Anthony Cocks rocks the latest from the world of boxing in Australia
TEAM HOGAN DEMAND REMATCH AFTER MEXICO DEBACLE
The team behind junior middleweight contender Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan 28-2-1 (7) has issued a protest after the Brisbane-based Irishman was controversially outpointed by WBO 154-pound champion Jaime Munguia 33-0 (26) in Monterrey, Mexico on Saturday night.
Judge Richard Levine scored the bout a draw, while judge Rocky Young awarded the victory to the titleholder with a score of 115-113. But it was judge Waleska Roldan’s card of 116-112 for Munguia that raised the eyebrows of impartial observers.
The 34-year-old Hogan, originally from Kildare, Ireland, controlled much of the action with his movement and activity against the vaunted punching power of Munguia and clearly finished the fight the stronger of the two.
In the wake of the contentious result, broadcaster DAZN ran a poll on social media that saw 59% of respondents indicate they believed Hogan deserved the nod, with just 31% saying that the right man won. The remaining 10% felt a draw was the right decision.
This week the president of the WBO Paco Valcárcel said that he would order an independent panel of judges to review the scoring of the fight.
Just as concerning was the lack of post-fight drug testing, a protocol that Valcárcel said was supposed to take place.
“There was supposed to be testing,” Valcárcel told Yahoo Sports this week. “But the lab didn’t show up.”
Valcárcel added that the absence of the drug testing team would not be grounds for him to order a rematch.
“Not based on that,” Valcárcel said. “We have to presume the guy [Munguia] was clean. He has no history of any issues. The testing should have been done, but the lab didn’t show up, so there was nothing that could be done.”
Hogan believes the lack of testing only confirms his team’s claims of unfair bias in favour of the home fighter.
“How can there be no drug testing after a world title fight?” Hogan said in a statement to Yahoo Sports.
“This is 2019. I was waiting in the dressing room for one hour after the fight for the commission to come and check me and nobody turned up. This only adds more questions to what took place on Saturday night.”
Adding insult to injury, footage has emerged that appears to show Zanfer Promotions boss Fernando Beltrán and company employee Juan Carlos Torres lurking near the commission table between rounds. It has been alleged that they were reading the judges’ official scores and relaying that information to Munguia’s corner.
Zanfer Promotions co-promotes Munguia alongside Golden Boy Promotions but take the lead in all Mexican shows with Golden Boy providing assistance.
“Why is the promoter standing right behind a WBO supervisor during the fight and communicating with the corner?” Hogan asked.
“Fernando Beltrán offered me the rematch immediately. He said I deserve it. I want my rematch. I won that title.”
Hogan’s promoter Paul Keegan of DDP Sports is insistent that Munguia participate in a rematch rather than moving north in weight to 160-pounds.
“Dennis wants to right this wrong,” Keegan said to Irish-Boxing.com. “Remember there is a human aspect to boxing. If Jaime is the warrior I think he is, he will stay and fight the rematch, not vacate. The Mexican people want him to fight Dennis Hogan.
“Dennis walked into 20,000 Mexicans booing him and left to a standing ovation. Look at social media, it’s the Mexican boxing fans telling their fighter he lost.
“I hope Jaime is a man of his word stays at the weight and gives Dennis the rematch he deserves.”
BILAL AKKAWY READY TO STEP UP AGAINST JOHN RYDER
Sydney banger Bilal Akkawy 20-0-1 (16) has put his hand up to face John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder 27-4 (15) on the undercard of the middleweight unification bout between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 4.
The undefeated Australian super middleweight, who is one of Alvarez’s main sparring partners, was scheduled to appear on the card against Marco Antonio Periban. But with Ryder’s original opponent David Lemieux 40-4 (34) withdrawing from the bout after suffering a hand injury, Akkawy says he’s ready to fill the void in the main support bout.
“I’m ready for John Ryder! Let’s do it! Happy to step in for the injured David Lemieux,” Akkawy posted on social media this week, followed by a second post promising a big announcement.
Former IBF middleweight champion Lemieux was scheduled to make his 168-pound debut after struggling to make weight in recent bouts.
“Training camp was going really great,” the 30-year-old native of Montreal, Canada said. “I felt in tremendous shape, the strongest I’d ever felt in my entire career. But I will be back soon. Hopefully the fans will understand. I promise I will make it up to them once I’m healed.”
SAM SOLIMAN RETIRES AFTER POSTING FINAL CAREER WIN
Former IBF middleweight champion Sam ‘King’ Soliman 46-14-1 (19) closed out his professional boxing career with a clear-cut 12-round points win over Mark Lucas 9-2 (3) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Australia last Friday night.
The popular 45-year-old Melburnian was awarded the victory by scores of 120-108 and 118-110 twice.
“Mark Lucas is a former OPBF champion and was a very tough opponent but no one was going to defeat me tonight in what is my final bout,” Soliman told Fightnews.com. “Training was perfect for me and what I was doing in the gym I was able to do against Lucas. The referee did a great job and let the both of us fight.
“The promoter Brian Amatruda said if I wasn’t 46 years of age and retiring he would have me boxing again in three weeks. He thought it was a very good performance.”
Soliman fought some of the best boxers of his era, including Winky Wright, Jermain Taylor, Felix Sturm, Sakio Bika and Anthony Mundine.
“The only fighter I would come out of retirement for would be Anthony Mundine who I boxed three times at super middleweight. I’m confident I would beat him at middleweight,” Soliman continued.
In 2014 Soliman travelled to Germany to win an unlikely points decision over IBF champion Sturm before losing the title in his first defence against Taylor in the USA five months later.
Soliman now plans to focus on training boxers at his gym in South Melbourne.
“I will be involved in boxing now as a trainer. I have four gun professional boxers and four gun amateurs at my gym – Sam’s Stable,” he said.