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Vijender cries foul after shock defeat
- Jury dismisses federation’s protest against decision

New Delhi: It was a day of disappointment at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium on Monday as star middleweight boxer Vijender Singh lost his semi-final bout against Anthony Ogogo of England under controversial circumstances.

Vijender’s defeat in the 75kg dampened the spirit of the capacity crowd, despite the fact that three Indian pugilists — M.Suranjoy Singh (52kg kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Paramjeet Samota (91kg) — made the finals for the first time in Commonwealth Games history.

With the entire stadium rooting for the Olympic bronze medallist, Vijender, who led 2-0 at the end of the second round, was twice warned by the Canadian referee in the third and the final round for hitting the opponent on the back and then for holding the rival.

It allowed the Englishman to take a 4-2 lead, and with only a few seconds left, Vijender was in no position to make a comeback.

While the crowd booed referee Michael Summers for his decisions and shouted slogans against the English boxer, the Indian team management was also upset with the outcome of the bout.

Minutes after the result was declared, the secretary general of the Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) filed a protest with the jury, against the decision.

However, the protest was rejected by the jury, late in the night after watching the video footage of the bout.

Vijender, who along with chief coach G.S.Sandhu initially walked off in a huff and refused to come out for the mandatory press conference, later lambasted the referee.

“It is a joke that a man, who could never land a punch at the right places throughout the bout, won on penalty points, and will play in the final, while I will have to remain content with a bronze medal,” said the World championships bronze medallist.

“I really didn’t understand what I was penalised for,” Vijender said. “If I was holding him, he too, was doing the same. The referee should have punished him too for the same offence.”

In the 64kg category, Manoj Kumar, who beat Valentino Knowles of Bahamas, was in control from the beginning and emerged a 3-1 winner. Knowles displayed ultra-defensive style but Manoj used his long reach in an effective manner to clinch the issue.

It was a treat to watch Suranjoy Singh in the 52kg bout. He battered his Pakistan opponent, Haroon Iqbal 6-3 with the kind of aggression that left the boxer from the other side of the border stranded.

While Manoj, Suranjoy and Samota, who defeated Tongo’s Junior Fa, will fight for gold medals on Wednesday, Amandeep Singh (49kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Dilbag Singh (69kg) and Vijender Singh (75kg) will get the bronze in their respective categories.

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