Errol Spence and Team USA have won their appeal of today's robbery loss to India's Krishan Vikas, which means that Team USA is back in the Olympics, if only one strong on the men's side.
Spence was originally scored, quite ridiculously, to have lost 13-11 to Vikas, but AIBA has changed that to a 15-13 score for Spence, as they have ruled that Vikas should have been warned twice, thus giving two points to Spence on each occasion. They are not admitting that the judges actually got it wrong, but are saying that the referee did a poor job. Frankly, the referee did do a poor job, but this is basically the easiest, cheapest way to get the decision overturned.
In short, I'm very, very happy for Errol Spence, who should have been declared the winner in the first place. But I refuse to pat AIBA on the back for this. Several protests have been filed due to questionable or outright awful officiating, and this is the second fight they've had to overturn, following the Shimizu (JAP) vs Abdulhamidov (AZE) debacle. A real step isn't putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. It would be making sure he stops falling off the ledge all the time.
Spence will face Andrey Zamkovoy of Russia on August 7 in the quarterfinals.
Here's the official AIBA explanation:
- There were a total of nine (9) holding fouls committed by the Indian boxer in the third round alone. However the Referee only gave one caution;
- In the second round, at the time 02:38, the boxer from India spitted out his gumshield intentionally. However the Referee didn't give any warning
Based on these findings, the Competition Jury Members unanimously decided the following:
- Decision #1: Based on the AIBA Technical & Competition Rules 12.1.9, the Referee should have given at least two (2) warnings to the Indian boxer;
- Decision #2: Although the boxer from India intentionally spitted out his gumshield, the Referee's view was blocked by the boxer from the USA and was not able to see the action;
- Final Decision: Based on Decision #1, at least four (4) points should have been awarded to the boxer from the USA. Therefore the final score should be 13:15 in favour of the USA. The protest is accepted and the winner of Bout #142 is Errol Spence (USA).