The Seoul Olympics closed Sunday on a sour note for America with a boxing decision that didn't ring true. Flo Jo still shined solid gold, but the Games were a big silver heist for Roy Jones.
The head of the International Amateur Boxing Association said it looked like Jones won his bout with South Korean Park Si-hun, and the U.S. boxing coach said he saw a Korean trying to bribe some judges.At 19 the youngest of the U.S. boxers, Jones controlled everything but the decision. He scored at will and totally dominated Park, but he lost 3-2 in the 156-pound gold medal final at the Seoul Olympics.
"I thought I had beaten him to a point where I couldn't be robbed," Jones said. "Unfortunately, I was."
Anwar Chowdhry of Pakistan, president of AIBA, told NBC he thought the decision was unfair, adding: "Unfortunately, in boxing we have been having bad decisions in every international tournament."
He then revealed that AIBA had picked Jones as the outstanding boxer of the tournament.
Coach Ken Adams said he saw a Korean offer money to some of the judges for the Jones fight, and he said he reported it to U.S. officials.
"I saw somebody show some gold and somebody opening a wallet," Adams said. "There were pieces of gold wrapped in a rag. I don't know whether they took it or not. I'm not saying they took it."
After the decision was announced, Jones put his face in his towel, obviously shocked and upset with the decision, and he left the ring a disappointed silver medalist.
NBC's CompuBox credited Jones with landing 86 punches to 32 for the Korean. The Hungarian and Soviet judges scored it lopsidedly for Jones. The judges from Uruguay, Morocco and Uganda gave it narrowly to Park.
Andrew Maynard came back with a 5-0 decision over Soviet Nourmagomed Chanavazov at 178 pounds, and it was some consolation, but not for Jones, who said he may now quit boxing.
"The only way I was going to turn pro was if I won the gold medal," Jones said. "I did my best, but sometimes your best don't do it for you. ... It was my dream to get a gold medal, but I think that's the end of the line for boxing."
In the final fight of the Games, Canadian Lennox Lewis stopped American Riddick Bowe in the second round to win the super heavyweight division, a final blow to the team that wanted to forget Montreal.
Two U.S. boxers won gold on Saturday - Kennedy McKinney and Ray Mercer - and the U.S. team now had three gold, three silver and two bronze.
In the final day of the Games, the Soviets had 131 medals, 55 gold. East Germany had 102, and 37 gold, while the United States had 93 and 35 gold.
Argentina beat Brazil 15-10, 15-17, 15-8, 12-15, 15-9 to win the volleyball bronze medal, with the United States facing the Soviet Union later for the gold.
Florence Griffith Joyner won three gold medals and, when she went for a fourth on Saturday, she just ran out of Flo go. No more gold for the flashy lady in the red tights and painted talons.
Evelyn Ashford ran down the Soviet bloc, helping Griffith Joyner win her third gold medal in the 400-meter relay, but, with Flo Jo at anchor, the women could do no better than second in the 1,600-meter relay.
The U.S. men, on the other hand, tied the 20-year-old world record in their 1,600 relay for another gold, anchored by 400-meter world record-holder Butch Reynolds.
Greg Barton gave America its first kayak gold medals ever, winning two, and U.S. wrestlers finished with five medals, two of them gold.