Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko wins gold at heavyweight in controversial nod
In a decision that prompted loud boos from the crowd, Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko was awarded a gold medal in the Olympic heavyweight final against Kazakhstan’s Vasily Levit despite constantly on the retreat Monday in Rio.
Though he seemed to be out-worked for most of the match and hurt in the third round, when he required medical attention for a cut, Tishchenko was given a unanimous decision by scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 29-28. Tishchenko didn’t smile or celebrate with any emotion. No, he looked almost sheepish in victory as his hand was raised.
Tishchenko seemed frustrated as he answered questions afterward on whether he had actually won the fight. “If the judges gave me the medal, they had reasons for it,” he said through a translator, according to Reuters. “For sure I am really upset about this (booing) because I respect my opponents and all the crowd. I just cannot understand why they booed in such an outrageous way.”
They booed because Levit forced the taller Tishchenko into safety-first mode in the final round, clinching and trying to blunt Levit’s all-out assault. Levit was the aggressor throughout, landing the cleaner shots. The international news agency reported that Levit removed the silver medal from his neck and put it in his pocket as he left the arena. He looked visibly stunned as Tishchenko was announced the winner, putting his hand on his hip as he embraced his opponent in a show of respect that continued after the match.
“There is a solidarity between fighters and I think that every boxer that comes to the ring deserves respect,” he said. “In my head I was thinking that I won and the coaches were quite happy with me and told me I did everything they asked me to do for the fight. But you see how it ended up.”