By Reynaldo Sanchez
Anselmo 'Chemito' Moreno recently filed an official request to the World Boxing Association (WBA) for an immediate rematch with newly crowned bantamweight champion Juan Carlos Payano. The long-reigning titlist suffered a technical decision loss last month in Mesquite, Texas, but has protested the outcome and wants the chance to regain the title he previously held for more than six years.
A decision is expected to come this week, but Payano and his team don't seem very concerned about being dictated to in this particular case.
"We have tremendous confidence in the WBA organization," insists Henry Rivalta, Payano's manager. "We know that even if their offices are in Panama (where Moreno is also from), they are an entity that doesn't strive to satisfy personal agenda, but to render justice in its rankings. Maybe there are people interested in putting some pressure on the WBA and Gilberto Mendoza Jr.
"However, we are confident that these pressures will not (get to) the World Boxing Association. This is a world sanctioning body, not only for Panama."
Those who support Moreno's stance have insisted two things regarding the fight: (1) the fight should have been stopped a lot sooner; (2) Moreno should have still won the fight.
The referee and judges assigned to the fight do not agree, nor does Payano's team.
"Payano was beating that fight Moreno easily and it showed in the judges cards," Rivalta points out. "Payano’s injuries from Chemito's headbutt widened from the 2nd round which forced to stop the fight in the 6th.
"Payano wanted to win by knockout and that was only a matter of time. We believe Anselmo Moreno and his team missed the strategy, claiming that the fight was declared 'no contest' before the 4th round"
Rivalta believes this matter has generated discontent on the Moreno team and they are trying to do for their fighter what he was unable to do; not let Payano take the title.
"We had a lot of patience with Anselmo Moreno and his manager. They stretched this fight all the time asking permission for optional defenses and even the IBF denied them an opportunity to fight in a unification match, forcing them to make the mandatory fight versus Juan Carlos Payano."
"We believe that Moreno should make a very lucrative offer to now the super champion, Juan Carlos Payano, in order for us to take their request into consideration. Rematches usually occur when a fight is close and surrounded by controversy. Payano cleanly won that fight easy. Moreno didn't know how to handle his pressure, and had it not been stopped, he would have been been knocked out.
"If they don't make a major offer, the most logical next step for Moreno is to earn the title fight, as all other fighters in the rankings are required to do. If he earns it, Payano will be ready to give him another shot."
Moreover, Rivalta would like to clarify with all the respect that this situation warrants, that he personally had nothing to do with the choice of the people who sing the National Anthems of Panama and the Dominican Republic prior to the fight.
"I have nothing to do with that delicate subject; I have nothing to do with the promotion (the event was promoted by Iron Mike Productions) and I did not find out until after the fight when some one commented me. I would never offend another person's heritage or the county they come from, and want to fully express my respect and admiration for Panama and the Dominican Republic, countries I visit regularly and where I have great friends.
"As far as this case, we are confident that Moreno's request will not be approved by the World Boxing Association (WBA). Juan Carlos Payano has immediate future plans and is also a fighter with a favorable style, who has appeared on various TV networks like ESPN2, Telefutura and now Fox Sports 1. Unfortunately Anselmo Moreno does not have the style fit for television."