by Sandy Pramuji
Muhammad Rachman feels robbed and is demanding a rematch to take back his World Boxing Association minimumweight crown.
The Indonesian boxer lost his title after the judges awarded Thailand’s Pornsawan Porpramook the victory on points after their bout on Saturday at Indosiar Studio 5 in Jakarta.
Silvestres Abiyansa of the Philippines scored the fight a draw, 114-114, while Japanese judge Takeshi Samakawa scored it 115-113 for Pornsawan. Soo Yu-hwan of South Korea gave it 115-114 to the Thai contender.
Pornsawan, a 33-year-old ranked seventh in the division before the bout, improved to 23-3-1 with 16 knockouts. Rachman dropped to 64-11-5 (33 KOs).
“I was robbed,” Rachman said. “Everybody can see that I hit him more than he hit me. Those all were clean punches.
“I’m so upset and I demand justice. I want a rematch.”
He also upset because no one from the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs watched the bout.
“I’m fighting for the country. The government could at least show some support by attending my bout,” he said.
Rachman, 39, the oldest boxer to win the WBA minimumweight title after beating Kwanthai Sithmorseng in Bangkok in April, controlled the bout early on. His punches hit Pornsawan several times, though none hard enough to knock his opponent out.
However, Rachman’s age showed later in the fight. Pornsawan started to dictate the bout in the seventh round, while Rachman was forced to cover up and lean against the ropes.
In the last two rounds, the fighters barely exchanged punches as they were clearly fatigued.
After the decision was announced, Rachman was so disappointed that he didn’t even congratulate Pornsawan.
Some fans threw plastic bottles toward the judges, who were quickly escorted out the building by security.
Pornsawan also was heavily guarded when leaving the ring. Security guards rejected journalists’ requests to interview him.
Fight promoter Erick Purna Irawan said Rachman should have won the bout.
“It’s not merely because I’m an Indonesian, but you can see that Rachman fought better and landed more clear punches against Pornsawan,” Erick said on Sunday. “We respect the judges’ decision, but I will file a complaint with the WBA and demand a rematch.”
He said he and match supervisor Yang Sup-shim, who is also the Pan Asian Boxing Association president, and Indonesian Boxing Committee (Pertina) chairman Anton Sihombing held a meeting on Sunday to discuss a possible rematch.
“Mr. Yang said he would lobby the WBA to stage a rematch in Jakarta,” Erick said. “We’ll also go to WBA headquarters in Panama to complain about the judges’ controversial decision.”