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Rio de Janeiro • He knew what was coming, so when the ring announcer confirmed it and the referee raised the hand of his opponent, Gary Antuanne Russell merely dropped his head ever so slightly and, guided by the referee, pivoted to his left — and looked right into the eyes of his father. Gary Russell Sr. had spent the entire three-round fight leaning against a railing just beyond the ring, and now he was trying to figure out what he was going to say to his son in the worst moment of the latter's burgeoning career.

"You did your thing, Shorty," Russell Sr., the patriarch of the fighting Russell family of Capitol Heights, Md., eventually told his latest familial protégé, as he recounted later. "I didn't have the money to buy the judges."

The younger Russell, the latest in a line of accomplished Gary Russells, was led toward the NBC ringside announcers, who put a microphone to his mouth, and Russell told them, "Disappointment. I feel like I dishonored my family."

But that was not the case. All Russell had done Tuesday afternoon at the Riocentro Pavilion 6 was lose his bout by a split decision — and a controversial one at that — in the quarterfinals of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. On a day when U.S. teammate Shakur Stevenson advanced to the semis with an easy victory, clinching at least a bronze medal, Russell's Olympics ended one victory shy of a medal. It sent him back to Maryland, where he soon will begin a professional career, without the thing he came here to win.

"I set a bar for myself very high. I'm trying to live up to the family legacy, and then some," Russell said. "I wouldn't have poured myself into it ⅛just⅜ to make it to the medal round. I didn't come here for the bronze; I came here for the gold."

It was little consolation to Russell that his father, his coaches and the greatest fighter of this generation all believed, to a man, that Russell had beaten Uzbekistan's Fazliddin Gaibnazarov, despite the 2-1 split decision in the latter's favor.

"It's a crying shame," U.S. head coach Billy Walsh said of the judges' decision. "It's distressing."

"The punches he landed were clear," U.S. assistant coach Augie Sanchez said. "He was rocking this kid. He landed the cleaner shots. He backed [Gaibnazarov] up the whole fight. He had the pressure. He had the punches. I mean, what more do you gotta do?"

"You're up close — and you can't score the fight right?" said Kay Koroma, another U.S. assistant. "I don't know how Gary lost any round. The [other] kid couldn't get a punch off on Gary. It was ridiculous to me. Gary just totally shut him down. It was just beautiful. For them to stick him up like that, it's just bad."

"He won the fight," Gary Russell Sr. said. "Everybody knows he won."

"I thought Gary Russell got robbed today," said former five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather, who was in the stands watching.

Russell, 20, had hoped to use a gold medal to propel himself into the professional career has been planning for years. He had hoped to redeem the disappointment of his brother, Gary Russell Jr., who, in 2008, was in Beijing getting ready for his first fight of the Olympics when he collapsed while trying to make his weight, his Olympics ending before he even stepped into the ring.

"I'm proud of my son," said Gary Russell Sr., who trains Gary Antuanne, just as he has with all his sons who fight: Gary Jr. and Gary Antonio and Gary Allan. "He represented the family. He represented the USA. I'm still happy we're here in Brazil. A lot of people can't say that."

Olympic boxing, however, appears to have another judging crisis on its hands — and not only because of this one controversial decision. Three bouts before Russell's loss, Irish champion Michael Conlan, a bronze medalist in London, yanked off his top and appeared to make an obscene gesture at the judges after they ruled he had lost a unanimous decision.

"The judging has been atrocious. The last time I saw it this bad was in Seoul in 1988," said Walsh, referring to the infamous Olympics at which American Roy Jones Jr. was denied the gold medal in a decision that led to a revamping of the scoring system.

Asked if he believed the scoring was merely bad, or whether something more nefarious was going on, Walsh paused for a moment and said, "I don't know. I'd like to believe everybody's honest."

As for the fighting Russell family, Gary Antuanne was to be the last of the line. His professional moniker, he said, will be Gary "The Last" Russell. And no time too soon. Gary Russell Sr. has seen enough of the amateur game to know he doesn't want to see any more.

Except that there's another Gary Russell, Gary Darreke, who has lately started talking about wanting to join the family enterprise.

"This kid, he can punch - either hand. It's freakish," Gary Sr. said, getting animated again. But then he sighed and added: "I'm hoping he doesn't want to do it."