Double standard againt Iran in Olympics


Double standard againt Iran in Olympics
by Ari Siletz

Less than two minutes into the fight, Olympic boxing referee Frank Scharmach disqualified Iranian heavyweight boxer Ali Mazaheri for persistent “holding.”  The crowd booed the referee and even the Cuban opponent Jose Larduet appeared confused by the decision.  “Holding”--where you hug your opponent to keep him from punching you,--is a minor offense to the point where boxers build fighting strategies around its use. In fact, paraphrasing one American announcer commenting on the event, at least half the matches fought during the competition would have ended in disqualifications if the competitors were held to the same standards as were applied to Mazaheri.  

Here’s what HBO boxing columnist Bill Dettloff has to say about holding:  “No less an icon than Muhammad Ali, especially as he aged, got away with holding more than most. In his biggest fights, against George Foreman, Ken Norton, and especially Joe Frazier, Ali held repeatedly, typically whenever the opponent got close enough to negate Ali's advantage in hand and foot speed.”

To be sure, holding is against the rules and not very sportsmanlike, but boxing tradition gives a lot of leeway to the referee in calling it. Each referee seems to have a different philosophy on this kind of foul. For example retired world class referee Richard Steele believes that if the opponent seems eager to fight to get away from the hold, then the holder should be penalized. But if the other guy seems to be using the rest break as much as the offender then the ref has less right to interfere.  

Boxing judge Harold Ledderman has a different criterion, "If a guy gets punched in the jaw and gets hurt he's going to grab and hold so he doesn't get punched and hurt again. That's not illegal; that's human nature. You grab and hold so you don't fall down. There's nothing wrong with that and the referee has to understand that. The referee cannot say that that's not allowed." Ledderman makes a distinction between holding for survival and holding for strategic advantage. To be honest, Mazaheri’s fits in the latter category, but so do many other Olympic boxers who weren’t disqualified.

Then why was the German referee so hard on Ali Mazaheri? The answer may be because he could! Whenever there’s a regulation against an accepted tradition there’s room for double standards. The ref can be lenient to some referring to tradition and he can disqualify others by referring to regulations. Yet Mazaheri also had a part in this tragedy. He should have been careful not to give excuses to the ref to disqualify him. He failed to take into account the fact that on the international scene Iran is usually on the punishment side of the double standard. Whether the regulations deal with boxing or with nuclear technology.   


Link to disqualification video.


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by Faramarz on


I am glad that you brought up Ali's fighting style at the Olympics. Check out his fight for the Gold medal at 1960 Rome Olympics. He was fighting a shorter fighter who wanted to go inside. Ali's lateral movement and jabs kept the guy away. Exactly what Mazaheri should have done and actually did in the first round. Also, note that not even once Ali held the guy. Every time they got tangled up, Ali pushed the guy away and went back to his game plan.


Now look at Mazaheri's fighting style. He is a flat-footed, stand-up boxer very much in the style white, European heavy weights. He held the guy 7 times in the first round and got cautioned for it. In the second round, he abandoned his plan (lateral movement and jabs) maybe because of fatigue and started holding the guy. As I said this morning, his second warning was too quick, but the way he was fighting, it was just a matter of time before he was going to get more warnings and get disqualified.


I hope that it helped.


Pick your choice! Either get DQed against the Cuban or move up


to the next round, meet the US/Israeli boxer & get your @$$ kicked?

Shlomo would choose the former!.



by Frashogar on

Based on your reasoning, Muhammad Ali should have been DQ-d and suspended in every amateur, Golden Glove, Olympic and professional bout he ever fought because he held in the same clenching style as Mr Mazaheri - and he was the greatest of all time. What you're saying is not how boxing works, whether in the amateurs or the pros. I am with Ari and Mohammad Ala here, and so are all the celebrities of the sport who watched it. Mazaheri's holding/clench was also legal according to the amateur rules. He was not holding down the Cuban's head either in any flagrant manner which would indeed consistute a foul. If he had done that and been warned then, yes, the referee would've been fully within his rights to disqualify him after multiple warnings. But this didn't happen here. Mazaheri's holding was a legal clench.

On another point you made, Mazaheri's style is actually a pretty effective style against someone like the Cuban we saw. He was fighting the Cuban quite well in the middle ring using his reach advantage to a reasonably effective edge, jabbing him and then coming with the right cross, not to mention was scoring against the Cuban in the first round (at least according to my own score count) and so would've been ahead. It was the Cuban who was having trouble adjusting to Mazaheri when attempting to take the fight inside which is why the clenching happened. Otherwise it was all Mazaheri's fight. This is why many of the pros like Lennox Lewis are calling it a fix!

If I were Mazaheri I would be pretty pissed too. He did what I would do - and what Roy Jones sort of did in '88 - and snubbed his nose at the crooked referreeing. 



by Faramarz on



Everybody knows that both the professional and Olympic boxing have a history of bad officiating and corruption. I did not disagree with that. I just didn't buy into a conspiracy theory to disqualify an Iranian in favor of a Cuban.

It is interesting to note that earlier in the day, Japan's bantamweight Satoshi Shimizu was declared loser against an Azerbaijani boxer, but upon appeal that decision was reversed.

The proper way to deal with this problem was for the Iranian athlete to have conducted himself properly, shaken hands with the ref and then file a protest with the committee. And we can fault the management of the sports in Iran for all these problems.

As for the comment by Mr. Ala, once a warning is issued, the ref can only issue another warning and then a disqualification. You don't get additional cautions. It is like getting a yellow card. Once you get that and you commit a bad foul again, it is a second yellow (which means a red) or a direct red card. And you can get them within seconds of the first card. 

There is nothing in the rule books that says how many warning per round or how quickly you should get them.

At the end of the day, Mazaheri is a tall boxer with not much lateral movement and is vulnerable to a shorter fighter who comes in and mixes it up with him closely. At the age of 30, and with years of experience he should have known how to fight that style, instead of grabbing the guy on the back of the head.

Soosan Khanoom

The refree is actually suspended now , due to this...

by Soosan Khanoom on


Ari Siletz

Dr. Ala

by Ari Siletz on

Many thanks for the link you provided which also reveals other scandals and controversies surrounding AIBA's conduct. It is blatantly unreasonable and unfair that even though Frank Scharmach's fiasco of a refereeing job has been admitted by AIBA, the association still  does not allow Mazaheri to appeal. It is like a judge  throwing you in jail based on false evidence and the legal system still refusing to let you out even after your innocence has been established!!  This must be very frustrating for our Kermanshahi countryman, Ali Mazaheri. My symphathies are with him.



by Frashogar on

In defense of Mr Ala, not all holding in boxing should be considered a foul and if you watch the bout, the Iranian boxer's holding should not have been considered a foul at all because it is the same kind of legal clench that all fighters engage in close quarters. All experts, including former professional fighters such as Lennox Lewis, have said exactly the same thing. This match was fixed and even officials who have barred the referree seem to hint at it! As such the DQ was not fair at all.


Match fixing is endemic to Olympic Boxing

by Frashogar on

As I showed on another blog - which seems to have gone missing! - boxing controversies over judging and referreeing have become a feature of the event. One of the biggest robberies in the history of the event happened to an American during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The boxer Roy Jones Junior was robbed by the South Korean judges of a bout he clearly won. The judges had obviously fixed the match. Here is a History Channel segment about it: //


A Thing or Two about Boxing

by Faramarz on



Here are some rules to correct the misstatements made here by Mr. Ala.

Cautions, Warnings, Disqualifications

"The competitor who does not obey
the instructions of the Referee, acts against the Rules of boxing, boxes
in any unsportsmanlike manner, or commits fouls, can, at the discretion
of the Referee, be cautioned, warned or disqualified. A Referee may,
without stopping a contest, caution a boxer at some safe opportunity. If
he intends to warn a boxer, he shall stop the contest, and will
demonstrate the infringement. He will then point to the boxer and to
each of the five Judges. A Referee having once administered a warning
for a particular foul, i.e., holding, cannot issue a caution for the
same type of offence.
A third caution for the same type of foul will
mandatorily require a warning to be issued. Only three warnings may be
given to the same boxer in one contest. The third warning brings
automatic disqualification."

Mohammad Ala

New LOW for boxing sport in London 2012

by Mohammad Ala on

Ari jan; out of respect for you, I will post a comment here and mention few things.  I am tired of IC members who cannot see beyond their nose and their comments are transparent of their character(s) and hate.

Ali Mazaheri is a tall person, naturally in his fight with short Cuban his hands would fall down.  The Cuban used a strategy to get into Mazaheri’s chest which limited Ali’s reach.

The referee made several gross mistakes.  The third warning was too quick without giving a required caution.  In no boxing match in Olympics, three warnings are given in one period let alone in less than ONE minute.

The referee set new low(s) for boxing sport and received only five days of no refereeing for his punishment.  This proves that he made a mistake.  This seems a very small punishment.

The referee gets 5 days suspension which is admission of his fault, yet the Iranian fighter who shook hands with the Cubans cannot file an appeal?  New lows for London Olympics.


To All Couch Potatoes

by Faramarz on



Just in case the couch potatoes and the pro-Regime cyber warriors missed the action here, the Iranian boxer got disqualified against a CUBAN boxer, not an Israeli, American or British.

Based on your world view, if an Iranian competes against a Cuban or a N. Korean or a Hamas/Hezbollahi athlete, they both will be disqualified!


Having no interest or stomach for the sport of boxing…

by Bavafa on

As I view it as a barbaric sport,


It would be a shame if this decision has been driven by politics specially with the constant crying foul we hear about involving politics and Olympics.


Another observation is the sad state of our countrymen support or lack of for the ordinary Iranians, some here as sports men/women, due to our hate of the regime in Iran.



'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Boxing: Judges under fire amid "fix" claims

by Frashogar on


By Padraic Halpin

LONDON (Reuters) – Olympic
judges and referees came under fire on Wednesday with one fighter
accusing them of “a fix”, another successfully appealing a loss and even
boxing great Lennox Lewis questioning some of their calls.

Iran’s Ali Mazaheri cried foul when the heavyweight was
disqualified after being warned three times for persistent holding
against Cuban Jose Larduet Gomez despite leading by two points going
into the second round.

“It was a fix. I could have got a bronze easily if it
hadn’t been for that,” an irate Mazaheri, who walked out of the ring
before the decision was officially announced, told reporters through a

“In my previous fights I had done really well. It was a set up.”

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA)
responded to Mazaheri’s allegations in an email to Reuters, saying:
“The Iranian boxer received three warnings during his bout.

“According to Rule 12.2.1 of the AIBA
Technical & Competition Rules, ‘only three warnings may be given to
the same boxer in one contest. The third warning brings automatic

Two bouts earlier, Japan’s bantamweight Satoshi Shimizu,
trailing by seven points going into the last round against Magomed
Abdulhamidov, knocked the Azerbaijani down six times, the first of which
he struggled to get up from.

The judges scored the round 10-10, handing Shimizu two
extra points for a warning against Abdulhamidov, who propped himself up
against the top rope as the referee raised his hand in victory.

The 25-year-old fighter was helped out of the ring by his trainer and Shimizu’s team appealed the outcome.

The Japanese boxer’s team leader Masamori Yamane accused
the referee of trying to support Abdulhamidov by attempting to fix his

After deliberating for over an hour, AIBA
said that under its rules, the referee should have given the
Azerbaijani fighter “at least” three standing counts which would have
resulted in the contest being stopped.

They, therefore, overturned the result, handing victory to Shimizu, who was staggered by the original decision hours earlier.

“I was shocked about the result. He fell down so many
times. Why didn’t I win? I don’t understand,” Shimizu told reporters,
adding he thought the referee should have stopped the fight with
Abdulhamidov obviously groggy in the final round.

“This is the second Olympics I have attended and even in
Beijing I wasn’t happy about the judgement, so I don’t know what to do
about that. I am really not happy about that.”

AIBA officials will consider on Thursday whether to sanction the referee in Shimizu’s bout, the association said in a statement.

In December last year, an AIBA-appointed investigation
committee dismissed allegations that Azerbaijan was promised two boxing
gold medals the London Olympics in exchange for a $10-million loan to
the sport’s ruling body.

In a statement released at the time, the Special Investigation Committee (SIC)
said the report aired on September 23 on the British broadcaster the
BBC’s Newsnight programme was “groundless and unsupported by any
credible evidence”.

Before sitting down to commentate on the session for
British radio, former world heavyweight champion Lewis said he was
impressed by the talent on show but had concerns about the judging.

“What I’m concerned about is probably the judging. You
never know who is going to win until the end of the fight,” said
Britain’s Lewis, a dual citizen who won gold for Canada in 1988.

(Editing by Alison Wildey and John O’Brien)


The usual gang suffering from Stockholm syndrome

by MeyBokhor_Manbarbesuzan on

The usual gang suffering from Stockholm syndrome and their usual whitewash. What else is expected?


Whatever is the reason, this is

by Cost-of-Progress on

Yet another example of how much of a pariah state Iran has become.  Thanks to the regime of the unelected clergy for we are only friends with thugs, outlaws and 6th world nations...... (and we have to pay them to be our buddies)


 Women’s Olympic

by vildemose on

 Women’s Olympic Inequality Protest

Women demand: End gender bias at Olympics





All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir

Anonymous Observer

Obviously a Jewish conspiracy

by Anonymous Observer on



Double Standard or Poor Officiating

by Faramarz on




I am not into conspiracy theories and I believe that the referee was too aggressive in giving the second and the third warning, but consider the following points.

Most boxing fans are used to professional boxing. But amateur/Olympic boxing is a completely different sport when it comes to scoring points and officiating. 

A referee in professional boxing is almost a "facilitator" who stays out of the way and let the boxers go at it. An Olympic referee on the other hand is constantly involved in the action, much like a wrestling ref.

Once Mazaheri got the caution and then the first warning, he should have known that the ref is going to call the fight "very tight" and he should have backed off quicker. He also had the edge in height, reach and above all, in experience. He could have used his jabs and kept dancing and not mixing it up as much.

Oh well.