How many low blows?? Referee has an awful night (Video)Written by Lee Cleveland
August 13, 2011
After a number of recent high profile fights were upstaged by some questionable judging decisions, it was the turn of the referee to detract from the main event last night as the Showtime Bantamweight tournament final and IBF World Title Fight between Joseph Agbeko & Abner Mares from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada last night ended in controversy.
Abner Mares, now 22-0-1 (13) got the majority decision (113-113, 115-111, 115-111) from the judges at ringside but Joseph Agbeko 28-3 (22) surely had justification in his post-fight criticism of referee Russell Mora and call for an immediate rematch.
I counted at least twenty low blows and ten requests from Mora for Mares to 'keep them up'.
At the conclusion of the fight Jim Gray made a beeline for Mora and after the result had been called Showtime wasted no time in getting the referee on camera to justify his handling of the fight.
Gray – "Russell Mora you just raised the arm of Abner Mares, the question is, would he have won without your help this evening?"
"I don't help the fighters" replied Mora, "I enforce the rules. First and foremost I have to enforce rules, those punches were on the beltline, it's a fair punch I have to call it fair, it would be unfair to give the other guy an advantage just because he says its low, I saw the punch, it's on the beltline, I got to call that a fair punch."
Gray – "Russell let's give you a chance to look at it again, because I would dispute it, Al Bernstein and I'm sure our audience would, tell us right now if you feel this is below the belt [tape showing the low blow is shown to Mora]- clearly way below, your thought?
Mora – "It has a different viewpoint from looking at it here in slow motion, from where I saw it live, I saw that is was a fair punch on the beltline, that was my call"
Gray – "But now you're seen it on a replay do you feel you've made a mistake?"
Mora – "I would like to take my time and see that"
Gray – "We can do it again let's take our time and ask the guys in the truck...."
Mora – "The punch that I saw live was a fair punch that carried off his glove, that's a fair punch"
Gray – "With all due respect you have a very difficult job, and I have a high respect for referees, so does Al Bernstein, this fight possibly he (Bernstein) said is one of the worst officiated fights he's seen in years -how would you rate your performance?"
Mora – "I think it's a shame for anybody to say that"
Gray – "But isn't it also a shame for the fans to see 9, 10, 12, 15 low blows and the guy is getting a warning, and you're warning Agbeko throughout the night and you've barely said anything to Mares?"
Mora – "If it was a low blow you would be 100% correct but those are not low blows they are on the beltline"
Gray – "Well you're way off, you're way off Russell"
Mora – "Ok thank you very much"