An­gry WBA chief de­mands re­match af­ter shock de­ci­sion

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TOKYO: The head of the World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (WBA) has de­manded a re­match af­ter French­man Has­san N’Dam won the mid­dleweight ti­tle on a con­tro­ver­sial split de­ci­sion over Ja­pan’s Ry­ota Mu­rata.

N’Dam took the va­cant world ti­tle in Tokyo on Satur­day de­spite be­ing knocked down by the 2012 Olympic cham­pion Mu­rata and tak­ing pun­ish­ment for much of the fight.

“Af­ter judg­ing the bout (in­de­pen­dently) my score­card is 117-110 for Mu­rata,” WBA pres­i­dent Gil­berto Men­doza said on Twit­ter yes­ter­day.

“First of all, let me apol­o­gise to Ry­ota Mu­rata... and all Ja­panese box­ing fans. There are no words to re­pair the dam­age.

“I will de­mand the cham­pi­onship com­mit­tee to or­der a direct re­match.”

Two judges scored in favour of N’Dam, one by 116-111 and the other by 115-112, trig­ger­ing boos from the Ja­panese crowd. The other judge gave the fight to Mu­rata 117-110.

“I feel an­gry and (frus­trated) for not be­ing able to serve the sport with the right de­ci­sions,” tweeted Men­doza.

“I am dis­ap­pointed with the con­tro­versy. My goal is to have clear de­ci­sions and prove trans­parency to all box­ing fans.”

Mu­rata ap­peared to dom­i­nate the fight, floor­ing N’Dam with a right hook in the fourth round and wob­bling him on sev­eral other oc­ca­sions.

N’Dam sank to his knees as the scores were an­nounced and af­ter­wards claimed he had de­served to win.

“I thought I won more rounds than him,” said the Cameroon-born French­man. “Even af­ter I was knocked down I stuck to my game plan.”

Mu­rata, hop­ing to be­come only Ja­pan’s sec­ond mid­dleweight world cham­pion, and first in 22 years, re­fused to make ex­cuses af­ter a first de­feat in 13 pro­fes­sional fights, but in­sisted: “He didn’t hit me with a sin­gle punch that hurt me.”

Ak­i­hiko Honda, pres­i­dent of Mu­rata’s Teiken Gym, made no at­tempt to hide his con­tempt for the con­tentious de­ci­sion that saw N’Dam im­prove his record to 36-2.

“It’s ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous,” he fumed. “Our fight went per­fectly to plan. It’s the worst judg­ing de­ci­sion I’ve ever seen. There’s no way that was a de­feat.” AFP

AP PIC

French­man Has­san N’Dam cel­e­brates his win as Ja­panese chal­lenger Ry­ota

Mu­rata (right) re­turns to his cor­ner af­ter their WBA mid­dleweight world ti­tle match on Satur­day.

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