RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 11, 2016 (BSS/AFP)- Colourful Ecuadoran Carlos Mina resorted to the brutal street fighting of his troubled youth to scrap his way into the next round of the Rio Olympic boxing on Wednesday.
His victim, the light-heavyweight world silver medallist Joe Ward from Ireland, accused Mina of being “very wild” and deploying underhand tactics on the way to a split-decision victory in favour of Mina.
But the 24-year-old Mina, who played to the crowd on his entry into the arena, was unapologetic.
“My background on the street in Ecuador really helped me in this fight because I’ve been in a few scuffles myself and it’s often a case of ditching the original plan and just finding a way to knock the other guy down,” said Mina.
“In the first five to 10 seconds I was quite reserved and I was holding back. But then I realised that was no good and I realised I just had to get in there, which made it much more physical.”
Ward, 22, who was just the latest Irish medal hope to go out the competition, was unimpressed and blamed the referee for failing to rein Mina in.
“I wanted to fight. I was the guy who was looking for the fight while he was jumping and holding, fighting on the inside, very messy,” Ward said.
“He was very wild the whole way through the fight. I was in control. He was just messing up, pulling, dragging and making me look like I was holding, but I wasn’t.