Fixed Medals: How much does a Gold Medal really Cost?

AP Photos

I don't know if you notice this our not, but in the midst of the Badminton controversy, another controversy brewed in Olympic boxing. During the match between Japan's Satoshi Shimizu and Azerbaijan's Magomed Abdulhamidov, Abdulhamidov was knocked down a total of six times and was allowed all the time to get back up. The fight was one-sided the entire time and Abdulhamidov was getting destroyed. Normally, referees call the match when they see that one guy can barely stand enough to fight, but in this matchup, the ref allowed the fight to continue. Even after he was knocked down 6 times (how many more times does a man need to fall)! At the end of the bought, when all that Shimizu obviously won the fight, the judges awarded Abdulhamidov the win (What??). He could barely lift his arm at the end but he was announced the winner! For a sport that is losing its popularity more and more, they sure did not help themselves with this fight.

If you missed this fight, please watch the video here: Japanese Boxer Robbed By Controversial Decision

Everybody in the arena was shocked, including Shimizu. “I was shocked by the final scores. He fell down so many times,” Shimizu said. “Why didn’t I win? I don’t understand.” Apparently, the reason Abdulhamidov won the fight is because his court paid the international boxing organization $9M for a guarantee that two Azerbaijanis would win gold medals. Yes you read it right, $9M for gold medals… Now this is what you call out of line! The fact that people are allowed to buy medals is absurd, and at the cost of nearly killing himself in the process. What is the limit? Is a gold medal really worth that much to get continually demolished in the ring for a medal you will just leave in a trophy room. I know the Olympics are important, but come on, who really pays attention to Olympic boxing that much for it to matter so much?

Luckily the AIBA overturned the decision and gave Japan’s Shimizu the win. This is the statement coming from the AIBA after reviewing the video and banning the ref from the Olympics “The boxer from Azerbaijan fell down six (6) times during the 3rd round. According to our rules, the Referee should have counted at least three (3) times. In this case, following the AIBA Technical & Competition Rules, the decision should have been RSC (Referee Stop Contest).” For a sport that just got off some controversy, this hurts it even more. Boxing has become a joke and basically all about the money. Just like real boxing, money sways the way a fight goes. It is not about what the fans want, it’s about capital.



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