Mendoza: Barriga victim of injustice, Olympic-style-A A +A
Monday, August 6, 2012
THE American protest was upheld but not ours. Seems like another travesty of justice?
The American boxer was down two points against his Indian foe, 11-13, when the verdict was put to question by the US.
The Competition Jury of Boxing in the London Olympics saw merit in America’s appeal and overturned the referee’s decision making the Indian the winner.
The Jury ruled that the Indian was guilty of holding the American boxer nine times in the third round. In the second round, the Indian spat out his mouth guard, which was an automatic infraction meriting a penalty.
The referee was found to have ignored all of that.
The decision reversing the referee’s verdict was irreversible, pushing American Errol Spence to the next round of the men’s welterweight division while throwing the grumbling, whining Krishan Vikas of India out of the tournament.
Now, let us segue to our very own Mark Anthony Barriga.
Our protest was denied with the speed of sound; in contrast to the US appeal, ours was never formally heard by the Jury.
Funny, if not downright crazy, because while the American case involved a 2-point margin for the winning Indian in the fight’s outcome, ours was but a 1-point difference as Barriga lost to Kazakhstan’s Birzhan Zhakypov, 17-16.
Brazil’s Luiz Bosseli, the head of the Jury, immediately junked our appeal, saying it was “groundless and driven by emotion.”
What? Three times Zhakypov wrestled Barriga to the canvas, getting away scot-free each time the Kazakh did that? “Groundless and driven by emotion?”
What? Barriga got penalized for ducking to elude punches? Since when was ducking considered illegal?
What? Barriga head-butted Zhakypov after ducking?
Did you see Barriga do that?
The Jury had watched the tape of the American-Indian fight before making a decision. They had not watched the Barriga tape before making a decision.
Ricky Vargas, the country’s boxing chief, has said it best: “…in the battle of giants, justice is more difficult to attain for a small country like ours.”
I have nothing more to add, your honor.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 07, 2012.