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Opetaia dignified in defeat

AUSSIE, Aussie, Aussie ... gone, gone, gone.

But not without a fight, especially a brave one from 17-year-old heavyweight Jai Opetaia.

The youngest Aussie to ever box in an Olympics, Opetaia made a real fist of his showdown against the world No.1 Teymur Mammadov, going agonisingly close to pulling off one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history.

The bout was tied at nine-all when the bell sounded to start the third and final round. Three minutes later, Opetaia appeared to have dethroned his Azerbaijani opponent - the judges didn't agree, voting 12-11 in favour of Mammadov.

Although his Olympic dream was over, Opetaia showed plenty of character by refusing to criticise the judges.

"I'm just devastated, devastated," Opetaia said. "I thought I fought really well, but it's up to the judges and they didn't give it to me.

"This is just the stepping stone to where I want to go - the next step is Rio.

"I'm going for the gold medal in 2016."

Meanwhile Johan Linde, who crunches numbers for a living at the Department of Treasury and Finance in Adelaide, found himself on the canvas after a crunching right hook from China's Zhilei Zhang in the second round and the fight was stopped.

To complete a disappointing night, Ibrahim Balla lost 14-10 against sixth-seeded Bulgarian Detelin Dalakliev.
Welterweight Cameron Hammond will fly the Aussie flag tonight when he takes on Canadian Custion Clayton in the round of 16 (at midnight AEST).

Hammond defeated Nigeria's Moustapha Abdoulaye Hima 13-6 in his preliminary round bout.

Topics:  london olympics


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