An official protest lodged by India after a controversial defeat for boxer Sumit Sangwan was overruled on Monday night. The protest was lodged after Sangwan narrowly lost 14-15 to PanAmerican silver medalist Yamaguchi Falcao of Brazil in the first round of the light heavyweight (81kg) category despite appearing to land the most clear punches over the course of the contest.
Sangwan,19,lost the first two rounds by margins of 5-4 each,although he took the last round 6-5.
IABF secretary and Chef-de-mission of the Olympic team,Brig Murlidhar Raja said that the protest was lodged specifically over the scoring in Round Two.
We thought Sangwan should have got more points in that round, said Raja. And while protests in the past have lead to decisions being overturned most recently at last years World Championships when World Champion in the 60kg category Vasyl Lomachenko was given a victory after analysis of video footage showed that his Brazilian opponent had tricked the referee into making unfavourable decisions. Sangwan was unlikely to have succeeded as his was a case of scoring.
Indeed the scoring in the first round was marginal and could have gone either way as Sangwan found his range and eased into the contest. He clearly dominated the second and third rounds. Making the most of his height advantage,Sangwan,fought at range and regularly rocked the Brazilian with straight rights. At one point the Brazilian was also caught in the corner and was subjected to a flurry of punches. While Falcao didnt lack in aggression,Sangwans movement kept him out of harms way.
Falcaos punches,when they landed were aimed mostly at the body and came at close range,once he had been beaten to the initial punch by Sangwan. The decision came as a shock to the crowd at the Excel Arena,and even the television commentators on the official IOC channel who termed the decision daylight robbery.
Observers on various neutral boxing forums too were surprised at the scoring even after the second round.
If the Indian isnt in the lead at the end of round 2,I will give up watching these as a contest…, said one on the Eastsideboxing.com forum while at the end of the bout another said The Indian was completely robbed,probably the worst (bout) of the Olympics so far,
Coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu remained not too optimistic about the chance of a reversal in the decision. It was close,but we were thinking our boxer may win it. So,for me,I thought he was winning but the decision is final. Generally nothing comes out of such protest, Gurbax said.