Errol Spence is the last one left.
At the Summer Olympics, Team USA usually owns the sport of boxing. In London, though, they haven’t had nearly the same level of success.
The U.S. started with nine men competing for gold, but Spence is the only fighter still alive. But more is riding on the 22-year-old top-notch amateur’s gloves than a medal for America—the sport of boxing needs him to be the last man standing.
That hope seemed dashed when typical incompetent judges dealt Spence a loss despite his display of dominance against India’s Vikas Krishan. After further review, though, the AIBA gave him new life. Spence announced his return on Twitter:
ESPN also reported that Spence said of his loss being overturned on Friday night:
I am obviously thrilled that the competition jury overturned my decision and I can continue chasing the gold medal I came here to win. I am going to make the most of this second chance that I've been given. I can't wait to get back in that ring on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, he’ll face off against Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy in the quarterfinals. A win would lockup at least a bronze medal, but again, that isn’t the finish the sport of boxing needs.
Boxing’s popularity is dying. The sport was on life support before the world witnessed corrupt judges reward Timothy Bradley with a win over Manny Pacquiao who had obviously controlled the bout. Now, though, the fight game is really at an all-time low.
If Spence wins a gold medal after overcoming adversity, he would inject a little hype back in to the sport. A victory would also boost his momentum for when he eventually turns pro.
Boxing needs big names. Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are the only nationally known names in the entire sport. Spence boasts the ability to eventually be another household name and a gold-medal triumph would put him on pace to be just that.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.