At times on Thursday, Algerian super heavyweight Chouaib Bouloudinats looked like Rocky Balboa, absorbing punishment, hitting the canvas in the first round and taking deep breaths in his corner.
The differences — Bouloudinats was the one fighting against the American, and he never came close to turning the fight around.
Instead, U.S. boxer Richard Torrez Jr. kept pressing the attack, landing punches from all angles. While the Algerian boxer landed the occasional blow of his own, Torrez left little doubt of his supremacy in the ring, taking a unanimous decision in which he won every round. Two judges scored the first and third rounds 10-8.
Torrez took to the cage just after a disappointing loss for a U.S. teammate, Troy Isley, who put up a game fight against world champion Gleb Bakshi of the ROC but lost a split 3-2 decision. A distraught Isley could only manage the most perfunctory of congratulations after the bout.
U.S. women's flyweight Ginny Fuchs, who took third in the 2018 World Championships, pressed the action against Stoyka Zhelyazkova Krasteva but was frustrated by the Bulgarian's defense and counterpunching, which seemed largely ineffective but impressed the judges enough to take a unanimous decision. After an even first round in which both fighters struggled to land punches, dividing the judges 3-2 in Krasteva's favor, the Bulgarian settled into a game plan of letting Fuchs stalk her around the ring. Fuchs easily controlled the center of the ring but remained unable to land many solid blows.
With Isley and Fuchs out, the U.S. has six members of its 10-fighter team still in action.