By Jake Donovan
Horrific officiating continues to dominate the evening portion of competition. Ali Mazeheri appeared on his way to becoming the first fighter of the 2012 Lond
on Games to defeat a Cuban entrant. However, the Iranian would fall prey not to Cuba's Jose Larduet but to a fussy referee, who issued three warnings and an eventual disqualification in the second round.
Mazaheri enjoyed a 6-4 lead through one round, the margin provided by a warning against Larduet. The two-point deficit marked the only point in this year's competition thus far in which a Cuban fighter trailed on the scorecards.
Alas, Mazaheri would feel the full wrath of the referee in round two. Three issued warnings - only one of which appeared to be justified - resulted in a disqualification over which even Larduet expressed embarrassment.
Proper protocol calls for the losing fighter to stand center right with the winner and the referee in order to officially declare the final verdict. Mazaheri never gave the referee that satisfaction, remaining in his corner for several minutes before reluctantly removing his headgear.
The discouraged Iranian heavyweight eventually walked over to congratulate the Cuban corner, though not Larduet himself. Mazaheri instead stormed out of the ring, which will most likely result in additional penalties.
Larduet will now face Clemente Russo of Italy.
Russo is now guaranteed a second Olympic medal, though the moment came in anti-climactic fashion as scheduled opponent Tumba Silva of Angola was scratched from competition after never showing up for the mandatory weigh-in. Russo was declared winner via walkover and moves to the medal round, four years after capturing Olympic silver in Beijing.
Teymur Mammadov of Azerbaijan dug deep in the final round to pull out a 12-11 win over a determined Jei Opetaia of Australia in a scrappy battle of teenage heavyweights. The bout was dead even through two rounds, but the 19-year old Mammadov did just enough in the final three rounds to outlast Opetaia, who at 17 years old is the youngest ever Australian fighter to compete in the Olympics.
Mammadov will face
Siarhei Karneyeu of Belarus, who cruised to a 21-12 win over Ecuador's
Julio Castillo in the final Round of 16 bout for the heavyweight division.
The first three bouts of the heavyweight division took place earlier in the afternoon. Team USA captured its lone medal from the 2008 Beijing Games in the division, but 2012 entrant Michael Hunter failed to follow suit after blowing an early lead to lose via countback against Artur Beterbiyev of Russia.
A full recap of the afternoon session, can be found
HEAVYWEIGHT ROUND OF 16 RESULTS (Wednesday, August 1)
Artur Beterbiyev (Russia) def. Michael Hunter, 10-10 (countback)
Tervel Pulev (Bulgaria) def. Xuanxuan Wang (China), 10-7
Yamil Peralta (Argentina) def. Chouaib Boulodinat (Algeria), 13-5
Teymur Mammadov (Azerbaijan) def. Jei Opetaia (Australia), 12-11
Siarhei Karneyeu (Belarus) def. Juan Castillo (Ecuador), 21-12
Jose Larduet (Cuba) def. Ali Mazaheri (Iran), DQ-2
Clemente Russo (Italy) def. Tumba Silva (Angola), Walkover (Silva no-show for weigh-in)
QUARTERFINALS (Sunday, August 5)
Artur Beterbiyev (Russia) vs. Oleksandr Usyk (Ukraine/received bye)
Tervel Pulev (Bulgaria) vs. Yamil Peralta (Argentina)
Teymur Mammadov (Azerbaijan) vs. Siarhei Karneyeu (Belarus)
Jose Larduet (Cuba) vs. Clemente Russo (Italy)
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: