Originally posted on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 8/7/12
That'll do it for the Americans in men's boxing at the 2012 Games. Errol Spence, Jr. got resurrected by the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) after a successful protest of his loss in the Round of 16, but couldn't capitalize on his second life Tuesday against an opponent who was, simply, better. With that, we can go back to the recriminations and soul-searching we were fixing to do to do after Spence had previously been the last American eliminated, because the 2012 Olympics now represent the worst U.S. showing ever, with no medals at all. We might legitimately second-guess whether Terrell Gausha should still be alive and fighting for a medal in the shallow middleweight division, but most every country can chalk up one bad decision as an excuse.

The rest of Tuesday's action featured a number of close fights that put various medal favorites on the defensive big time, with some of the less-esteemed fighters showing their arrival in the Quarterfinals was no fluke.


(Errol Spence, left, losing to Andrey Zamkovoy, right, Tuesday; photo via the Olympics website)


Flyweight – 52kg/114.6lb

Misha Aloian (Russia)-Jeyvier Cintron (Puerto Rico), 23-13: There's no issue with Aloian winning, but it should've been far closer than this. The 1st wasn't a 5-2 round as it was scored, the 2nd was closer than the 8-5 it was scored and Cintron had Aloian running and down once in the 3rd, although the ref didn't count it that way and for no reason at all gave Cintron a standing eight count in same. Still, Aloian outlasted a quality youngster and improved on his Round of 16 performance, although he appears a bit vulnerable for the early gold favorite.

Tugstsogt Nyambayar (Mongolia)-Jasurbek Latipov (Uzbekistan), 15-10: Down in the 1st, Nyambayar rallied back in the 2nd and especially the 3rd, when he wobbled Latipov with a couple big rights and won himself a standing eight. Nyambayar didn't come in with high expectations, but he has bashed his way to a medal.

Michael Conlan (Ireland)-Nordine Oubaali (France), 22-18: Really close through two, even, actually, although I would've given the 2nd to the volume-punching Frenchman, who dragged Conlan into his kind of all-offense fight. Both men had their moments in the 3rd, but Conlan rose to the occasion by doing just that much more.

Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana (Cuba) Andrew Selby (Great Britain), 16-11: Ramirez put on quite a show. While Selby worked his ass off firing tons of combinations, only a small percentage of which were effective, Ramirez took his time, backed Selby into the ropes and made sure that when he threw, it was all landing. Ramirez looks to be the class of this division.

Welterweight – 69kg/152.1lb

Taras Shelestyuk (Ukraine)-Alexis Vastine (France), 18-18: Should've been an upset. Even through two with the reigning champ, the gritty Frenchman turned into a hands-down, Roy Jones, Jr. stick-and-mover and completely outfoxed him. Shelestyuk, who went to his corner after the 3rd like he lost, got the win on the countback and kind of gave a "What can I do?" reaction to the French corner. Vastine had a tantrum afterward, which was a smidge more demonstrative than most Olympians' protests, but I do think he deserved to win.

Freddie Evans (Great Britain)-Custio Clayton (Canada), 14-14: Near-upset in a legitimately close fight. Evans was up 7-2 in the 1st, but took his foot off the gas and Clayton roared back in the 2nd, 6-3. I had Clayton winning the 3rd, but not by so much that I thought he definitely won the overall fight. Evans got the victory on countback.

Andrey Zamkovoy (Russia)-Errol Spence (United States), 16-11: The scores each round told the tale of the fight: Zamkovoy was just a little bit better in every round, just a little bit savvier, winning by one point in each of the first two rounds and then by two points in the 3rd. Spence had an argument in the 2nd, when he dominated Zamkovoy in the first minute, but something switched and Zamkovoy reestablished control; I think he flummoxed our guy with the aforementioned savviness.

Serik Sapiyev (Kazakhstan)-Gabriel Maestre (Venezuela), 20-9: Sapiyev had seemed bulletproof coming into the Quarterfinals, but Maestre dented him up, dropping him in the 2nd and scoring an eight count in a 5-5 round. Fortunately for Sapiyev, he handled his business in the 1st and 3rd, so he wasn't in any danger of losing but instead emerges looking a little more beatable than before, if not still very, very good.

This article first appeared on The Queensbury Rules and was syndicated with permission.

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