By Keith Idec
Lou DiBella wants Tevin Farmer to get the rematch he deserves.
That’s why DiBella Entertainment, which promotes Farmer, submitted a formal request to the IBF on Tuesday for an immediate rematch with newly crowned junior lightweight champion Kenichi Ogawa. Japan’s Ogawa won the then-vacant IBF 130-pound title thanks to a controversial split-decision win over Farmer on December 9 in Las Vegas.
“We want an immediate rematch,” DiBella told BoxingScene.com. “We think that’s a fair and equitable thing. But at the same time, I think there’s gonna be a strong resistance from the Japanese kid. I’m sure that the IBF is going to do something in terms of keeping [Farmer] extremely high in the rankings and potentially ordering something down the road, I hope. I’m not sure about whether they’re going to order an immediate rematch.”
Philadelphia’s Farmer (25-5-1, 5 KOs) clearly out-boxed Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs) during their 12-round bout, which HBO televised from Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Harold Lederman, HBO’s unofficial ringside judge, scored the fight 117-111 for Farmer. Unofficial CompuBox statistics also indicated Farmer won.
CompuBox credited Farmer with landing 158 of 525 overall punches, 59 more than Ogawa (99 of 445). Farmer landed 132 of 299 power punches, according to CompuBox, 40 more than Ogawa (92 of 292).
Only one of the official judges, Tim Cheatham, scored the fight for Farmer (116-112). Judges Burt Clements (116-112) and Max DeLuca (115-113) had Ogawa ahead after 12 rounds.
Ogawa’s win was widely criticized by fans and media, though. The suspect setback at least temporarily cost Farmer a fight against former IBF champion Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs), a rival who was stripped of that title for failing to make weight before his last fight.
“The problem here is the system of judging is so messed up anyway,” DiBella said. “And these were not IBF-selected judges. The problem is that these were Nevada judges. That’s a big problem to me, that these were Nevada judges, and that there were Nevada promotional companies and California promotional companies that were really the lead promoters involved in the fight and the judging can be influenced.
“There’s another possibility. It’s simply subjectivity and it doesn’t necessarily have to be something nefarious, but it’s just bad judging. There’s subjectivity and there’s guys scoring effective aggressiveness. In my mind, a fighter was wronged and I’d like to see an opportunity for that injustice to be righted, even if it wasn’t with intent or it wasn’t with corruption or it wasn’t with malice or forethought.”
DiBella believes Farmer deserves an immediate chance to once again prove he is the superior fighter. Farmer fought Ogawa just four months after the southpaw suffered a gunshot wound to his right hand as a victim of a domestic dispute in Philadelphia.
“[An immediate rematch is] what we would like to see,” DiBella said. “That’s what I think would be fair and I think there would be a different result in a great fight the next time, a great TV fight. It’s a fight that’s worthy of a rematch. It’ll be better the second time than it was the first, by far, partially because of the timing of it. Tevin will be in better shape and stronger than he was for that fight. His hand will be more fully recovered.
“But I saw a fight where he won nine rounds to three, and maybe eight rounds to four. But he didn’t lose that fight. There are certain fights where you just know who won the fight. And I’m sorry, I feel like Tevin won that fight. I’m hoping for some sort of recourse from the IBF. I’m not sure what it’s gonna be, but I’m hoping for some kind of recourse from the IBF that’s gonna be fair for Tevin and give him some kind of opportunity to prove himself and reverse what happened.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.