By Steve Kim
Most everyone watching this past weekend's middleweight contest between Ryota Murata and Hassan N'dam from Toyko believed that Murata had clearly done enough to get his hands raised in victory after twelve rounds.
The Japanese fighter had controlled much of the action after a competitive start to the fight and scored a knockdown in the fourth frame. Not only that he was fighting on his home turf.
So it was stunning to just about everyone when judges Gustavo Padilla (116-111) and Hubert Earler (115-112) scored for N'dam, overruling the card of Raul Caiz Sr. who had it 117-110 for Murata.
At stake was a version of the WBA middleweight title.
Bob Arum, who's company has a stake in Murata with Teiken Promotions, told BoxingScene.com - "It's an unbelievable scandal. Somebody has to look into who are the people behind this French-African guy because, I mean, something smells to high heaven."
The head of Top Rank stated that even Caiz's scorecard in favor of Murata was - "charitable, I gave him maybe two rounds."
There is a chance that the WBA will mandate a rematch between the two. WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. wants to order an immediate rematch, but there is an issue with a mandatory challenger in Robert Brant, who might be willing to move aside for a step-aside offer. Mendoza has yet to issue a final ruling with the WBA's Championship Committee.
"They said they would mandate a rematch but that rewards this guy, letting him keep the title," said Arum. "They should rule it a no-contest and why give this guy, who clearly lost the fight, a big payday?"
So just how bad was this verdict in the eyes of the head of Top Rank?
"It's worse than the first Pacquiao-Bradley (decision)"
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.