By Ronnie Nathanielsz
International Boxing Federation Championship Chairman Lindsey Tucker has denied allegations that Katsunari Takayama who fights under the ALA Promotions banner was the victim of a hometown decision when he lost by a twelve round unanimous decision to Nkosinathi Joyi, the champion from South Africa in East London, South Africa the other day.
Tucker told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard in response to an article by boxing writer Ron Jackson of Super Sport, South Africa that there were many who felt the aggressive Takayama deserved the decision was "not true."
The IBF official emphasized " I know because I was there" even as he conceded "It was a great fight but Nkosinathi Joyi landed many more punches that Takayama. Plus, he scored a knock down. Takayama would have had to win 7 rounds to 5 rounds in order to win the fight and he did not."
All three judges scored the fight for the hometown champion by surprisingly wide margins even though well-known boxing writer Ron Jackson of Super Sport reported that Joyi was “off form and struggled to retain his belt.”
But the judges apparently saw it differently with South Africa’s Sylvia Mokaila and American Shafeeq Rashada scoring the fight 116-111 for Joyi with Britain’s Marco McDonald having Joyi the winner by an even wider 117-110 margin.
While conceding that " a bad decision can happen anywhere" Tucker said "I went out of my way to get neutral officials for that fight. The Referee and one judge was from the USA, one Judge was from England and one Judge was from South Africa. Branco went through a great expense to get these officials to South Africa. Unfortunately, the Judge from New Jersey did not come after Branco brought 2 plane tickets for him because his sister died and the funeral was the day before the fight. Because I did not find out until the night before I was scheduled to leave for South Africa, I did not have enough time to bring in another outside Judge. We ended up with another Judge from South Africa, one that I trusted to score the fight fairly."
Tucker also said "Just be aware that when boxers go to South Africa, the IBF tries to make sure we have neutral officials. You should know that because when Johnriel Casimero went to Argentina, none of the officials were from Argentina. All of the officials were from America but neither boxer was from America."
Boxing writer Jackson said that Joyi was a rather subdued champion fighting from the southpaw stance against the ever-advancing Takayama” even ashe added “many ringsiders were of the opinion that the decision could have gone in favor of the challenger.”
Another ringside report said Joyi took “too many damaging blows for his own good” but showed superior skills against the aggressive challenger and gave Takayama no chance to avenge his failure to win the title on January 29 last year.
ALA Promotions respected patron Tony Aldeguer expressed surprise over the wide margin in the judges scorecards for a fight that was reportedly close and in which Takayama was the aggressor.