Tervel Pulev of Bulgaria (seen here in earlier Olympic action) received one of four questionable decision wins today in London in the heavyweight quarterfinals. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
The heavyweight medal matchups are set, as the quarterfinal matchups have been completed in London. The whole session here was a debacle. I typed these results up in real time during the fights, for the record.
Oleksandr Usyk (Ukraine) def. Artur Beterbiev (Russia), 17-13: At this point, my ability to become outraged has been fairly well numbed, so here's what I can say for sure: When it's the Olympics, with Olympic scoring, Olympic rules, and overall Olympic nonsense, sometimes these things happen. Beterbiev beat him up for two rounds but found himself down 12-9 due to get a warning for scoring a standing eight count (it's more complex than that, really, but it's also not), and due to, well, scoring that is so inconsistent that it's easy for a defender of the system to say, "You don't understand." Because no, I really don't. And neither does anyone else. A lot of this is a crapshoot. It all happens and nothing can be done. Headguards go in 2013. Hopefully in Rio de Janeiro, we really will do away with this horrid scoring. It probably, mind you, won't be any BETTER in terms of results if they go to 10-point must, but I'm at least pretty familiar with how pro-type scoring can be screwed up. So at least it'll be familiar, and I won't spend two weeks again, in four years, trying to wrap my mind around this stuff.
Tervel Pulev (Bulgaria) def. Yamil Peralta (Argentina), 13-10: Highlight of this fight might have been how much trouble each man had keeping his shirt tucked in, or perhaps the long break in round two when the referee was pissed off at some kind of whistle in the crowd. Pulev, the brother of Kubrat, was just a little better than Peralta, who got tired in the third, but did hurt Pulev to the body in that round. Third was sloppy overall, really. Frankly I thought Peralta was the better fighter, but again, numbed. Whatever, man.
Teymur Mammadov (Azerbaijan) def. Siarhei Karneyeu (Belarus), 19-19 - countback: This was as big a travesty as we've seen so far. Mammadov, who is rated No. 1 in the world in AIBA's useless rankings, was awful in round one and awful here. You can expect a protest. And given the Azerbaijan involvement, expect extra attention on said protest, if it happens. Horrible refereeing and scoring.
Clemente Russo (Italy) def. Jose Larduet (Cuba), 12-10: Well, I was numbed. But then it just kept going. And going. And we got to THIS travesty, where the farcical Russo held upwards of 3,000 times in the fight, was never docked for it, and the referee somehow managed to get on Larduet's case. The referee should have been honest and worn a blindfold. He could have sat in a chair in the corner for all the difference he made, allowing Russo to make this the worst fight of the entire Olympics.
After the fight, Karneyeu of Belarus came out and raised Larduet's hand. That was a sight to see. They were both jobbed by unbelievably bad officiating. Greg Beachem reports that Cuba will protest and if there is ANY justice, Larduet will move on. Russo should have been disqualified -- forget just two warnings making a point difference.
This entire session was a mind-numbing waste of time, disgraceful on every level. Unbelievable. Right when you think they can go a whopping two days without huge controversy, here comes this mess.