The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) has reversed a dubious decision in yet another Olympic boxing match, this one involving American welterweight Errol Spence Jr. and India's Krishan Vikas. Spence lost yesterday's bout with Vikas when the judges scored the fight 13-11 in favor of Vikas, a decision that seemed ridiculous to most who had watched the fight. In the video above you can even see the referee begin to raise Spence's hand as the decision was being handed down, assuming that he had won.
The match was close going into the third round. Vikas had taken the first round 4-2, and Spence fought back in the second round to take it 5-6, but the judges scored the third round 4-3 in favor of Vikas, despite the fact that Spence was in clear control of the fight at that point and Vikas was only interested in holding (he grabbed Spence nine separate times in the third round) throughout the round.
It was Vikas's incessant holding that led to the decision being overturned. From the AIBA's official decision:
There were a total of nine (9) holding fouls committed by the Indian boxer in the third round alone. However the Referee only gave one caution;
Based on the AIBA Technical & Competition Rules 12.1.9, the Referee should have given at least two (2) warnings to the Indian boxer;
Based on Decision #1, at least four (4) points should have been awarded to the boxer from the USA. Therefore the final score should be 13:15 in favour of the USA. The protest is accepted and the winner of Bout #142 is Errol Spence (USA).
It's great that this decision was set right, just as the disgraceful decision that was laid on Satoshi Shimizu was, but any sport that consistently needs to have its results overturned by a ruling body is not in good shape. Olympic boxing continues to demonstrate that it is plagued with what is either a lack of integrity or competence. Hopefully that will change someday.