They booed when Russia's Evgeny Tishchenko was named the Olympic heavyweight boxing champion, they booed during the medal ceremony, and they booed before and after the Russian anthem was played.

Spectators protested with disbelief Monday when gold was awarded to the reigning world champion after his Olympic bout with Kazakh boxer Vassiliy Levit.

The three judges counted 29-28, 29-28 and 29-28 in favour of the Russian, but the result belied the impression of fans and reporters that former kickboxer Levit was the more active hitter over wide stretches of the three rounds.

The Kazakh with the shaved head started the bout with relentless attacks, while the taller Russian kept his cool and hit back with blows to the head in between the pummeling.

While the judges saw Levit ahead early, their scores put Tishchenko in the lead after the first break, even though he seemed to be on the defensive, getting punched into the ropes in the second round.

In the third, the 28-year-old Levit briefly brought Tishchenko to the ground.

The 25-year-old Russian spent a long time in the corner to be treated for a cut, but when he came back, he dealt a few strong blows to Levit in the final seconds of the match.

"I was thinking that I won," Levit told reporters, summing up his feelings just before the winner was announced. "But you see how it ended up."

The crowd in the sparsely filled arena clearly sided with the Kazakh, who was seen as the underdog despite his current Asian champion title. People roared with anger and shouted "Kazakhstan! Kazakshstan!" long after it had become clear that the Kazakh won only silver.

"It is really a pity that people on the stands reacted like that," Tischchenko said.

"Maybe things looked different from the side.

"The judges gave me the medal, so they had a reason for it," he concluded.

In the semis, Levit had beat another gold contender, Cuban Erislandy Savon, who earned bronze.

Uzbek boxer Rustam Tulaganov took the second bronze medal after losing to Tishchenko.

Related stories

Latest news

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.