Whateley bows out of boxing

Published 7 August 2016 (AEDT)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06: Juan Goncalves Nogueira of Brazil and Jason Whateley of Australia compete in their Men's heavy 91 kg Preliminaries bout on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 6 on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. © 2016 Getty Images

BOXING: Australian heavyweight Jason Whateley’s Olympic dream is over at the hands of Brazilian Juan Nogueira and deafening home-crowd support in the preliminary round of the first Olympic boxing session at Riocentro today.

The 25-year-old Victorian was booed as he entered the ring, shortly after an unbelievable roar filled the stadium in support of the hometown hero, who was awarded the bout with a unanimous 3-0 decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27).

Whately qualified for Rio after securing a bronze medal at the 2016 Asia/Oceanic Olympic Qualification Tournament in China in April. He also won back-to-back national heavyweight titles in 2015 and 2016, after four successive silver medals.

Australia’s hopes of ending their 28-year Olympic boxing medal drought now rest with Olympic debutants Daniel Lewis, 22, and Shelley Watts, 28.

Lewis will make his debut on Tuesday (August 9), drawing Poland’s Tomasz Jablonski from a field of 28 in the middleweight (75kg) class.

If successful he faces Uzbekistan’s No. 2 seed Bektemir Melikuziev on Friday (August 12) and needs to win four bouts to make the gold medal round.

In the women’s lightweight division (57-60kg), Watts, Australia’s Commonwealth Games champion, has drawn the youngest boxer in the field of 12, Italian Irma Testa, 18, for her debut on Friday.

If successful, her next fight will be against the French No. 2 seed and current world champion Estelle Mossely.

Tracie Edmondson

olympics.com.au

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