Sunday, October 1|
First time since 1948 U.S. goes goldless
SYDNEY, Australia -- American boxers will go home from an
Olympics without a gold medal for the first time since 1948.
They didn't exit quietly, though, officially protesting that
inept refereeing cost world 125-pound champion Rocky Juarez a gold
The International Amateur Boxing Association allowed the
decision to stand but suspended referee Stanislav Kiersanova of
Russia for four years. U.S. officials had asked for the suspension
as part of their protest.
In another disputed bout, Ricardo Williams Jr., of Cincinnati,
the only other U.S. finalist, lost 27-20 to Abdullaev Mahamadkadyz
of Uzbekistan in the 139-pound final Sunday.
"Ricardo Williams was scoring and not getting points," said
Tom Mustin, head coach of the U.S. team. "Rocky couldn't score
because they were holding him."
While U.S. officials believed Williams won, they did not protest
"We thought Ricardo won the fight, but we didn't want it to
sound like sour grapes," U.S. team manager Gary Toney said.
Juarez, of Houston, lost 22-14 to a clutching, grabbing Bekzal
Sattakhanov of Kazakstan at 125 pounds. The defeat snapped the
20-year-old Juarez's winning streak at 68 bouts over two years.
Juarez charged that Sattakhanov was communicating with Kirsanov.
"It wasn't until the third round when I hear this guy say a
word," Juarez said. "The fighter would look at the referee and
tell him a specific word. I knew something was going on then and
One IOC member watching the bouts thought the Americans won.
"To me this is a scandal, the two Americans who lost should not
have lost," said Gerhard Heiberg of Norway, who opposes boxing's
presence in the Olympics. "I'm not a favorite of the United
States, but this cannot be allowed to stand."
The defeats left U.S. boxers with two silver and two bronze
medals, two less medals than they won in Atlanta four years ago and
one more than they got in 1992.
"I did all I could do, but it wasn't good enough," Juarez
said. "I didn't come here to get the silver medal, I'm
disappointed. I think he should have been disqualified."
Toney said the referee cautioned Sattarkhanov nine times, but he
never issued a warning that would have penalized him points and
could have led to a disqualification.
"I have no idea why the referee was allowing it," Toney said.
"How many times do you warn someone before you do something,"
said WBA heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, who was
disqualified for hitting his opponent after the referee called
"stop" in the 178-pound semifinals in 1984 at Los Angeles.
"I got behind early, but I thought I did enough in the last two
rounds to win," said Williams, who trailed 10-5 after the second
round. "The judges just didn't agree."
Asked if he thought judging cost him a gold, Williams said,
"No, he was just better than me. I tried to box him the first two
rounds. I thought he'd get tired. I guess I was too far behind."
The 5-foot-3 Juarez, four inches shorter than his opponent, got
hit repeatedly by left hands and trailed 15-4 after two rounds.
Then trailing 17-8 in the second round, Juarez landed five of
the next six scoring blows, but Sattakhanov got home two scoring
punches in the closing seconds for a 20-13 lead.
Juarez kept charging forward and Sattarkhanov kept wrapping him
up in the final round.
In other finals Sunday, Ponlid Wijan of Thailand beat Bulat
Jumadilov of Kazakstan 19-12 at 106; Yermakhan Ibraimov of
Kazakstan outpointed Marin Simion of Romania 25-23; Alexander
Lebziak of Russia defeated Rudolf Kraj of Russia 20-6 at 178
pounds; and Audley Harrison of Britain whipped Mukhtarkhan
Dildabekov of Kazakstan 30-16 for the super heavyweight title.
It is the first Olympic boxing gold medal for Britain since
Chris Finnegan won at 165 pounds in 1968.
Cubans won four gold medals Saturday, matching the number they
won in 1996. One of the golds was the record-tying third for
heavyweight Felix Savon. Cuba also got two bronze medals.
Oleg Saitov of Russia, gold medalist at 147 pounds Saturday, was
named the outstanding boxer of the competition.
|Kazakh boxer Bekzat Sattarkhanov, left, beat Rocky Juarez of the U.S. to take the gold medal.|
Cuba runs boxing gold count to four
U.S. gets two boxers into gold-medal bouts
Lanky Cuban overruns U.S. hopeful Vinson
Juarez comes through late to make semis
Savon overpowers Bennett as only one U.S. boxer advances
Navarro clubs way into flyweight quarterfinals
Juarez, Taylor make it five U.S. boxers into the quarters
Boxing official says Viloria didn't get points he deserved
Vinson makes second round as U.S. boxers go 11-for-12
Williams falls behind early, but then advances as well
Taylor right on target for U.S. boxers
Juarez, Lacy latest U.S. boxers to advance
Viloria holds on after almost blowing lead
Craig, Vinson get first wins for U.S. boxing team