London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Marcus Browne’s dream of winning Olympic gold came to a heartbreaking end in his first fight when he was outpointed by Australian Damien Hooper via scorecards, 13-11, Sunday in the light heavyweight division, snapping the Americans’ winning streak in the Summer Games at four.
Browne, a 6-2, 178-pound fighter from Staten Island, was ahead by 6-5 in the scorecard entering the third and final round but Hooper was the more aggressive fighter, landing a series of punches in the last two minutes of the fight.
Hooper sealed the victory with a right to the head that staggered the American, forcing the referee to pause the bout for a standing-eight count.
“I could see it in his eyes and his body language that he didn’t want to be here,” said Hooper.
“I didn’t listen to my corner. My corner said to take it to him. I did it for a little bit but not the whole round. I had a one-point lead and that’s really nothing. I definitely waited too long,” said Browne, who was dubbed by long-time trainer and NBC boxing analyst Teddy Atlas as the most naturally gifted U.S. boxer in the event.
“My corner told me more speed, less power and I didn’t listen but this isn’t a setback, it’s a learning experience,” added Browne, who said he will stay and support the boxing team throughout the event.
Earlier, bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr. won a 19-9 decision over Pavlo Ishchenko of Ukraine while Terrell Gausha bested Andranik Hakobyan of Armenia in a fight stopped by the referee in the final seconds.
Lightweight Jose Ramirez beat Rachid Azzedine of France, 21-20 while welterweight Errol Spence outscored Brazil’s Myke Ribeiro de Carvalho 16-10.
The United States has 12 fighters in the Olympics, more than any other country, including medal favorite flyweight Rau’shee Warren and three women fighters Marlen Esparza, Queen Underwood and Claressa Shields.