Now that all the U.S. boxers have been eliminated from the Olympic Games, it's official: the United States has officially had the worst showing that it's ever had at the Olympics. This follows a general trend of weak U.S. boxing over the past few games, as we haven't had a gold-medal winner since Andre Ward in 2004.
So, why did our Olympians fail?
Well, for starters, a lot of our fighters just don't have the right style necessary to thrive in Olympic competition. That's not to say they aren't good fighters though, as many will undoubtedly be great pros, like Jose Ramirez and Joseph Diaz, who have awesome pro styles.
But to be successful in the Olympics, you need to land singular punches that clearly land, as glancing blows don't count, the strength of the blows are irrelevant, and body punches are rarely registered by the judges.
A lot of the Americans like to throw combinations to the head and body, so while they do land, many of the blows aren't counted. If you throw a five-punch combination, and land two punches to the body and one to the head, there's a good chance you'll only get one point, as that's all the judges will have time to register.
This happened frequently, and was the reason why Americans seemed to be robbed a good amount of the time. It appeared that they won the fight if it was being scored by rounds, but when it comes to points our fighters kept coming up short.
What really hurts our boxers as well is the lack of coaching talent for the Amateur team. We need to start bringing in coaches from other countries, like Cuba, Puerto Rico or the U.K. These guys have much more experience when it comes to Amateur boxing, and would surely help our program grow and improve.
At the end of the day, many of the Olympians on the U.S. squad will go on to be great professionals, and it wouldn't be a surprise if three or more went on to win World Championships at the pro level. You can't discount them just because they couldn't win at the Olympics where corruption is rampant, and you wear headgear and big gloves, and only fight three rounds.
Just to put in perspective how flawed the Amateur system is, think about all the times where Compu-Box has one fighter landing more punches, despite that fighter clearly losing the fight. It happens all the time. Olympic boxing needs to remedy itself and come up with a better system.
And our Amateur program needs to change its ways as well.
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