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VIKAS LOSES AFTER WINNING.

VIKAS Krishan Yadav and the entire Indian contingent were in for a rude shock as the young boxer ' lost' his welterweight pre- quarter final, which he had won 13: 11 against Errol Spence of the United States of America on Friday night.

Just as the Indian camp was celebrating the 19- year- old's close win, came the shocking news from amateur boxing's governing body ( AIBA) that on a protest from the Americans, the decision was overturned.

This was in the wee hours of Saturday, almost five hours after the bout.

The AIBA competition jury went through the bout tape replays and found that Danish referee Lars Brovil had been lax as Vikas " was guilty of committing nine fouls but was cautioned only once." The jury also said that in the second round, Vikas had spat his gum guard, an offence for which he was eventually penalised. Once that happened, Spence was awarded four points and the verdict became 15: 13 in favour of the American.

Early on Saturday morning, the Indian camp was preparing its protest against the AIBA decision but sources told MAIL TODAY it may be futile. WE ARE also going through the tapes and will be filing a protest report with the AIBA. Only after that can I comment. We are disappointed," said PK Muralidharan Raja, India's acting chef de mission, who is also the secretary of the Indian Boxing Federation.

The rules of boxing are very clear and since this sport always comes under the scanner at the Olympics, the protest from the Americans was quickly acted upon. As per the replays, which AIBA viewed " Vikas intentionally spat his mouthpiece" which was a stalling tactic.

Part of the blame, in hindsight, should go to the referee.

Before this incident, when Sumit Sangwan lost to Brazilian boxer Yamaguchi Falcao in London, the Indians protested but to no avail.

For the Americans, this new result was a huge boost as all their other boxers had crashed out and Spence is their saviour.

" I am obviously thrilled that the competition jury overturned my decision and I can continue chasing the gold medal I came here to win," Spence told the media later through an email statement.

" I am going to make the most of this second chance that I've been given. I can't wait to get back in that ring on Tuesday," he said.

Earlier on, Vikas did look superior against Spence as he adopted a plodding style against the American.

No doubt, there were times when Vikas was ' holding' his opponent but the referee in the ring warned him just once.

For sheer entertainment, Spence looked impressive but it was not until five hours later he came to know he was going to stay back at the Olympics and not board a flight back home. F or Vikas, touted as a strong Indian medal prospect, this was a sad day. He is young and talented but in the Olympics, where so much emphasis is given to fair play, the jury's verdict is final.

" In our opinion, there have been fouls committed by the American boxer too and he should have been cautioned on the same note," said Raja later.

Indian Olympic Association vice president Tarlochan Singh was more vocal in his criticism.

" The AIBA jury has been influenced by the strong American lobby. It is a wrong decision," he thundered.

s. kannan@mailtoday.in

AIBA RULES

BOXERS must wear properly fitted gum shields. From October 1, 2009, no red gum shields are allowed. If the gum shield comes out accidently, it will be washed and replaced. If it is deliberately ejected by the boxer one or two times, the boxer shall be cautioned.

A third or fourth offence will warrant warnings. A fifth offence will warrant disqualification.

However, Rule 18 under the foul category says, " Deliberately spitting out a gumshield is a foul". Rules on holding:

Holding

Holding and hitting or pulling

Holding and locking the opponent's arms or head or pushing an arm underneath the arm

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 5, 2012
Words:685
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