Engaged in the round of 16 of the Olympic boxing tournament in the -57kg category, the French Samuel Kistohurry lost on points (three judges to two), Saturday, July 24, against the American Duke Ragan. A decision that fueled controversy on social networks, some evoking “a theft” manifest while the native of Pessac seemed to have largely dominated the last recovery. Present at the Kokugikan Arena this morning, our consultant Brahim Asloum, Olympic champion in Sydney in 2000, sheds light.
Franceinfo: sport: What is your first impression after the defeat of Samuel Kistohurry that some consider very questionable? Did you understand the final decision of the judges?
Brahim Asloum: I would say first of all that it is not the biggest flight that we have seen, to put it into perspective. Samuel started badly in the first round, he left the advantage to his opponent which allowed him to pocket the victory on points on the five judges. The first error is there. Then, he comes back better in the fight, he wins 3-2 the second round and where the judges were unfair, it is that in the third round, the American did nothing except hang on. He should have taken a warning from the referee. There was a round each and the one in the middle, it was Samuel who won it. So yes there is an injustice but again this is not the biggest robbery.
How do you explain this decision then? Was it the scoring system that was faulty?
No, it’s not a question of scoring, it’s just that there is a judge who was not competent. As we saw, during the last cover, Duke Ragan did nothing. Nothing. I don’t see how one of the judges could have given him the victory. Afterwards, it was a close fight, the American played his card well. If we were on the American side, we wouldn’t yell.
Did you understand Samuel’s reaction after the fight? There was still frustration after such a defeat …
Yes and this is normal, you are in competition and you came out by a boxer who is technically inferior to you. It’s normal to have regrets. But I think it is especially Samuel who will have some regrets when he can watch his fight. He was a boxer within his reach. If we disregard the first round dominated by the American, in the second but especially the third round, he did not manage to take a step back and work again with his direct from the front arm. He remained in the same position and the same tactics. He could have made the fight easier. I’m tough maybe, but it’s also the reality: you are in major competition, do not get hung up. This is why in this Olympic tournament, you absolutely have to win the first round. You have to get out of danger. By winning the first round, the American marked the minds of the judges and they stuck with it. After, it was up to Samuel to run after the score and there you are no longer in the strategy.
Several comments after the fight also mentioned the professional status of his opponent of the day, while boxing at the Olympics was until these Tokyo Games reserved for amateurs …
Ragan turned pro a year ago so we can’t say he’s a great pro. And when we see the quality of his boxing, we wonder about his world status. He was 2017 vice-world champion and Pan American Games finalist, which allowed him to be well ranked in the world rankings but it is not necessarily representative. I also wanted to remind, after having also seen some comments, that it is not the international association of amateur boxing (Aiba) which organizes the Olympic tournament, it is a commission which was created by the International Olympic Committee ( CIO). This is why it is above all the incompetence of the judge more than anything else in my opinion. The judges know that they are closely watched, they know that the IOC is behind … There are no instructions. The only instruction is to be fair and to do your job well. I read a lot of things but there is no shenanigans behind.