The business of over-turning a controversial decision

This is the header you dummyControversy #1 is the match between Armando Tovar of San Diego’s House of Boxing against Alejandro Castañeda of Rosarito, B. C., Mexico at the Salon Mezzanine in Tijuana, B. C., Mexico on February 26, 2016. On this Borizteca Boxing Promotions fight card, we need to get closure on two questions. First, with a greater emphasis being put on stopping boxers from using the rabbit punch, how is that Castañeda was able to get away with throwing and landing five rabbit punches throughout the match, receive two warnings and yet was able to score a knockdown with the fifth rabbit punch? The next point of order concerns Castañeda getting away with just a warning from referee Juan Manuel Morales Lee after Castañeda hit Tovar at least twice while he was down. Even a one point deduction for the infractions would have gone a long way to change the outcome of this very close match.  

Here is the link to the fights so you the reader can make your own determination:

ccc under the watchful eyePhotos taken from the video of the Armando Tovar versus Alejandro Castaneda bout show when you, as an independent judge, should key on the two serious infractions of boxer Alejandro Castaneda. Taking note of the view provided the referee, Juan Morales Lee, it appears he should have penalized Castaneda for first landing a rabbit punch to the back of Tovar’s head to score the knockdown and then penalize Castaneda a second time for landing what appears to be at least two additional punches to the side of Tovar’s head while he is kneeling.

Controversy #2 – Jose Toribio of San Diego’s The Arena Gym in Point Loma versus Alejandro Vazquez of Tijuana on the very same night. The question to be discussed concerns the serious cut Toribio suffered in the first round on the right side of his face. Was it caused by a headbutt which the referee failed to see and so note or was the gash caused by a punch? With the help of the video of the fight provided by the promoter, we were able to determine the time of that cut, how it was made and then how the other boxer was then able to exploit to gain the victory by way of a referee’s stoppage for a Technical Knockout. Normally, when it is determined by the fight doctor that a contest should be stopped for the reason of a serious cut, the referee then stops the bout and the contest winner is then determined by who is ahead on the judges’ scorecards. But since only two rounds had been completed in this six round contest, the bout should then have gone in the books as a “No contest by way of a Technical Decision.”

The term technical decision is used in boxing when a fight has to be stopped because of a headbutt. In a boxing match, referees are asked to pay close attention to all interaction between fighters, especially when the two combatants are fighting in close quarters. This is in the case of a cut, the referee must determine whether that cut was caused by a punch or by the collision of heads. Only the referee can make that determination. Most head butts in boxing are unintentional, especially when both boxers are repeatedly going all out for the knockout. If a boxer intentionally butts an opponent’s head, this is considered a flagrant foul that could result in the disqualification of that offender, namely Alejandro Vazquez.

In the case of a cut to the head, it is the referee’s responsibility to take the injured boxer to see the medical doctor seated at ringside as many times as the referee thinks necessary, regardless of the referee’s decision on whether that cut had been provoked by a punch or not. When the doctor tells the referee that the boxer cannot go on, then the referee must stop the bout. If the referee decides the cut was caused by a punch, then the other boxer wins by technical knockout. If the referee decides it was produced by a collision of heads, a head butt, then the bout is stopped and the judges then hand over their scorecards, and the fighter who is ahead on points wins by a technical decision.

But there are also distinct rules for a fight to be decided on a technical decision because fights must go beyond the fourth round for any fighter to be declared a winner by technical decision. Some federations require the fight to be in the fourth round, while other federations and most championship bouts require the fight to have gone past the halfway point (five rounds for a 10-round match, and six rounds for a 12-round bout). If a fight has to be stopped because of a headbutt without reaching the required distance, it is automatically declared a technical draw.

(top, l to r) In the top left photo we see

(top, l to r) In the top photos, we see Alejandro Vazquez coming forward with his head and causing the cut/gash on Jose Toribio’s face. The photo (bottom, left) clearly shows the cut (red mark) and the final photo shows Castaneda beginning to use his straight lefts and left hooks to zero in on that cut.

One of the most controversial technical decisions in boxing history occurred in 1994, when Julio Cesar Chavez regained the WBC World Junior Welterweight title over his previous conqueror, Frankie Randall on May 7th in Las Vegas. A very high percentage of both the media and the Pay Per View public had Randall ahead in their contest by a large margin when that fight was stopped in round #8 due to a cut on Chávez’s forehead. The judges in that contest scored the bout otherwise and virtually handing over the victory to Chávez by a split technical decision.aa Chavez Randall

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