France’s Mourad Aliev was disqualified in his super heavyweight quarterfinal bout against Frazer Clarke of Great Britain on Sunday after the referee observed him performing what appeared to be an intentional headbutt in the closing seconds of the second round.
The disqualification announcement incited a furious response from Aliev, who spit out and kicked his mouth guard, punched a television camera and held an hour-long sit-in at Kokugikan Arena’s ringside area.
“It's totally unfair – I was winning the match,” Aliev told reporters, noting that he had a 3-2 advantage on judges’ scorecards at the end of the first round. “I was just stopped without any warning and they just told me that ‘you lost’ – just like that. So I think it was an act of sabotage.”
With Aliev now out of contention despite his disagreement with the official’s decision, Clarke advanced to the semifinals of the super heavyweight tournament, and he is guaranteed at least a bronze medal.
U.S.'s Torrez, Ragan advance to semifinals
In what can best be described as a brawl, American Richard Torrez and Cuba’s Dainier Pero threw down for three furious rounds of super heavyweight action, only slowing down the pace in the final seconds when exhaustion began to take over. Following a head clash that left him with a gash above the left eye in the second round, Torrez broke a near-stalemate among the judges to come out on top with a 4-1 victory over the game Pero. Torrez now moves on to the semifinal round, where he is guaranteed at least a bronze medal.
Duke Ragan of the U.S. also advanced, scoring a 3-2 split-decision victory over Ireland’s Kurt Walker in featherweight quarterfinals action, and will take on Samuel Takyi of Ghana in the semis.
Ireland, ROC and Azerbaijan win bronze medals, Great Britain and Cuba close in on gold
While celebrating his welterweight quarterfinal victory over Mauritius’ Merven Clair on Friday, Ireland’s Aidan Walsh landed badly on his ankle, and the resulting injury forced him to withdraw from his scheduled semifinal match against Great Britain’s Pat McCormack. Walsh left the tournament as a result, but he goes home with a bronze medal.
Russian Olympic Committee athletes also received bronze medals in the welterweight and light heavyweight classes on Sunday following Andrey Zamkovoy’s unanimous decision loss to Roniel Iglesias and Imam Khataev’s 4-1 loss to Ben Whitaker of Great Britain.
Azerbaijan’s Alfonso Dominguez received bronze in the light heavyweight division after a unanimous decision loss to Cuba’s Arlen Lopez, who will face Whitaker in the gold medal match. McCormack, meanwhile, will battle Iglesias in the final match of the welterweight category.