Team USA's largest fighters, heavyweight Michael Hunter ll and super heavyweight Dominic Breazeale, both lost their Round of 16 bouts at the hands of Russian opponents.
Breazeale was looking to become the first gold medalist in the super heavyweight division since Tyrell Biggs did back in the division's debut at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. Hunter was looking to net USA its first heavyweight gold since Ray Mercer did so at the 1988 summer games in Seoul, Korea.
After going down 5-0 in the first round to Omarav Magomed, Breazeale tried his best in the second round, but could not figure out a consistent attack on the Russian.
After entering the third and final round with a nine-point deficit, Breazeale appeared to be frustrated and failed to mount the huge comeback needed to take the win in the end.
Breazeale lost 19-8 to Magomed in a fight that saw the American never really get any kind of flow going in the fight.
In contrast to Breazeale, Hunter started off hot and used his boxing skill to jump out to an early lead in his bout against Beterbiev Artur.
Artur then resorted to trying to turn the boxing event into a wrestling match, clinching and grappling with Hunter much of the last half of the three-round bout and entered the third round with a one-point disadvantage.
In the third and final round, it appeared that Hunter just ran out of gas and never mounted any kind of momentum, which led Beterbiev back in the score cards. The bout ended in a 10-10 tie, resulting in a countback, which went in the favor of Artur.
The lack of energy at the end of the bout could be the result of Hunter fighting off a cold the past week, according to Ed Graney, a columnist for Hunter's hometown paper the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Hunter been battling a cold all week but made no excuses. Legs just gave out. Awful fight to watch, though. Can't argue with result.— edgraney (@edgraney) August 1, 2012
With so much hype surrounding the two big-man fighters going into the 2012 Olympic Games, the abrupt ending to both Hunter and Breazeale's gold medal dreams is the latest in heartbreaks for the American heavyweight divisions.
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