Adams, Shields and Fontijn progress
as Rio judging causes uproar
by Michael O'Neill
August 18, 2016
(AUG 18) Rarely has an
Olympic boxing tournament been so controversial as this year’s
event in Rio de Janeiro. Hardly a day goes by without some major
complaint whether by boxers or coaches usually regarding alleged
poor quality judging. Boxers have been sent home or withdrawn by
their Federations – that said boxing is not the only sport
facing problems as numerous athletes have been withdrawn or
banished due to doping allegations.
Team USA Head Coach Billy Walsh said :
"The judging has been atrocious," he told reporters. "The last
time I saw it as bad was in Seoul in 1988 when Roy Jones got
robbed in the final”
Walsh had earlier been very unhappy that Mikaela Mayer had been
‘defeated’ in her 60kg bout by another Russian- Beliakova. He
told Reuters News Agency:
"To be honest, I've just had a look at the judging. It was
crazy," Walsh told reporters. "Are they looking at the same
bloody fight or what?
"Her performance was excellent, she gave everything she had ...
I thought she did enough to win it."
Ireland’s Assistant Coach Eddie Bolger was furious at Katie
Taylor’s ‘defeat’ by Mira Potkonen commenting : “This happens a
lot but it happens more often. That fight wasn't even close.
“You can add it up and it wasn't close. It was a shocking
decision. That's all I'm going to say about it.” Head Coach Zuar
Antia was even more annoyed at what he described as a ‘complete
travesty of justice’.
Taylor herself was gracious in defeat albeit she felt sure she
had done more than enough to win and took time to say:
“In the midst of a disappointing year, I just want to thank you
all from the bottom of my heart for the amazing support. I love
Canada’s coach was another to voice his opinion after Ariane
Fortin surprisingly lost to Shakimova in the Middleweights:
"I thought (Fortin) had the match. She was more precise, a
little bit more active," Daniel Trepanier said. "But when we saw
the decision was taking a long time and we saw them playing with
their pencils in the corner, we started to get nervous.
"In the last round, she showed her superiority. But well, the
judges decided otherwise . . . It was a judgment, they see the
fights differently from us. In any case, they don't share the
Let us start off with our update of the latest news from the
AIBA’s team in Rio and we also include the latest results from
our friends at Strefa Poland Boxing.
“It was a star-studded first session of Rio 2016 Olympic Boxing
on Tuesday, with reigning Champion Nicola Adams in the first of
two Women’s Flyweight (51kg) Quarter-Finals, current World
Champions in the last-sixteen of the Men’s Bantamweights (56kg),
Light Welterweights (64kg) and Super Heavyweights (+91kg), and
in-between, a crucial Light Heavyweight (81kg) Semi-Final bout
between Cuba’s Julio Cesar La Cruz and French revelation Mathieu
Ukrainian Tetyana Kob delivered a superb first-round win over
Stanmira Petrova on Day Seven, but Nicola Adams looked every bit
the Olympic champion as she got her title defence up and running
with a unanimous win in the day’s first bout. China’s Ren Cancan
then overcame Canada’s Mandy Bujold with an equally stylish win
to set up a hotly anticipated Semi-Final with Adams on
On Wednesday in the Middleweights a split decision (2:1) win for
Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands over Team GB boxer and former
World champion Savannah Marshall from Hartlepool.
A disappointed Marshall told UK broadcaster BT Sport : ““I
thought the fight was really close but when I looked at the
scores at the end, it wasn’t close.
“I thought I won the second round and I thought I won the last
one too. But she’s a brilliant fighter so I don’t know (about
GB Boxing had this to say :” Marshall was up against the number
two seed of the tournament and the world silver medallist. Both
boxers have a history of rivalry together as they have met on
numerous occasions within their boxing careers. The opening
round saw Marshall out on the front foot, in pursuit of her
opponent. The second round saw a much better start from
Marshall, setting her shots up well as her accuracy improved.
Into the second half of the contest and Marshall finds herself
trailing on the judges’ score cards. She senses that Fontijn is
feeling the pace of the contest and forces a strong attack with
more accurate shots. Into the fourth round and Marshall needs a
stoppage to win the bout. Knowing time isn’t on her side she
doesn’t give up, acquitting herself well and firing more great
shots in pursuit of her opponent.”
Claressa Shields meantime had a unanimous 3:0 decision over
Russia’s Iaroslava Iaukushina . The London 2012 champion has
always been a strong favourite to retain her crown here. Team
USA Boxing quotes her thus:
“I wanted to go out there and outbox her from the outside, use
my jab and use my right hand but I just couldn’t get her timing.
She didn’t want to get close enough. After she hit me a couple
times, I was like I’m going to have to take it to the inside
with her because it was hard for me to get her timing. I hit her
with a lot of good jabs though, a lot of good right hands. It
wasn’t as sharp as I wanted it to be. I just did a good job
transitioning. As far as overall performance, about a C,”
Shields said. “I definitely got the rust off. The game plan was
to go out there and fight her like I did when I fought her in
2014 but this time my body just wouldn’t do it. She just kept
swinging all wild. Whenever I got close to her, I couldn’t get
her timing so I just fought her on the inside and I did a great
job at that. I beat her with every combination on the inside.”
The Flint woman now meets Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova in
Friday’s semi-final and it will be a massive shock should she
fail to progress to the final. Friday’s bout scheduled for 3:30
p.m. Brazil time (2:30 p.m. ET).
The 60kg final will be between Estelle Mossely of France and
China’s Yin Junhua. The former won a TKO1 decision over Russia’s
Anastasia Beliakova who had to retire with a broken arm whilst
China’s Yin Junhua overcame Mira Potkonen of Finland.
Finally let us turn to the issue of judges. So many complaints
were received against allegedly pro-Russian bias and alleged
corruption that the International Boxing Association (AIBA)
issued this statement having been inundated with complaints and
Following recent judging decisions and after carrying out a
thorough examination by the relevant Commission, AIBA has
decided to take immediate and appropriate actions.
Since the beginning of the Olympic Games, AIBA has conducted 239
bouts. The AIBA R&J Commission has reviewed all decisions and
determined that ‘less than a handful’ of the decisions were not
at the level expected and consequently it has been decided in
accordance with the AIBA R&J evaluation committee that the
concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the
Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In accordance with AIBA Rules the result
of all the bouts will stand.
AIBA represents 200 National Federations and has continuously
sought to evolve the sport of boxing and continuously strive to
ensure a level playing field. AIBA will not shy away from its
responsibilities and is fully committed to a zero tolerance
policy towards fair play in boxing, always acting in the boxers’
utmost interest. The Olympic Games represent the pinnacle of all
sports and Boxing has been part of this since 1904. It is
essential AIBA stands to the values of respect, sportsmanship,
excellence and remains committed to a fair and transparent
With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate
that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumours, we will
continue to use any means, including legal or disciplinary
actions to protect our sport and its R&J community whose
integrity is constantly put into question. The organization will
not be deterred by subjective judgements made by discontented
parties. We welcome all parties to come forward and provide
evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action “.
So that’s it after an eventful 48 hours in Rio – some judges
banished, no judges ‘named or shamed’ and Olympic dreams of
several boxers left in tatters. Some will never have another
chance of striking Gold at the Olympics.
All the scores here from both Male and Female bouts so far: