along with Hernandez if he is victorious tonight. Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) will make her Olympic debut on Friday and Carlos Balderas (Santa Maria, Calif.) will return for quarterfinal competition after two Olympic Games wins.
The U.S. team is off to a 4-1 start with Hernandez and Balderas each notching two wins a piece in Rio de Janeiro. Flyweight Antonio Vargas (Kissimmee, Fla.) and bantamweight Shakur Stevenson (Newark, N.J.) will open competition on Saturday and Sunday respectively before reigning Olympic champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.) begins her tournament run on Wednesday.