Row as Stalker’s Olympic bid ends

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Tom Stalker was distraught over the decision © BBC Sport

Liverpool boxer Tom Stalker had his Olympic dreams shattered in controversial fashion as he saw his light welterweight quarter-final awarded to Mongolia’s Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg, despite believing he had won the fight.

Judges from Algeria, Italy, Turkey, Cuba and South Korea scored the contest 23-22 in Uranchimeg’s favour, with many present feeling Stalker was the bout’s clear winner. Team GB lodged an appeal against the decision, but the verdict stood and the 28-year-old Scouser missed out on a medal.

Stalker, the Commonwealth champion in 2010 and ranked number one in the world, made a sluggish start but fought back well in rounds two and three at London’s ExCel Arena, although not enough to be awarded victory.

British team boxing captain Stalker, who is now expected to turn professional, was clearly distressed when the judges’ scores were announced and refused to speak to the media as he rushed into the sanctuary of the dressing room.

He later tweeted: “Absolutely heartbroken.. them judges have wrecked my life! From the bottom of my heart I won that fight and there’s nothin I can do about it.”

Former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis was among those ringside who said he felt Stalker had beaten Uranchimeg, and BBC co-commentator Richie Woodhall said: “Stalker did enough there in that last round to win that.”

Dave Alloway, the Team GB podium coach, told the Liverpool Echo: “It was a close contest, he gave it his best shot but that’s the way it is. He’s obviously devastated, he desperately wanted a medal from his home Olympics but it wasn’t to be.

Tom Stalker fighting Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg © BBC Sport

“The last round was very close. I thought the judges could have given it to Thomas but that’s the way the judges see it, but I don’t think he could have done any more.

“He’s inconsolable. To lose by one point, one shot, one scoring blow is the hardest thing ever.”

Liverpool’s other medal hope in the ring, lightweight Natasha Jonas, also missed out as she came up against Ireland’s superstar boxer Katie Taylor in the quarter-final, and lost 26-15 despite a valiant effort in a great fight against the eventual champion.

Jonas won her opening bout 21-13 against USA’s Queen Underwood, as female boxing made its Olympics debut at London 2012.

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