London, Aug 4 (Agency)
Five hours after Indian boxer Vikas Krishan was declared winner in his 69 kg pre-quarterfinal bout in the Olympic Games, the sport's governing body has overturned the decision and awarded it to his American opponent Errol Spence.
The competition jury of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) ruled on an American protest Friday night that Vikas committed nine holding fouls in the third and last round alone and also that the Indian had intentionally spit out his mouth guard in the second round.
The mouthpiece incident, AIBA felt, invites a deduction of four points and that meant the 13-11 decision in Vikas's favour went for a toss and the American is through to the quarterfinals.
Spence thus can save the US the ignominy of returning home without a medal from the ring for the first time ever if he wins his bout against Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy Tuesday.
Spence thought he had won the bout, but was stunned to find the referee raising the hand of Vikas. The welterweight from Dallas was in tears as his exit meant that all the nine US boxers are out of the Olympics before the medal round.
"I am obviously thrilled that the competition jury overturned my decision and I can continue chasing the gold medal I came here to win," Spence was quoted as saying by ESPN.
"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 Tuesday."
The US's worst showing at the Olympics was at Beijing four years ago when they returned with only one bronze.