Rio 2016: ‘AIBA Stole My Dream’, Says Beaten Boxer Teofimo Lopez
Lopez said the judges had ruled in a unanimous decision against him because he’d criticised the qualifying process.
American-born fighter for Honduras, Teofimo Lopez, launched an angry tirade at boxing authorities, accusing them of corruption, after he exited the Rio Olympics on a debatable unanimous points decision.
Losing after a spirited bout with a French rival, 19-year old Lopez said that the judges had ruled against him because he had criticised a convoluted qualifying process that kept him from competing as an American.
The AIBA (International Boxing Association) did not want me to win because we will make it more controversial because AIBA stole my dream. It is a corrupted organisation.Teofimo Lopez
The AIBA swiftly rejected his “unacceptable” accusation, after Lopez and his father, who is his trainer, said the amateur boxing body had snatched the win away.
Abandoned by AIBA, Unwanted by Honduras, Claims Lopez
Until recently, Lopez had represented the United States and won the Olympic trials, but was not granted a spot in Rio for Team USA because of the convoluted qualifying process – more evidence, he said, that the odds were unfairly stacked against him from the start.
He then switched to represent his parents’ homeland, Honduras.
The boxer’s fuming father Teofimo Lopez Snr berated his teenage son in the media area afterwards for failing to win, but reserved his real fire for boxing officials.
I was expecting it. They took it from him after he won the Olympic trials too. If we had represented the USA, we would probably have had a better chance of winning.Teofimo Lopez Snr
He won the fight. But I told him from the beginning, you got to kill this guy, otherwise you are not going to win.
Looking on, an AIBA spokesman dismissed the claim.
We understand his disappointment. Each boxer is free to say what he wants but any accusations need to be based on something tangible.Nicolas Jomard, AIBA Official
(With PTI and Reuters inputs)
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