Ian Chadband / AAP News
The Commonwealth Games debutant lost his bout after a controversial decision in the second round.
Alex Winwood’s Commonwealth Games dream has hit the canvas, leaving the gracious but shattered Australian boxer to admit feeling “robbed inside” by a controversial knock out defeat.
Winwood, seeking revenge for Olympic defeat by rangy Zambian Patrick Chinyemba, was left dumbfounded by a sharp right cross which sent him to the floor in the second round of his flyweight quarter-final bout on Thursday.
Bouncing quickly back to his feet ready to resume a fight he’d largely dominated in the opening round, the Perth-based fighter was left open-mouthed in astonishment when referee Maria Rizzardo called a halt to the contest.
To his credit, the distraught Winwood, who’d been fighting for at least guaranteed bronze, refused to make any more than the briefest protest to the Italian ref and later shook hands with her.
It was Winwood’s second defeat to the tricky, unorthodox Chinyemba, who had also earned a 4-1 points verdict against him at the Olympics – a decision wh ich prompted a frustrated reaction from the 25-year-old.
This time, he accepted his misfortune with better grace.
“I don’t want to look like a bad sport in front of the world – I think I did a poor effort of that at the Olympics, how I spoke afterwards. That’s not in me,” he said.
“It’s his day – but I do obviously feel robbed on the inside, but I’m not going to lower myself and my beliefs to make a fool of myself out there.
“I feel just a little bit robbed of an opportunity to prove myself. I felt I was fine (after the knock down), the call (from the referee) was a bit quick.
“She’s made her mind up – that’s what the referee’s there for – to protect us. It is what it is…”
The nifty Winwood, faster to the punch, had won the first round 4-1 on the judges’ cards but it all changed with one clipped left, followed by a big overhand right from the colourful Chinyemba, who was sporting the stripes of Zambia’s flag in his predominantly orange hairdo.
“I went down and the first thing in my mind is ‘here’s a chance to prove myself and show ’em what I’m made of’,” said Winwood.
“I was more than capable of coming back from adversity and I’m just disappointed I didn’t get that chance to show it.
“When I got drawn against him (Chinyemba), I was like, ‘I’ll get my redemption. I don’t need anyone else to do it, I can do it’. Now, I think he might go on and win it.”