The Beginning: Controversy and Outrage In the Boxing Ring
Along with the expected might and glory, the 2012 Olympics began controversially for medal-seeking hopefuls from the Islamic Republic of Iran. On August 1st, Iranian boxer Ali Mazaheri stepped into the ring, ahead of his rival, Cuban heavyweight José Larduet Gómez. Just under a minute into the match, Mazaheri lead by two points when German referee Frank Scharmach disqualified him for holding Gómez a total of three times in 56 seconds (a video of the match can be seen here). Iranians were outraged by the referee’s decision; Mazaheri himself was stunned, calling the decision a “conspiracy.” The boxer told Reuters “In my previous fights I had done really well. It was a setup.” The Iranian press generally reported that the event was politically motivated.
Read More at the Iran Media Project Website