By Conor Hockett | BSU at the Games
Joseph Diaz Jr. couldn’t get inside Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez Estrada’s reach to cause significant damage in the round of 16 match at bantamweight (56 kg) Wednesday.
Alvarez, the No. 1 seeded boxer from Cuba, took all three rounds and won 21-15 to reach the quarterfinals.
“Unfortunately I didn’t get the W, but I gave everyone the show they wanted to see,” Diaz said. “I’m glad I gave everyone a really good show. Everyone was chering and that’s what I came here to do.”
The first round was close as Diaz staggered Alvarez momentarily with a 1-2 combination, but the Cuban’s aggressive, punch-heavy style gave him a 7-6 advantage.
Diaz tried to up the tempo in rounds two and three, but Alvarez used a stiff jab to keep him out of range. Alvarez took the final two rounds 7-4 and 7-5 in a fight that was much closer than the score suggests.
“I thought the scoring should have been closer, but the judges didn’t see that unfortunately,” Diaz said. “Lazaro (is) a really great fighter. I’m not going to give him a downgrade or anything; he’s a really great fighter. He’s a good boxer, a great puncher, and it just wasn’t my day for the judges”
At the 2011 World Championships, Alvarez beat Diaz 19-10 in the quarterfinals on his way to the world title.
U.S. boxing has four men left in medal contention: Rau’Shee Warren at 52 kg, Jose Ramirez at 60 kg, Errol Spence Jr. at 69 kg and Terrell Gausha at 75 kg.