World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman did not see any controversy in last weekend’s undisputed title fight between lightweights Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Haney retained his WBC, IBF, WBO, WBA titles by winning a close twelve round unanimous decision over Lomachenko at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The scores were 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113.
In the aftermath, there was a lot of controversy over judge Dave Moretti’s card of 116-112. Most observers felt the contest could have been a draw or a close points win for Lomachenko.
Sulaiman saw no issues with the scoring of Haney-Lomachenko, and he also agreed with the scoring in Chantelle Cameron’s big decision win over Katie Taylor to retain her undisputed crown at junior welterweight.
“Both fights were in front of completely packed arenas and they resulted in very close fights, razor thin decisions, but with the best possible quality, both technically and emotionally, as well as dramatic. It was up to the judges to determine the winner, and as often happens in our beloved sport, whenever there is a close fight, the decision was controversial and opinions were divided among fans and the world’s media, especially in the Haney vs. Lomachenko. Boxing is bound to be controversial and come under fire from the press and fans whenever there is a big fight and it turns out to be close,” Sulaiman said.
“There is a big difference between what the three judges who score the fights see versus what absolutely everyone else sees, whether it be in the front row, the last seat in the arena, or on television. In no way do I intend to justify failures that have stained our sport. There have definitely been inexplicable scores, difficult to understand and much more to accept. This happens due to the official’s incompetence, inability, inexperience, or simply having a bad night, which happens to all of us. What I want to point out is that boxing is an honorable sport.
“Chantelle Cameron went to Ireland and won at Taylor’s home, a close fight, but based on great boxing, aggressiveness, and forcefulness. Devin Haney defeated crowd favorite Lomachenko based on great body punching, ring command and actions. Both fights were very close, any result could be accepted: either fighter winning by one round or a draw, therefore there was no robbery, as the social networks shout everywhere. Let’s be responsible and admit the facts, two great events happened and boxing won, don’t let the bandwagon of negativism carry you towards tarnishing our sport.”