2nd August 2012
Lowestoft’s Anthony Ogogo produced a fantastic performance to defeat Ukraine’s reigning world champion Ievgen Khytrov to move within one more win of a podium place. He will now meet Germany’s Stefan Hartel with a bronze medal guaranteed for the winner.
Ogogo matched his decorated opponent today in an action packed fight which had the capacity Excel crowd, which included Royals Prince Philip and Prince Edward, on their feet cheering the home fighter on to the final bell.
But then Ogogo and the team GB faced an agonising wait as the final score showed an 18-18 tie!
Even the countback system, in which the boxers scores of all five judges are tallied together, came back an amazing 52-52 draw, before the judges were required to pick a winner and the majority went with the British fighter.
The drama though wasnt over as the Ukraine team launched an appeal against the verdict, which was swiftly dismissed by AIBA’s competition jury, who said they had “no special grounds” for the complaint.
Nevertheless, AIBA’s official scorecard for the bout, published on the Games’ information system, continued to show judges’ totals which appeared to give Khytrov the edge by respective cumulative totals of 53 to 52.
An AIBA official said the score-sheet was “not a mistake” the discrepancy arose because the three judges scores used to determine the initial score are not necessarily the same three scores used to reach the total count-back, from which which the highest and lowest totals are discarded.
Ogogo who’s mother is in hospital battling a brain haemorrhage; said he was unaware of the initial confusion at the end, but after the result was announced he dropped to his knees in delight and pure emotion, adding he used his Mums inspiration to pull off the monumental win. “My mum made me the winner.” he said.
“After everything that has happened to me I could have crumbled in those last few seconds but that gave me the extra strength to get over the finish line.
“Nobody thought I would win that fight – I don’t think even the rest of my team-mates thought I could win it – but I just believed in myself.
“I thought it was probably a count-back and I’ve been on the wrong end of them so many times. With what’s gone on with me in the build-up, I needed that. It’s so much sweeter, and it’s what got me over the finish line.”
“He’s the world number one and you can see how much it meant to me in my celebration. That’s what the Olympics is all about for me – inspiring the next generation. You’ve just go to believe in yourself and you can do great things.” added Anthony.
Tonight was a tough bout for Scotland’s Josh Taylor who gave it everything he had, he lost the bout 10-15 to Italy’s Domenico Valentino.
Taylor put up good competition against the World Number One, losing out by one point in the first round, a draw in the second and 7-3 in the final round.
Josh Taylor (SCO) 10-15 Domenico Valentino (ITA)
Next up for Team GB will be Welsh boxers Fred Evans and Andrew Selby.
Evans will box Egidijus Kavaliauskas from Lithuania at 3.15pm Friday afternoon.
He will be followed by Andrew Selby who will take-on IIyas Suleimenov from Kazakhstan at 9.15pm. – Supporting team GB – www.gbboxing.org.uk