By Jake Donovan
Terrell Gausha produced the first truly dramatic moment of the 2012 London Games with his time-expired stoppage of Armenia's Andranik Hakobyan on Sunday.
Unfortunately for the American middleweight and Team USA, lightning wouldn't strike twice.
A once-promising four-fight win streak to start Olympic competition has turned out to be an illusion of the worst kind as the U.S. squad has now suffered seven straight losses. Gausha became the latest casualty, narrowly losing to defending 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist Vijender Singh of India by a score of 16-15.
Each round seemed to come down to a single punch separating the two, who were evenly matched despite Singh's greater amateur pedigree. Gausha was down by one point after a well-fought first round, but continued to trail by the same margin three minutes later despite scoring the more convincing blows.
Another dramatic finish was hoped for, but it was Singh who instead closed the show. The judges saw the final round even at 7-7, but the right guy won in the end as Singh is now one fight away from earning a second Olympic medal.
Gausha's Olympic dream ends, as hope for restored glory in the U.S. amateur program continues to dwindle. Team USA has now lost seven straight, having not posted a win since Sunday.
Singh figures to do no worse than repeat his run from the 2008 Beijing Games, as he will be heavily favored against Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan, who was given a 12-10 win over Romania's Bogdan Juratoni in a bout which the judges appeared to get very wrong.
Juratoni went punch for punch with Atoev early on despite falling behind 6-4 after one. The Romanian dug deep in round two, stunning Atoev with a body shot that caused the Uzbekistan middleweight to shut down.
What shut down instead was the judges' ability to score a round. Juratoni was only given two points in an apparently decisive third round, one less than Atoev who benefited from generous scoring to pull off the upset.
Adem Kılıççı of Turkey refused to leave his fate in the hands of the judges, dominating Serbia's Aleksander Drenovak to the tune of a 20-11 landslide win. Kılıççı went on an 11-2 tear in the second round to turn a mildly competitive bout into a rout, as Drenovak was overwhelmed for the majority of the fight.
Equally as punishing was Ryota Murata's demolition of Algeria's Abdelmalek Rahou. The Japanese middleweight fought like a man who witnessed crappy officiating over the past few days, dishing out a savage beating en route to a 21-12 win.
The score was only that "close" due to Rahou being given two points for a low blow from Murata in round two. The rest of the fight was a near-blood letting, as Murata power punched his way to the quarterfinals, where he will face Kılıççı in a savagely delicious matchup that seems better suited for the pro ranks.
The division is still reeling from the dramatic start to the Round of 16 earlier today. Anthony Ogogo made it five straight wins for Great Britain with a double-countback win over heavily favored Ievgen Khytrov of Ukraine. The bout ended in an 18-18 tie, sending it to countback. The official scores were announced at 52-52, though came into question after the displaying of the scores on the Olympics' official website.
It was later clarified that the highest and lowest overall point total from each judge is thrown out on countbacks, and not highest and lowest from each round. Such ruling dismissed an appeal from the Ukraine Olympic boxing squad, upholding Ogogo's dramatic win.
Middleweights - Round of 16 Matchups (Thursday, August 2):
Anthony Ogogo (Great Britain) def. Ievgen Khytrov (Ukraine), 18-18 (double tiebreaker)
Stefan Hartel (Germany) def. Darren O'Neill, 19-12
Zoltan Harcsa (Hungary) def. Mjundjae Kasuto (Namibia), 16-7
Ezquiva Falcao (Brazil) def. Soltan Migitinov (Azerbaijan), 24-11
Abbos Atoev (Uzbekistan) def. Bogdan Juratoni (Romania), 12-10
Vijender Singh (India) def. Terrell Gausha, 16-15
Adem Kılıççı (Turkey) def. Aleksander Drenovak (Serbia), 20-11
Ryota Murata (Japan) def. Abdelmalek Rahou (Algeria), 21-12
Middleweights Quarterfinals (Monday, August 6):
Anthony Ogogo (Great Britain) vs. Stefan Hartel (Germany)
Zoltan Harcsa (Hungary) vs. Ezquiva Falcao (Brazil)
Abbos Atoev (Uzbekistan) vs. Vijender Singh (India)
Adem Kılıççı (Turkey) vs. Ryota Murata (Japan)
Middleweights - Round of 32 Results (Saturday, July 28):
Anthony Ogogo (Great Britain) def. Junior Castillo (Dominican Republic), 13-6
Darren O'Neill (Ireland) def. Muideen Akanji (Nigeria), 15-6
Stefan Hartel (Germany) def. Enrique Collazo (Puerto Rico), 18-10
Mjundjae Kasuto (Namibia) def. Sobirdzhon Inazarov (Tajikistan), 11-8
Zoltan Harcsa (Hungary) def. Jose Espinoza (Venezuela), 16-13
Soltan Migitinov (Azerbaijan) def. Mohamed Hikal (Egypt), 20-12
Abbos Atoev (Uzbekistan) def. Badr-Eddine Haddioui (Morocco) – 11-9
Terrell Gausha (USA) def. Andranik Hakobyan (Armenia) - RSC-3
Vijender Singh (India) def. Danabek Suzhanov (Kazakhstan) - 14-10
Adem Kılıççı (Turkey) def. Nursahat Pazziyev (Turkmenistan) - 14-7
Aleksander Drenovak (Serbia) def. Mario Delgado (Ecuador) - 30-12
Abdelmalek Rahou (Algeria) def. Jesse Ross (Australia), 13-11
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: