Even though Japanese boxer Satoshi Shimizu knocked down his opponent, Magomed Abdulhamidov of Azerbaijan, six times in the final round, the judges still awarded the round and the win to Abdulhamidov.
But the decision was overturned by the AIBA, who awarded Shimizu with the win (per NBCOlympics.com).
Shimizu entered the final round trailing Abdulhamidov by seven points in their Round of 16 bantamweight bout, but Shimizu mounted a great comeback as Abdulhamidov did everything he could to hold onto the large lead he had without much offense.
The six knockdowns that Abdulhamidov suffered should have halted the bout—after three standing eight-counts, a bout should be stopped, per AIBA rules. Instead, in a round clearly dominated by Shimizu, judges decided it was a 10-10 round, giving Abdulhamidov the undeserving win.
Luckily for Shimizu, the AIBA reviewed the bout after his camp protested the decision and clearly saw what the entire world watching the bout saw; the fight should have been stopped after the third-of-six knockdowns.
The AIBA released a statement addressing the bout and said (per The Independent):
The boxer from Azerbaijan fell down six times during the third round. According to our rules, the referee should have counted at least three times. In this case, following the AIBA technical & competition rules, the decision should have been RSC (referee stop contest);
- Therefore the protest lodged by the Japanese corner is accepted and the result of this bout overturned.
It is great that justice was ultimately served in the end here, but the fact that such a shady decision occurred makes me wonder if any other bouts were affected by rotten judging.
The controversy is the latest scandal to rock the 2012 Olympic Games; the Chinese women's badminton members were accused of throwing matches (per SI.com), a Chinese swimmer is involved in a doping scandal (per nytimes.com) and an Iranian boxer is calling foul after he was disqualified in a match that he was leading in the scorecards.
Controversies are nothing new to the Olympic Games and they will continue to rear their ugly heads in the future. At least in this case, justice was served for Shimizu, allowing his Olympic journey to continue.