WELL OF COURSE OLYMPIC BOXING IS RIGGED, IT’S BOXING
August 2 2012
London, U.K. – It really wouldn’t be an Olympic Games without a cheating scandal or two and already, less than a week into the Games, there have been plenty.
First there was the record-setting swims of Le Shiwen who people assumed had to be dishonest and then on Wednesday a number of Badminton players were booted after they deliberately lost matches. Those controversies, though, may pale in comparison to one that has started to brew in one of the more popular sports in the competition.
Many experts and even former Olympian Lennox Lewis have called the results of a number of boxing matches into question, raising suspicions that the judges for the sports may be rigging the results. While thus far there has been no direct evidence that any judge has actually been dishonest in scoring bouts, it’s believed extremely like that such things have happened because it is boxing which almost always has cheating and cheaters on all side of the equation.
“It was a fix. I could have got a bronze easily if it hadn't been for that. In my previous fights I had done really well. It was a set up,” said Iranian boxer Ali Mazaheri who was disqualified for holding in his match against Cuban boxer Jose Larduet Gomez.
Other controversies have erupted in other bouts including one in which a Japanese fighter lost despite knocking his Azerbaijani opponent to the mat six times. That ruling was overturned later.
It’s believed likely that officials are involved in some kind of conspiracy, likely involving the exchange of currency, because they are boxing officials and don’t know any better.
“These cases are quite clearly strange. Sometimes strange things do happen and the result that is obvious to everyone else isn’t actually the result that should occur but that doesn’t seem to be the case in these situations. It appears, at least on the outside, that the matches are indeed rigged which frankly is in keeping with the best traditions of the sport,” said Scrape TV Sports analyst Mark Marvins. “If these fighters wanted fair play they should have played water polo or Dressage. Clearly boxing is a dirty sport and has been from the beginning. To not live up to that would be, frankly, a violation of the basic ethics of the profession as a whole. Sure, the IOC doesn’t like cheating but these guys are in boxing.”
Last year boxing officials investigated and dismissed allegations that Azerbaijan paid for two gold medals in boxing, likely because they were paid to make the investigation go away.
“To have honest officials and leadership would, frankly, be almost like cheating itself. The last thing anyone in boxing wants is for the fundamental principles of the sport to be corrupted by something like rules and the IOC. If you are going to do that you might as well not even have the sport in the Games because it will erode so much of what makes it great in the first place,” continued Marvins. “Luckily it doesn’t appear that the IOC is really too worried about the controversy. I doubt they were paid off by boxing officials because that would be bad, but they do like to maintain the purity of the sport and cheating is part of that, always has been and always will be.”
The referees involved in the two matches are of course still refereeing.
Alexi Orton, Sports Correspondent