quarterfinal round of the Olympic boxing tournament finished up on Wednesday, and the United States got some
much-needed good news from middleweight Andre Dirrell. By defeating Cuba’s Yordani Despaigne by just one point,
12-11, Dirrell guaranteed the United States will take home two Olympic boxing medals. Despaigne suffered a bloody
lip, but the bout was much closer than the last time the pair met, which was also a win for Dirrell. The native of
Flint, Michigan will compete for the gold with a trio of boxers whose names are sure to keep NBC broadcaster Teddy
Atlas’ tongue tied when the semifinals get started: Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov (Russia), Suriya Prasathinphimai
(Thailand) and Gennadiy Golovkin (Kazakhstan). Dirrell faces Golovkin on Friday. The only other American boxer who
will bring home a medal from Athens is light heavyweight Andre Ward. On Tuesday, Ward outpointed 2003 world champion
Evgeny Makarenko of Russia 23-16 to stop what was rapidly becoming a disastrous competition for the United States.
Ward will face Uzbekistan’s Utkirbek Haydarov for the right to compete in the gold medal bout. If Ward beats the
Uzbeki, he will likely face Belarus’ Magomed Aripgadjiev for the gold. Aripgadjiev looks to have an easy path to the
finals because he faces Ahmed Ismail of Egypt. Ismail was losing to Elias Pavlidis of Greece by the score of 18-12
when, to the chagrin of the crowd, the referee stopped the bout due to cuts suffered by the Greek. Thursday is an
off-day for the remaining boxers.