Controversy brews as Indian boxer Sangwan loses bout he 'won'

Jul 30, 2012, 21:46 IST | Agencies

India lodged an official complaint with the organisers of the London Olympics after boxer Sumit Sangwan's controversial loss to Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino in the round of 32 in the 81 kg category here Monday.

Young pugilist Sumit Sangwan put up a heroic performance against Brazil's Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino in the 81-kg category before losing his bout 14-15 in what looked to be a controversial decision in favour of the Brazilian.

The decision not only enraged the Indian contingent and sports minister Ajay Maken but also had them lodging an official protest, which the Minister confirmed through a tweet.

The 19-year-old Indian fought valiantly and should have won more points but the judges thought otherwise. ESPN commentators were surprised by the verdict and called it "daylight robbery".

Sumit Sangwan
Sumit Sangwan (in red) 

Sangwan, one of the bright youngsters on the Indian boxing scene, had an excellent third and final round, where he seemed to land way more punches than what he was given credit for.

He came into the final round trailing by two points following the first two rounds going 5-4 and 5-4 in the favour of the seeded Brazilian.

It was an evenly poised bout but the Indian did not seem to find favour with the referee, Greek Nikolaos Poutachadis. Though Sangwan matched the Brazilian in the first two rounds, it was in the third round that he went really opened out with a flurry of punches and put Falcao under pressure.

It was a blow for the Indians, who have already seen Shiva Thapa lose in 56 kg bantamweight class.

However, 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh and Jai Bhagwan have already progressed to the round of 16 and Vikas Krishan has got a bye into the pre-quarter finals.

India's head coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu was understandably disappointed that the verdict went against Sangwan. "It was close, but we were thinking my boxer may win it. It was very close and you are always supportive for your own boxer. So, for me, I thought he was winning but the decision is final. Sumit boxed at long range. The Brazilian threw more body punches. Maybe that was better on the scoring," Sandhu said.

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