(LONDON, ENGLAND) – Middleweight Terrell Gausha (Cleveland, Ohio) has proven that he has a flare for the dramatic in the ring and he showcased that trait in explosive fashion with a last second stoppage win over Armenia’s Andranik Hakobyan in his Olympic opener. The bout went into the final minute in doubt and Gausha refused to leave it to the judges, putting Hakobyan down twice in the final seven seconds before the referee called a halt to the contest in the last second.
The middleweight preliminary round bout was highly contested through all nine minutes of action with each of the boxers enjoying their moments of success. Both boxers were busy in the first round, landing sharp punches and looking for openings and it was Hakobyan taking the 4-3 lead after one. The punch output dropped in the second as the contest became more tactical and the third round began with Hakobyan holding a one-point lead.
Gausha came out firing in the third, but as the contest moved into the final 30 seconds, the outcome was still in doubt. Yet the American refused to leave it in the judges hands, he landed a double jab, right hand combination flush to the Armenian’s chin with less than 10 seconds remaining, sending Hakobyan to the canvas. The Armenian managed to get up but Gausha stayed on the offensive, dropping him once again with a left hook in the final second. The referee stopped the bout as the clock hit triple zeros and Gausha won his first bout of the 2012 Olympic Games in thrilling fashion.
“Going into the third round, I knew I had to leave it all in the ring. I didn’t want to have any excuses or wish that I had done something. I just wanted to leave it all out there,” Gausha said. “I threw a double jab and a right hand (for the first knockdown) and it caught him right on the chin. I dropped him twice and the referee stopped the fight.”
“This is definitely a confidence booster but I’m still taking it one day at a time. This is just the first fight, I still have a ways to go,” he said. Gausha will return to action on Thursday in a second round match-up with India’s Vijender.
Due to fundraising efforts by his local community, Gausha’s mother and sister were able to travel to London and cheered him on to victory in Saturday night’s bout.
Two American boxers will compete in preliminary action on Sunday as lightweight Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.) takes on France’s Rachid Azzedine and welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas) faces Brazil’s Myke Carvalho de Ribeiro. Both boxers will compete in Sunday’s evening action with Ramirez competing at 9:30 p.m. London time (4:30 p.m. ET) and Spence boxing at 10 p.m. London time (5 p.m. ET).
165 lbs: Terrell Gausha, Cleveland, Ohio/USA stopped Andranik Hakobyan, RSC-3
Terrell Gausha quotes
“I didn’t know the exact time (when he knocked him down), but I have a mental clock in my head. I’ve been around for the game for awhile so I knew I was cutting it close.”
“I felt it was a close fight, I wasn’t sure if I was winning (before the knockdowns). It was too close for comfort so I had to go for it.”
“He was bigger but it’s all about the heart.”
“I had a little nerves going into the fight because it was the first one but I was confident that I was going to pull the win off.”
“I always try to gain a little bit from every fight so I took some things from this fight. I always get better as I progress in the tournament.”
“I heard my family. I heard my team cheering but I was kind of focused on the fight. I heard the crowd cheering Armenia and I used it as motivation for me.”
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).