After Joe Murray...
on August 13, 2008 by Administrator
After Joe Murray – who was British boxing’s hope in the bantamweight division of the Olympics – lost to China’s Gu Yu in the first round, team coach
Terry Edwards was far from a happy man. He believes that the judges were bias in favour of the Chinese boxer in awarding him a 17-7 win.
Edwards said that he wasn’t claiming that Murray should have won, but that the judges were ‘very generous’ towards his opponent. More specifically, he believes that Gu Yu was getting a point for everything possible and that it was by no means a level playing field.
As for the fight itself, well, Murray found himself four points down early on. With his opponent seemingly winning points at will, the British boxer had to work extremely hard to claim any from the judges. He then adopted a style which meant he simply tried to stop Gu Yu hitting him. Murray himself said that this was the ‘only way’ he was going to win the fight.
With his mind wondering and his game affected by the points domination of his opponent, Murray was knocked to the canvas in the second round. He got himself back up, but as we now know, he went on to lose 17-7 on points.
Murray and Edwards were obviously critical of the score after this defeat and it’s not the first time player and coach has accused the judges of being bias in this Olympics. The Ukrainian boxing team made a complaint after lightweight Oleksandr Klyuchko lost 10-8 to Chinese fighter Hu Qing. Let’s hope it doesn’t become a trend to simply blame the judges after losing a fight – that would undermine the competition.
As for Murray’s situation, let’s get one thing straight. He didn’t deserve to win the fight, but the margain of defeat was disgraceful. Gu Yu was awarded for every punch, with Murray only being awarded for every other punch. Yu landed more significant blows and deserved his win but a 17-14 victory would have been more appropriate.
Of course, that wouldn’t have made much difference overall and wouldn’t have hid the fact that Murray wasn’t at his best against the fast-handed Yu. He came into these Olympics with a real chance of a medal and it is disappointing he is on his way home already. He still has a lot of potential though and If I was to bet on the Olympics in 2012 – I’d back Murray to be back to his best to win a medal in London.
Written by Thomas Rooney - A Freelance Sports Journalist