This isn’t the first time Olympic boxing has been rocked by rumors of corruption. In fact, there have been deep-seated fears that corruption has gone well into the governing body itself way before the 2016 Rio Olympics started.
When Magomed Abdulhamidov of Azerbaijan fought Satoshi Shimizu from Japan during the 2012 Olympics in London he was given a victory nod that drew the crowd’s wrath.
If there was any doubt as to whether some judges in amateur boxing were corrupt or merely incompetent that fight should serve as a reminder of how disgraceful decisions can be made for a price, even at the Olympic level.
Satoshi Shimizu knocked down his opponent 6 times in the third round alone. His opponent spent more time on the canvas than boxing, but still won the fight.
And what it made the whole thing worse was that none of the boxing officials received any form of punishment for their so-called “incompetent” decisions.
And so it continues up to this day in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin was clearly beaten by Ireland’s Michael Conlan, and Gary Russel of the USA lost a split decision to Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov, which prompted former Pound 4 Pound champion Floyd Mayweather to declare a robbery.
“AIBA cheats. They’re (expletive) cheats. I’ll never box (under) AIBA again. They’re cheating bastards. They’re paying everybody. I don’t give a (expletive) that I’m cursing on TV.” Conlan said, as reported by USA Today.
The Int’l Boxing Association reviewed the contested fights and decided to send home six officials, but still denies anything more than incompetency.
But what happens to the victims of corruption, whose dreams are shattered?
“With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumors, 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,” an AIBA statement read, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports.
“The organization will not be deterred by subjective judgments made by discontented parties. We welcome all parties to come forward and provide evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action.”
All the bad decisions of controversial matches stand, and apart from sending some officials home all that is left are ruined dreams, which defeats the whole purpose of the Olympics. What guarantees do we have against it happening again in Tokyo?