The highly controversial ending to the Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Moises Flores now appears to be reaching a conclusion. That conclusion being that it was no contest.
Rigondeaux and Flores had a scuffle in the final seconds of the first round and Rigondeaux landed a punch that appeared to occur after the bell had rung that knocked out Flores for the count. The punch not only appeared to have landed after the bell had rung, but it was after Rigondeaux’s left hand seemed to be holding the back of Flores’ head which is illegal. Referee Vic Drakulich concluded it was a legal punch that had been thrown before the bell ended the round after consulting with Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett.
Bennett said the fight, which originally was ruled a knockout win for Rigondeaux, has been changed to a no decision. Bennett wrote a statement backtracking what he and Drakulich originally thought was a legal hit.
"I have a statement from Vic Drakulich memorializing the events that night; that it was initially communicated to us from HBO from the truck that the punch was thrown before the bell. I had specifically asked twice was told yes, the punch was before the bell. I could have been mistaken but I don't think I was. So, based on that, the referee called it a knockout. Subsequent to our communications with the HBO trailer it was brought to my attention the punch came after the bell. Now we have something that is completely different than what we were told. Once we did the replay and we heard the sound we knew it was a mistake. I listened to it several times. I had a conversation with Vic on the phone and we went over the fight and it was quite clear to both of us that that the punch was thrown after the bell," Bennett said.
Although the commission said it would change it to a no decision, the actual ruling must be approved by the four major governing bodies (WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF). The four commissions will plan to have a meeting to vote on it next week.
"Vic drafted a statement has been provided to chairman Marnell and the other commissioners and they will also be provided with a copy of the fight and next Monday morning we will have a commission meeting, where the result will be changed in accordance with Nevada code," Bennett said.
Bennett admitted that he did not see a replay with audio that would indicate when the bell was rung. The fight was for the WBA super bantamweight title and the co-feature of the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2 card.
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