It is cheating, says Manoj after Olympic ouster

London: Indian boxer Manoj Kumar (64kg) cried "cheating" as he made a controversial exit from the Olympics, losing a thrilling pre-quarterfinal bout to home favourite Thomas Stalker at the ExCel Arena here.

The 26-year-old Manoj fought well but appeared to be distinctly unlucky not to get points as the British boxer managed a 20-16 victory last night to move into the quarterfinals.

"It doesn`t look fair because he was going in one direction and the scores 7-4 and 9-4 to him don`t justify that," the dejected Commonwealth Games gold-medallist said after the loss.

"It doesn`t look like an Olympic Games but more like a district competition because if it`s Great Britain in the ring it doesn`t matter who`s against them. It`s like a district competition where there`s lots of cheating, cheating, cheating," he added.

Stalker won the first round 7-4 and maintained his lead by winning the second round 9-5. The Indian then launched an all out attack in the third and last round which he claimed 7-4 but some debatable judging ultimately saw him leave the arena disappointed.

The Indian camp understandably was furious with the decision and strongly felt that Manoj was at the receiving end of some dubious point calls.

India`s Cuban coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez said Manoj should have won the other two rounds as well as he fought in the same manner. "The last round was 7-4 (to Kumar). Why no other rounds? All rounds were the same. It was very poor judging," he said. On whether his boxer was "robbed", Fernandez said "I think so."

National coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu said "My athlete was extraordinary. You saw for yourself what happened. Why don`t you write what you want?"

Stalker, on the other hand, said he was happy with the result but felt he did not box as well as he could. "All I wanted to do was fight. In my next bout I know I will do better. I felt sluggish after the first round. Being in my hotel for the last week hasn`t done me any good," Stalker said.

"I just wanted to get the first fight out of the way. The fans got me through it. Being an Olympian is special. It was a tough fight and I felt I didn`t really box too well but a win is a win," he said.

"I felt like I needed to move my feet a bit more. The last round was not good. I think I went a bit more negative in the last round when I could have been more positive."

On his opponent questioning the judges` decision, he said "I have had fights when I thought I had won by more than I eventually won by. I just leave it to the judges. I would like to thank everyone who supported me."

The Indians have been at the wrong side of judges at the ongoing Games, losing a protest filed against Sumit Sangwan`s (81kg) first-round exit. Later, Vikas Krishan (69kg) was ousted despite being declared a winner initially after his American opponent won an appeal against his triumph.