Saturday night controversy in London led to replay reversal
In 2019, instant replay technology has come to almost every facet of sports. And, Saturday night in London the controversial ending to the WBC Flyweight title ended up using video to overrule a knockout and turn it into a no contest.
In the end, the battle between WBC champion Charlie Edwards and challenger Julio Cesar Martinez was nullified to no winner. This after Martinez had struck Edwards with a body punch (above), while he was down on one knee after a knockdown in the third round.
ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael had more on the controversy:
Povetkin defeats H. Fury & Edwards controversially retains his flyweight title. My #LomaCampbell undercard story: https://t.co/3E5B7VhDlI #boxing @trboxing @KornerMan44 @CarlMoretti @bradleyajacobs @Timbradleyjr @JoeTessESPN @osunaespn @EddieHearn @MatchroomBoxing @Frank_1_Smith
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) August 31, 2019
Confusion reigned in the minutes after the fight when the Mexican challenger Martinez had been dominating and initially been credited with a 3rd round knockout. That’s when referee Mark Lyson, who did not see the punch to the body while Edwards was on one knee, counted him out:
Well, hard to argue Edwards wasn’t on the canvas when Martinez starched him #EdwardsMartinez #LomachenkoCampbell pic.twitter.com/0arV2ap7hk
— Tim – Boxeo Boxen бокс 拳闘 Boksing มวย Boks 拳击 (@Hock1717) August 31, 2019
However, shortly after, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, who was seated at ringside, came into the ring and overruled the referee whiile replays were repeatedly being shown in the 02 Arena of Martinez landing the illegal punch.
Sulaiman told the media after the fight,
“There is evidence on the video. The WBC instant replay is in effect. So the WBC has determined there’s going to be an immediate rematch ordered. Can you imagine the feeling of both fighters? (Martinez) thinks he just became champion. Now he’s going back not as a champion. (Edwards) felt he was hit while he was down.
Sulaiman continued, “This is boxing. I believe in instant replay and we will abide by that. 18,000 people (in the arena) and millions around the world are watching that replay.”
The WBC has instituted replay to determine an accidental foul ruling in the recent past, but, like a lot of boxing situations, they don’t have specific guidelines or policies in their fights of what can and can’t be reviewed. Sulaiman just happened to be there and decided to rule.
So, Edwards who’s 15 – 1 was making the second defense of his championship against Martinez, who at 14 – 1 and the number one ranked contender, will apparently rematch.
Although, Edwards has had trouble making the 108 lbs. weight limit and may have to vacate the belt before a Martinez second fight.