Movies always talk about cheating in boxing, throwing matches, and taking bribes but that’s Hollywood at it’s best–you wouldn’t expect to see that kind of despicable play in the Olympics. Well, guess what, it’s happening. Last night I was cruising through Reddit and came across the video you see above. It’s almost atrocious to watch. What you’ll see is Magomed Abdulhamidov from Azerbaijan getting absolutely pummeled by Satoshi Shimizu from Japan. Instead of starting the 8-count like he’s supposed to do when a fighter hits the deck, the referee simply signals for Magomed to stand up. He does this each time the Azerbaijani hits the ground.
For the full story, check out the BBC’s original report that was published over a year ago here. They reported that an Azerbaijani investor allegedly paid $10 million to an AIBA (the boxing federation) official to ensure that two Azerbaijani boxers would leave London 2012 with two medals. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, they blew this story out into the open a year ago and it’s still happening,” that’s a normal sentiment. It’s an absolute outrage. In the words of the punch-drunk commentator Teddy Atlas:
You know, I’m going to start keeping a bucket here, near ringside, because I wanna throw up, and sooner or later, I think I’m gonna have trouble restraining the food in my body—in my stomach—from coming up, when I see some of these decisions that are destroying fighters—just destroying their hopes, their dreams, and all their work that they put in to get here!
For the record: yes, the referee was immediately banished from the Olympics; yes, the result was overturned, but no, the judges weren’t penalized. Considering that they were the ones who made the final decision, who’s to say this absolute f*cking nonsense won’t continue.