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Jai Opetaia Devastated After Losing Olympics Thriller

Tear-drenched teenager Jai Opetaia came within a point of causing the biggest boxing boilover of the London Olympics before being pipped by Teymur Mammadov - the world No.1 in the heavyweight category.

Tied at nine-all heading into the last round against the hulking Azerbaijani, 17-year-old Opetaia was devastated when the judges handed the fight to his opponent 12-11.

Opetaia, the youngest boxer Australia has ever sent to an Olympics, appeared to have the better of exchanges in the final round.

But when he returned to gather his emotions, Opetaia refused to criticise the judges.

Instead he chose to look to the future and a shot at gold at the 2016 Games.

"I'm just devastated, devastated," Opetaia told AAP.

"I thought I fought really well, but it's up to the judges and they didn't give it to me.

"This is just the stepping stone to where I want to go - the next step is Rio.

"Four years - I've got four years to get faster, stronger.

"I'm going for the gold medal in 2016."

Mammadov, the 19-year-old who claimed silver at last year's world championships, was supposed to make easy work of the rookie fighter.

But Opetaia gave as good as he got but wishes he could have done more.

"Just that one point, losing by one point makes you feel like you could have pushed that extra bit," he said.

Tags: Amateur Boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ksan on 08-01-2012

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;12392524]Opetaia won that fight in my eyes. By doing better in the last round.[/QUOTE] That's impressive, and he's only 17, the hype behind this guy was true then :boxing:

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 08-01-2012

Opetaia won that fight in my eyes. By doing better in the last round.

Comment by ksan on 08-01-2012

[QUOTE=Khmelnytsky;12392366]Mammadov is ranked #2 not 1. Usyk is 1 and got a bye. Fight was very close and pretty ugly. Tons of clinching.[/QUOTE] Russo vs Usyk will be good. Do you know why the russians made Mekhontsev go to LHW?,…

Comment by Khmelnytsky on 08-01-2012

Mammadov is ranked #2 not 1. Usyk is 1 and got a bye. Fight was very close and pretty ugly. Tons of clinching.

Comment by ksan on 08-01-2012

This fight went completely off the radar for me And I was following the story of Opetai. He's pretty young, and could get a medal in the next Olympics, after that, turn pro. [IMG]http://images.brisbanetimes.com.au/2011/07/13/2490726/ipad-art-wide-Jai-420x0.jpg[/IMG]

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