By Ryan Maquiñana
Light heavyweight Otis “Triple O.G.” Griffin is filing a protest with the Idaho State Athletic Commission as a result of what he refers to as “foul play” when describing the scorecards of the two judges who scored his Oct. 20 bout with Shawn “The Sioux Warrior” Hawk last week 97-92, overruling Gus Hernandez’s card that saw it in Griffin’s favor, 99-94.
“We’re going to the Idaho commission first with our statement and a DVD of the fight,” said Griffin (23-9-2, 9 KOs), who is currently ninth in the IBF 175-pound rankings. “If they do the right thing, so be it, but if not, we’re planning to go to the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions) to file a complaint.”
After sending Hawk (22-1-1, 17 KOs) to the canvas with a left hook to the body shot in the seventh, Griffin felt he had taken control of the fight, which occurred at the Coeur d’Alene Casino in Worley.
“When he came forward, I’d be able to step around him, reverse gears, and move forward, and that’s how I floored him in round seven,” Griffin recounted. “I was using the jab and circling to my left. When I came forward threw a one-two up top, and then I threw a right body shot down the middle. After that, I threw a left body shot to the liver, and he was floored.
In Griffin’s opinion, the complexion of the clash had changed significantly by then, and that he had used that momentum to win the last three rounds as well. Unfortunately for him, judges Tom Scher and Ray Kerwick disagreed, not only giving Hawk rounds eight through 10, but all of the rest with the exception of the fourth and the obvious 10-8 round in the seventh.
“There was one point when I was up two points into the seventh to one judge, based on a copy of the scorecard (attached for the reader below),” Griffin said. “Then after the knockdown, I should have been up four points after the eighth. The other two judges gave him the first three rounds when I obviously won those. I don’t think he even landed a punch, so that was questionable.”
Griffin continued to state his case why he felt the cards might have been stacked against him.
“My corner said try to stop him after the seventh because he’s been fighting at this casino since 2005, so he was basically the house fighter,” Griffin opined. “So I go out and box him in the eighth, and in the ninth I landed some overhand rights and some body shots. In the tenth round, I had to close the show. He came at me like a locomotor, so I started hitting him with lead rights and he pretty much just stopped. But they gave him the last round, too.”
When Hawk’s arm was raised in triumph following the announcement of a split decision verdict, Griffin was beyond livid. This behavior was definitely a departure from his reaction following two more high-profile defeats on his ledger, an IBF title eliminator against Yusuf Mack in May and a majority decision to Jeff Lacy two years ago.
“Look, when Yusuf Mack beat me by split decision in March, no matter how I felt, I respected the judges’ decision. But this was downright wrong. This is more than just a robbery.
“The Jeff Lacy fight was a robbery. I got cheated out of a million-dollar payday to fight Roy Jones. But at the same time, I could see how certain rounds could be close enough and that they’d give the rounds to the guy with the name. I could say, ‘OK, I could see how they could go one way or the other.’ That’s one thing.
“To floor this guy and totally outbox him and for the scores to be that way, that’s another. It was clear who won this fight. He got his butt kicked. There was some foul play involved. We had a lot of stake ranked ninth in the world. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we did what we had to do, and the powers that be took it away from us.”
Griffin then recounted his side of the events after the announcements of the scores.
“No one in the arena thought he had won the fight with the way they were yelling that he needed a knockout to win,” he stated. “We found the commissioner and we talked to the investigator, and they just told us if we have a write-up with what we felt went wrong, that they’d look at it, and they said we have to follow certain rules. We did that, as far as describing what we thought as far as a synopsis of round-by-round, and we’re going to turn in a DVD of the fight for evidence.”
Griffin ended the interview with a message for any fight fans who showed up to the casino that night.
“For all the fans who saw this injustice happen, please call Cheri and Tom Kaesilometes of the Idaho commission, as the fight is under review at the moment at (208) 334-3233. If you’re in support of overturning this shameful decision, please send your thoughts to [email protected] .”
For what it’s worth, this writer watched the film and scored it 97-93 for Griffin. While Griffin landed the cleaner shots, his lack of output might have hurt him in terms of leaving no doubt in a few close rounds, namely the first and the sixth.
Nevertheless, the performance was enough for “Triple O.G.” to win on my card. What about yours? Fight fans, check out the footage in the provided links below and give us your score.
FOOTAGE OF THE FULL FIGHT:
PART THREE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zpvGZ7gcZ4
A COPY OF THE JUDGES’ SCORECARD (COURTESY TEAM GRIFFIN):
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.