A little known fact is that the governing sports bodies (FIFA, FIBA, IAAF, etc.) are the ones ultimately responsible for making sure their events run smoothly at the Olympics. So it comes as no surprise to boxing fans that the “Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur” (AIBA) once again allowed corruption to tarnish their gold medal heavyweight bout.
AIBA judges have repeatedly been at the forefront of asinine decisions when it comes to picking Olympic champions. First, there was the mysterious case of Park Si-Hun who infamously beat Roy Jones Jr in 1988, despite only landing less than half the punches of Jones Jr.
Then, in the 2012 London Olympics, Japanese boxer Satoshi Shimizu knocked down Azerbaijan boxer Magomed Abdulhamidov a total of five times in the last round of the final bantamweight match. Five times. And guess who was awarded the win? Abdulhamidov, by a score of 22-17. It was a disgrace and remains one to this day. You can watch that fight below.
So who’s really all that surprised that during yesterday’s heavyweight gold medal match, between Kazakhstan boxer Vassily Levit and Russian Evgeny Tishchenko, there was a screwjob of epic proportions? Not me. Not a lot of people. And that’s exactly what happened. For the entire match, Levit was in full control of the fight. In the first round, Tischchenko only landed a couple of punches compared to the flurry from Levit.
Then in the third round, Levit opened up a bad cut on Tischchenko. The referee called for a timeout to give the Russian’s corner time to fix him up, but awarded their corner more time than is normally necessary. Most people watching believed it was time to give the Russian some room to recover.
And at the end, when Tischchenko was awarded the win despite being completely outboxed, the fans started booing loudly. Via BadLeftHook:
The fans in Rio booed the decision, and mightily cheered Levit when he returned for the medal ceremony. They also booed Tishchenko, but Levit motioned for them to stop, if nothing else understanding that Tishchenko was not the person to blame for the decision.
Is this the last year we see boxing as an Olympic event? If not, something needs to be changed because frankly, this is an embarrassment.