Indian pugilist Sumit Sangwan was a bit unlucky to crash out of the London Olympics after a heart-wrenching opening-round loss to Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino of Brazil, in the men's light heavyweight category on Monday.
Sangwan clearly found himself on the wrong side of the judges' scoring pattern as the boxer, despite dominating the second and third rounds, did not get enough points for his efforts, eventually losing the bout 14-15.
After a slow start, the 19-year-old Indian gathered his composure and was clearly the better boxer in the second and third rounds.
Trailing 4-5 in the opening round, the lanky Sangwan used his reach to good effect, preferring to play the waiting game, and he did not commit himself too much.
The strategy worked wonders, as he completely controlled proceedings in the second round with a combination of left-right punches. But, to the astonishment of the crowd present at the Excel Centre, the judges thought otherwise and again awarded the round 5-4 in favour of the Brazilian.
Coming into the decider, trailing by two points, Sangwan did not lose focus and continued to dominate Florentino with some powerful straight punches. But, again, the judges seemed to have gone against him.
Even though Sangwan pocketed the third round 6-5, it was heartbreak for the Indian. Just one point separated his entry into the next round.
India lodged a protest over the controversial decision that robbed Sangwan of a deserving victory, according to Sports Minister Ajay Maken.
"Sumit Sangwan bout; Officially the protest is lodged. Let us hope for justice," Maken wrote on his Twitter page.
"Sent an official with requisite USD 500 to formally lodge it," Maken added.
Indian boxing coach G S Sandhu, however, did not sound too optimistic about the complaint and said nothing comes out of such protest.
"It was a disappointing result. Sangwan fought well and it was a close bout. We have lodged a protest but generally nothing comes out of such protest," said Sandhu.
IABF secretary and acting Chef-de-Mission Muralidharan Raja said the protest was Round 2 specific.
"The protest was specific to round two. We thought Sangwan should have got more points in that round," Raja added.
Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters