(LONDON, ENGLAND) – The U.S. Olympic Boxing Team was unable to end its losing streak on Thursday following two closely contested losses in second round action at the 2012 Olympic Games. Lightweight Jose Ramirez’s (Avenal, Calif.) slow start cost him with Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov while middleweight Terrell Gausha (Cleveland, Ohio) dropped a one-point heartbreaker to former Olympic medalist Vijender of India.
Ramirez took the ring first, looking to add to his win total at the 2012 Olympic Games. Yet Gaibnazarov was more active in the first round and the Uzbekistani boxer took a 6-2 lead after the first round. Ramirez picked up his output in the second round, particularly late in the round but faced a 12-5 deficit with three minutes remaining in the bout. Ramirez wasted no time getting started in the third round, firing shots from bell-to-bell but his late efforts weren’t enough and he dropped a 15-11 final decision. The loss eliminates Ramirez from the 2012 Olympic Games.
“I came out strong in the third. I always have good conditioning but my slow start hurt. At the end, in the last round I tried to throw more punches, I know he was tired. I knew he didn’t have that much left. He just fought the smarter fight,” Ramirez said.
Less than an hour later, Gausha stepped through the ropes for his second bout of the Olympic Games against Indian star Vijender. The opening round was a tactical match-up between the two skilled boxers and Vijender took a slim 4-3 lead. Gausha showcased his strong right hand and jab in the second, hoping to claim the lead in the bout, but Vijender maintained his one-point lead. The bout went into the final round up for grabs and the two boxers battled it out for the victory with several exciting exchanges highlighting the last three minutes. However only one could be named the victor and at the end of nine minutes of action, it was Vijender’s hand whose hand was raised. He pulled out a 16-15 decision over Gausha to end the American middleweight’s run at gold.
“I knew it was a close fight, I wasn’t sure which way they were going to go with the decision. I was just hoping that I got the nod because I put everything out there. Unfortunately I didn’t but I’m just going to continue to keep working hard,” Gausha said.
Two more American boxers will compete on Friday night as three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) makes his 2012 Olympic Games debut in a flyweight contest with France’s Nordine Oubaali at 8:30 p.m. London time (3:30 p.m. ET). Welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas) will return to the ring for his second bout with India’s Krishan Vikas at 9:30 p.m. London time (4:30 p.m. ET).
Warren and Spence are the two remaining U.S. male participants while the three American women will open competition on August 5 and 6.
132 lbs: Fazliddin Gaibnarzarov, UZB, dec. Jose Ramirez, Avenal, Calif./USA, 15-11
165 lbs: Vijender, IND, dec. Terrell Gausha, Cleveland, Ohio/USA, 16-15
Jose Ramirez Quotes
“I’m a little disappointed and a little emotional at the same time.”
“It’s over now and I didn’t get the victory, but I know it will open bigger doors for the future.”
“I felt like a lot of punches hit my glove before they hit me. I guess it’s the combinations. It’s true, he threw a lot of punches at the beginning. I guess my patience in the ring wasn’t as positive for me this time. He had a quicker start than me and he got the victory. I’m just blessed I got this opportunity and its time to enjoy the experience now.”
“If I had this opportunity again, I would start a lot faster. I am just very glad I got this experience. This Olympics were wonderful. It brought a lot of hope and a lot of light back to my town. It’s going to open a lot of doors and I’m pretty excited to enter them.”
“We did come as a team and we did stay strong as a team but I think today was me. I came up short myself.”
“(Knocking him out) was in my head the whole third round. I know I landed a solid punch. I knew if I was to land another one, I was going to hurt him and possibly stop him. The ref could have warned him more for holding the last round but he played it smart. One round wasn’t enough for me.”
“It’s sad that we came up short, it’s such a hungry team, a young team. I guess not much international experience, we came and I’m sure we all did our best.”
Terrell Gausha Quotes
“I gave it everything. I thought I was doing good in the fight. I did everything they told me to do. I think it was working for me. I didn’t get the decision but its nothing to hold my head down about.”
“I thought I pulled the second round off, but at the end of the day I’ve still go to respect the judge’s decisions. This isn’t the end of Terrell Gausha.”
“I didn’t feel bad because I did everything I could and the world was watching so obviously they have their opinion on who won and who didn’t.”
“I just wanted to work behind the jab and get in there and mix it up. Not to take anything away from my opponent but I felt that I edged him a little.”
“After defeat, I still hold my head up. It’s unfortunate that we’ve been losing all these fights but we’ve still got people in there and we just have to stay positive.”
“Our coaches were spectacular; we trained hard. I don’t think there’s anything else we could have done. I’ll just watch the tape and see what I did wrong. There’s always room for improvement.”
“(These kind of decisions) come with the territory. This is amateur boxing. A lot of great champions lost in the amateurs so it’s nothing to hold my head down about. It happens to the best of them.”
“I’ve been watching boxing all my life. I’ve watched bad decisions like Roy Jones, etc., but it happens in the sport. You have to be ready to take the good with the bad. “
“It’s unfortunate because I wanted to lift American boxing back up, but we still have Rau’shee Warren and Errol Spence and the three ladies so I’m looking forward to seeing them win when they compete.”
“I always say I’m going to put everything into it and when I get out of the ring, I can’t say I could have done this or I could have done that so I’m going to hold my head up. I trained hard and sacrificed a lot to get here so I’m just blessed to be in this position.”
“I just want to go home and spend time with my daughter, take her to Disneyland and enjoy time with my family. This isn’t the end of me, I’m going to keep training and eventually you’ll see me back in the ring.”
“I’m going to stay here and support my team.”
“I watched a little bit of him. My coaches broke him down and watched a little bit of tape. I knew he was an Olympic bronze medalist but at the end of the day, he’s just another man getting in the ring. I was looking forward to beating him, but he got the decision.”
“He landed some shots but it’s boxing so you’re gonna get hit and you’re gonna give some. I think I was hitting him and they were going back and forth with the cheering. Obviously he’s been around the game and got a bronze medal so people are going to be cheering for him. He had a lot of supporters, I’m not mad at that.”
“The right hand is one of my weapons and I’m going to continue to use it.”