by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Respected international, award-winning boxing promoter Branco Milenkovic has blasted the Texas Commission for preventing the IBF from appointing any officials for the recent IBF junior featherweight eliminator in which Mexico’s Alejandro Lopez won a controversial decision over South Africa’s Takalani Ndlovu with the crowd booing the decision at the El Paso, Texas County Coliseum.
Milenkovic told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that “according to international media it was a very wrong decision” and indicated he would talk to the IBF and see what their opinion is.
He said “What I know for the fact is that IBF was forbidden by local Commission to take any decisions with appointment of the officials, which is unheard of. After all, it is IBF sanctioned fight and IBF should have some kind of the say in the appointment of the officials. “
Milenkovic said “It is very sad situation as in the light of the fact that Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire vacated the title on the eve of his fight with Toshiaki Nishioka. He said Ndlovu as No. 3 should be fighting No. 2 Romero for the vacant title as the two highest available contenders and not No. 4 Lopez for Eliminator. Unfortunately Ndlovu was already committed to fight the eliminator.”
Once again it seems that incompetent referee Laurence Cole whose father uses his influence in Texas to get his son the big fights, messed up.
Ringside reports said Cole failed to penalize Lopez for several head-butts that opened up a cut on Ndlovu's left eye in the 5th round.
Towards the end of round eight Ndlovu dropped Lopez with a perfect left hook but Cole waved it off to the consternbation of the South African's corner who shouted at Cole for a flagrant mistake.
The South African's trainer Srydom said, “I am filling a formal protest with the IBF to demand a rematch in South Africa. We won the match but lost the fight.”
Bill Knight of the El Paso Times said “it was the most awkward of fights. There were enough falls to fill a Three Stooges re-run, there was enough holding to qualify for a rough-and-tumble version of "Dancing With the Stars" and there were enough head butts and low blows to satisfy a WWE crowd.”