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U.S. Olympians Ramirez, Gausha lose heartbreakers in round 16

The U.S. Olympic boxing team’s losing streak continued at the 2012 Olympic Games on Thursday as lightweight Jose Ramirez and middleweight Terrell Gausha lost hotly contested bouts in round 16 of the tournament.

Ramirez, of Avenal, Calif., dropped a 15-11 decision to Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov while Gausha, of Cleveland, Ohio, lost a one-point heartbreaker to former Olympic medalist Vijender of India. Both were eliminated from the London Games.

Gaibnazarov was more active in the first round and the Uzbekistani boxer took a 6-2 lead. Ramirez picked up his output in the second round, particularly late in the round but faced a 12-5 deficit with three minutes remaining in the bout. Ramirez fired shots from bell-to-bell in the third round but his late efforts weren’t enough.

“I came out strong in the third,” Ramirez said. “I always have good conditioning but my slow start hurt. At the end, in the last round I tried to throw more punches, I know he was tired. I knew he didn’t have that much left. He just fought the smarter fight.

“I’m a little disappointed and a little emotional at the same time. It’s over now and I didn’t get the victory, but I know it will open bigger doors for the future.”

Less than an hour later, Gausha stepped through the ropes for his bout against Indian star Vijender. The opening round was a tactical match-up between the two skilled boxers and Vijender took a slim 4-3 lead. Gausha showcased his strong right hand and jab in the second, hoping to claim the lead in the bout, but Vijender maintained his one-point lead. The bout went into the final round up for grabs and the two boxers battled it out for the victory with several exciting exchanges highlighting the last three minutes.

However, Vijender pulled out a 16-15 decision that many observers believed could have gone to the American middleweight.

“I knew it was a close fight, I wasn’t sure which way they were going to go with the decision,” Gausha said. “I was just hoping that I got the nod because I put everything out there.

“I gave it everything. I thought I was doing good in the fight. I did everything they told me to do. I think it was working for me. I didn’t get the decision but its nothing to hold my head down about.”

Two more American boxers will compete on Friday night as three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren makes his 2012 Olympic Games debut in a flyweight contest with France’s Nordine Oubaali at 8:30 p.m. London time (3:30 p.m. ET). Welterweight Errol Spence will return to the ring for his second bout with India’s Krishan Vikas at 9:30 p.m. London time (4:30 p.m. ET).

Warren and Spence are the two remaining U.S. male participants while the three American women will open competition on August 5 and 6.

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