Some had called it the worst Olympic boxing ruling since Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s controversial semifinal loss during the 1996 Olympic Games.
Errol Spence, an African-American welterweight boxer for the U.S. national team, had lost his fight against Indian boxer Krishan Vikas Aug. 3, eliminating the U.S. chances of winning a boxing medal in this summer’s Olympic Games.
But everyone watching the fight thought Spence should have won; everyone except the ringside judges, who had scored the fight, 13-11 in favor of Vikas.
Fortunately for Spence and the U.S., the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) competition jury reviewed the fight hours later and overturned the decision, giving Spence the win. The jury said that Vikas had committed nine holding fouls in the third round alone and had also intentionally spit his mouthpiece out during the second round to gain a resting break, for which he should have been penalized.
Spence will now face Russian boxer Andrey Zamkovoy in the quarterfinals Aug. 7.
“I am obviously thrilled that the competition jury overturned my decision and I can continue chasing the gold medal I came here to win,” Spence told the Associated Press. “I am going to make the most of this second chance that I’ve been given. I can’t wait to get back in that ring on Tuesday.”
Spence is the only U.S. boxer left in contention for a medal as all seven of his USA boxing teammates lost bouts throughout the past week.