By Keith Idec
Nikolai Potapov isn’t going down without another fight.
Potapov’s promoter, Dmitriy Salita, told BoxingScene.com on Monday that he has filed an official protest of Potapov’s majority-decision defeat to Joshua Greer Jr. with New Jersey’s State Athletic Control Board. Greer recorded a controversial victory over Potapov on Saturday night at Prudential Center in Newark.
Two judges – Lindsey Page (116-112) and Lawrence Layton (115-113) – scored their very competitive contest for Chicago’s Greer. The other judge, Mark Consentino, had their 12-round encounter even (114-114).
According to CompuBox’s unofficial punch stats, Greer landed more overall punches than Potapov (160-of-424 to 139-of-638). CompuBox credited Greer for landing more power punches (116-of-269 to 90-of-267), but it scored more jabs for Potapov (49-of-371 to 44-of-155).
Analysts Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley, who called the 12-round bantamweight bout for ESPN, were convinced that the 28-year-old Potapov earned the win and adamantly disputed the scoring. It’s extremely unusual, however, for a commission to overturn a questionable result, even those much more controversial than Greer-Potapov.
“We feel we got robbed, as do boxing fans,” Salita said following the fight. “ESPN and the media had Nikolai winning. We are going to appeal the decision. ESPN is a great platform for the sport of boxing. We are grateful for the opportunity and what is just. Nikolai won the fight!”
Potapov also protested his loss during his post-fight interview with ESPN.
The 25-year-old Greer is represented by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., the promoter of a card that featured featherweight contender and Newark native Shakur Stevenson in the main event.
His unconvincing victory moved Greer closer to a title shot because their fight was an IBF elimination match.
Greer (21-1-1, 12 KOs) is the IBF’s No. 4-ranked contender to its 118-pound champion, Japan’s Naoya Inoue (18-0, 16 KOs). The Russian-born Potapov (20-2-1, 18 KOs), a Brooklyn resident, is ranked No. 11.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.