BEIJING — An amateur boxing tournament doesn’t really begin until the first fighter complains about the judging.
Consider this big Beijing tourney underway.
British bantamweight Joe Murray and his coach accused Olympic judges of favouring his Chinese opponent yesterday, a few hours after the Ukraine lost a protest against its fighter’s loss to another Chinese boxer.
Murray left the ring incensed after his 17-7 opening-round loss to Gu Yu. Murray beat Gu at the world championships in Chicago last fall, but fell behind early and couldn’t catch up.
Olympic history is full of loud protests over boxing results both before and after 1992, when the sport switched to a computer scoring system to make the results more transparent.
Only one theme is constant: The home team is always assumed to get a better shake.
“I knew they were going to give him everything he wanted,” said Murray, who trailed 4-0 after the first two minutes. “I’ve been watching the scoring here the first four days, and I knew it was bad, so I was expecting it. I think they were giving him a score for anything, and I had to work to get all of my points.”
Richard Baker, spokesman for the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), confirmed the Ukrainian team filed a protest over lightweight Oleksandr Klyuchko’s 10-8 loss to Hu Qing on Monday night. The protest was reviewed and denied, Baker said.
“I thought the Chinese opponent was not very good,” said Klyuchko, who beat Hu 26-13 at last fall’s world championships. “I’m very sad. I thought I would be the winner. I already beat him once before.”
The grousing hasn’t been confined to those defeated by the Chinese, either. U.S. coach Dan Campbell didn’t like the scoring in medal favourite Rau’shee Warren’s upset loss to South Korea’s Lee Ok-sung, bemoaning several instances of simultaneous points awarded to both fighters.
“Some things you just don’t ever want to say, so I won’t, but it was just weird the way the scoring was,” he said.