Berto keeps US flag flying in boxing 'controversy'


BANGKOK: Teenager Andre Berto is the lone American left standing at boxing's World Amateur Championships after the squad was given a collective bloody nose, allegedly for their country's superpower status. 

The official web site of US amateur boxing, usaboxing.org, claimed yesterday that the team had faced 'clear anti-American sentiment' resulting in eight boxers being beaten in the first round. 

The US camp highlighted “controversial decisions” and that theme was re-visited on Wednesday night when lightweight Vicente Escobedo lost 22-21 on points to Husnu Kocabas of Holland. 

“I thought we had edged that one but, given what has happened here already, I am not that surprised at the result,” said US head coach Frank Gentile.  

“He (Kocabas) bullied our guy and scored points for that. 

“This has been one of those tournaments (when nothing goes right) - you get them now and then.  

“I have been very surprised at a lot of the decisions which went against us.” 

Nineteen-year-old Berto, who reckons his main asset in the ring is 'beast mentality', was never in danger of joining his 10 colleagues on the sidelines. 

He scored at will against Mezga Vadzim of Bulgaria and was 24-4 ahead on points when the referee stopped the contest early in the third round. 

Berto, who lists his favourite film as 'The Lone Soldier', is America's sole representative in the quarter-finals. – AFP 

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