Was London 2012 Boxing Match Fixed? Shimizu vs Abdulhamidov
Azerbaijan vs Japan: More Olympic Match-Fixing?
Match-fixing at the Olympics: it would seem as if it isn't just Badminton. Japanese boxer Satoshi Shimizu knocked down Azerbaijan's Magomed Abdulhamidov five times during the last round of their Olympic Bantamweight Boxing match on August. However, the referee gave the fight to Abdulhamidov as a 22-17 victory. Why wasn't the fight stopped after the fifth (fifth!) knockdown? Because referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov (Turkmenistan) simply didn't count three of the knockdowns. Cue accusations of match-fixing.
Japan lodged an appeal, and won. The fight now belongs to Satoshi Shimizu, as should have been the case the moment the fight ended. Shimizu now advances to the semi-finals.
It's hard to argue with the match-fixing accusations if you watch the fight video, and if you know the recent history behind this story.
In September 2011, Azerbaijan had been accused of paying $9.5 million in bribes to secure an Olympic win. The AIBA declared the accusation "groundless", yet here we are. Satoshi Shimizu was clearly kicking Magomed Abdulhamidov's ass: of that there is no question. Shimizu dropped Abdulhamidov six times, which is virtually unheard-of in an Olympic bout.
The AIBA ruled to overturn the bout, and Ishanguly Meretnyyazov may be sanctioned, i.e. thrown under the bus. The judges of the allegedly-fixed match were not mentioned in the AIBA's statement.