By Jake Donovan
Great Britain will have to settle for five guaranteed medals.
A shot at a six-pack was denied after Tom Stalker was eliminated from competition in a 23-22 loss to
Uranchimeglin Monke-Erdene of Mongolia.
The partisan crowd was obviously none too pleased with the scoring, but most objective viewers would agree that the right man won in the end. The difference came down to a strong showing by Monke-Erdene in the second round, despite winning the frame by just one point.
Both fighters had their say in a high-octane third and final round, each appropriately fighting as if their Olympic lives depended on it. The action brought the crowd to its feet, but close enough to where the ending was met with nervous anticipation. The announcement of the final scores turned anxiousness to disappointment.
It also transformed Stalker from happy-go-lucky to poor sport. The Brit brushed past Monke-Erdene after the verdict was announced, offering a rushed congratulations to the fighter and his corner before storming out of the ring and into the dressing room.
Meanwhile, Monke-Erdene storms into the semifinals, guaranteeing his nation two medals in boxing competition. The third time proved to be a charm for the Mongolian light welterweight, who came up short in Beijing four years ago and Athens in 2004.
His semifinals opponent will be Denis Berinchyk of Ukraine, who cruised past Australia's Jeff Horn in a 21-13 win.
Berinchyk was the superior fighter on paper and in reality. Horn never gave himself a fighting chance, offering too much movement and not enough contact. Berinchyk was intelligent in cutting off the ring and scoring on demand.
Horn's exit means the end of the road for Australia's boxing squad. The opposite is true for Ukraine, with four semifinalists and potential for one more.
Roniel Iglesias became the first in the division to advance to the medal round, taking a 21-15 win over Uzbekistan's Uktemjan Rahmonov.
An upset appeared to be brewing as Rahmonov jumped out to an early lead through one. All it did was awake a sleeping giant, a Iglesias erupted in perhaps the most dominant round of 2012 Olympic boxing competition to date. A knockdown paved the way for a 12-point round for Iglesias, who cruised to the finish line despite Rahmonov's best efforts in an aggressive final round.
With the win, Iglesias is guaranteed a second Olympic medal, having captured the bronze during the 2008 Beijing Games. He next faces Vincenzo Mangiacapre of Italy, who advanced to the semifinals with a 16-12 win over Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan.
The light welterweight semifinals take place Friday, August 10. The winners go on to the finals, while the losers will share Olympic bronze.
Jeff Horn (Australia) vs. Denis Berinchyk (Ukraine)
Light Welterweight Quarterfinals (Wednesday, August 8):
Roniel Iglesias (Cuba) def. Uktemjan Rahmonov (Uzbekistan), 21-15
Vincenzo Mangiacapre (Italy) def.
Daniyar Yeleussinov (Kazakhstan), 16-12
Uranchimegiin Monke-Erdene (Mongolia) def. Tom Stalker (Great Britain), 23-22
Denis Berinchyk (Ukraine) def. Jeff Horn (Australia), 21-13
Light Welterweight Semifinals (Medal round - Friday, August 10):
Roniel Iglesias (Cuba) vs.
Vincenzo Mangiacapre (Italy)
Uranchimegiin Monke-Erdene (Mongolia)
vs. Denis Berinchyk (Ukraine)
Round of 16 Matchups (Saturday, August 4):
Roniel Iglesias (Cuba) def. Everton Lopes (Brazil), 18-15
Uktemjan Rahmonov (Uzbekistan) def. Yakop Sener (Turkey), 16-8
Daniyar Yeleussinov (Kazakhstan) vs. Mehdi Toluitibandpi (Iran), 19-10
Vincenzo Mangiacapre (Italy) def. Gyula Kate, 20-14
Tom Stalker (Great Britain) def. Manoj Kumar (India), 20-16
Uranchimegiin Monke-Erdene (Mongolia) def. Richarno Colin (Mauritius), 15-12
Jeff Horn (Australia) def. Abderzarrak Houya (Tunisia), 17-11
Denys Berinchyk (Ukraine) def. Anthony Yigit, 24-23