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Olympic Boxing

Olympics 2012: Walkover, “Countback” Mark Second Olympic Bantam Session

By Charles Jay

The second session of men’s bantamweight competition at the 2012 Olympics in London included a big disappointment as the bout that was supposed to include the highest-rated competitor in the session never took place.

Instead, Mohamed Amine Ouadahi of Algeria, who is #5 in the world according to AIBA (the International Boxing Association) won by walkover, as his scheduled opponent, Merab Turkadze, from Georgia, inexplicably failed to make the weight.

Ouadahi, who lost to the world’s #3, Luke Campbell, in last year’s World Boxing Championships and whose father is the head of the Algerian boxing squad, thus moves on to the next round. There he will face William Encarnacion Alcantara of the Dominican Republic, who beat Braexir Leboumba of Gabon by a 15-6 count in his opening round match. This might be considered something of an upset, as Leboumba was ranked 16th by AIBA.

The bout between Australia’s Ibrahim Balla and Aboubakr Seddik Lbida of Morocco was actually scored a 16-16 draw, but Balla won the bout and advanced on the basis of something called a “countback” system, in which blows that were not scored as having officially landed by three of the five judges. So since outscored Lbida on the basis of the punches that were recognized by two judges or less, he was given the tie-breaker and came away with the victory. To a certain extent, it was unpopular with the audience.

Balla now moves on, where he will box Detelin Dalakliev, the #7 bantam in the AIBA ratings, who won a 15-6 decision over South Africa’s Ayabonga Sonjica.

In other action, Italy’s Jahyn Vittorio Parrinello, who carries a #19 rating from AIBA,.won easily (18-7) over Jonas Matheus of Namibia, and Satoshi Shimizu of Japan won a narrow 10-9 nod over Isaac Dooboe of Ghana.

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