Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - On Saturday night, two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux retained his super bantamweight title on a first-round knockout over Moises "Chucky" Flores when he landed a punch after the bell.
Rigondeaux and Flores were trading punches when the bell rang to end the first round and both threw after the bell. Rigondeaux's punch landed, and Flores dropped to the canvas where he was counted out.
Nevada boxing officials huddled for several minutes and watched the replay before ruling the punch was legal.
Rigondeaux, who won his gold medals for his native Cuba, improved to 18-0 with 12 knockouts as a pro, while Flores, from Mexico, fell to 25-1.
Flores' manager, Gary Jones, is furious over what transpired in the fight.
"After careful review of the tape last night it's clear to us what happened. Rigondeaux, well after the 10 second warning, decided to pull Chucky's head down. Keep in mind when you're 6 inches shorter, that's not holding behind the head while punching, that's pulling somebody's head and face down into two solid uppercut blows. As Chucky's head was being pulled down like that and punched at same time his naturally reaction is to pull up and away, and those two fouls caused Chucky to pull up and away putting his head in a very vulnerable boxing position with his chin up and exposed, and the third punch came after, the third shot was in a sequence of the the two fouls that left our fighter exposed and therefore the shot that was clearly after the bell, was part of an significant intentional foul," Jonas said.
"Had Chucky had an opportunity to reset himself and the third punch come later we would agree it was just a late unintentional punch . Given it was a continuance of the original blatant intentional foul which gained him an advantage to land like that, it would seem there's no other option but to declare that a late punch was part of an intentional foul .
The fact that the ref was coming in to stop Rigondeaux and had no time to do so by the time the third part landed demonstrates our point that it was a sequence of punches. Did Chucky oversell the damage done? He says no. I have to take him at his word. Chucky is a warrior and has never done anything like that. If Chucky in the flash of the moment, while dazed by the punch, made a decision to sell it worse than it was - I don't feel we can blame him. That's a bang bang moment where he was at least dazed by the punch and I'm not going to hold a possible bad decision on his part under those circumstances."
"Chucky had a good game plan, Chucky was going to throw his 80 punches a round no matter how many times the defensive genius wizard made him miss. Boxing isn't about making people miss 60 times if he hits you 20 times and you only hit him 5 times there's a good chance he could win that fight. That was the game plan, he executed the first round well, and we are confident that as the rounds wore on Rigondeaux would get slowed down by the body shots and the pressure and Chucky would start to land more.'
"While Paulie [Malignaggi] was marveling at how Rigondeaux was making him miss in round 1, Paulie knows better that as the fight wore on it was likely that would change. Rigondeaux would hit Chucky flush 4-5 times per round and Chucky would land 20 percent of his shots on Rigo and leave the judges with a challenging fight to call. Regardless we feel Rigo saw that Chucky was game and a very live dog and not afraid and by the end of the round got frustrated and that's why he fouled him blatantly like that. Shows the game plan was working.
"Regardless, the third punch was in sequence of the blatant intentional foul and that punch was enabled by the pulling down of the head, the fact it was late makesi t a no contest, the fact it was part of a three punch sequence in which a intentional foul was committed makes it a DQ."