RIO DE JANEIRO – Gary Antuanne Russell, from Capitol Heights, lost in a quarterfinal match on a split-decision to the experienced Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan and will not medal in the Rio Olympic Games of 2016. Russell pressed the action from the opening bell, but Gaibnazarov was content to run and hold for all three […]
RIO DE JANEIRO – Gary Antuanne Russell, from Capitol Heights, lost in a quarterfinal match on a split-decision to the experienced Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan and will not medal in the Rio Olympic Games of 2016.
Russell pressed the action from the opening bell, but Gaibnazarov was content to run and hold for all three rounds.
Russell continued to pursue Gaibnazarov and when he caught up with him, he was able to land some shots to the head and the body. Still, the 25-year-old from Pakistan was much more experienced in international competition than Russell and seemed to know when to stop running so as to not get a warning from the referee. International judges do not score favorably for fighters that run and hold.
Russell was frustrated with his opponent, who had won several medals around the world, for not fighting.
“I believe I won the last two rounds. I did more than enough to win the third round by outscoring him,” Russell said. “I was more aggressive and more of everything.
Judges scored it 1-1 after the first two rounds.
“I don’t blame him for running,” Russell said. “The sport is based on not being hit. My fans and I believe I won the fight. I gave my all, but I did not come here for a bronze medal. I came for gold.”
Boxing fans now know why some young fighters turn pro instead of staying amateur. The judging in the amateurs is very hard to figure out. Five judges score the fight, but there is a computerized method that randomly chooses three of the judges’ cards and those cards determine the winner. If a fighter like Gaibnazarov can run and hold for basically the entire fight and still win, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of boxing fans everywhere.
The other American left in the field, Shakur Stevenson, from Newark, N.J., won his bout and moved on to the medal round with a unanimous decision in the Bantam weight division.
“I congratulate him and I hope he goes on to have a great career,” Russell said.
Turning to other local boxers, a professional card at the Hilton Hotel in Crystal City, Va., on Aug. 19, will feature the undefeated Myke Fox from Forestville. D.C.’s welterweight contender, Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (30-0-1) gets back in action on Sept. 15 in Philadelphia against Thomas LaMunna (21-1) for the USBA Welterweight Championship. The fight will be shown on CBS Sports Network. Hernandez-Harrison is coming off of his toughest fight, a majority draw at the DC Armory a few months back.
“This is a big opportunity for both of us,” Hernandez-Harrison said. “The winner will get a top 15 ranking by the IBF.”