By Rick Reeno
In one of the worst decisions I have ever witnessed, Beibut Shumenov (9-1, 6KOs) was awarded a twelve round split-decision victory over Gabriel Campillo (19-3, 6KOs) to capture the WBA light heavyweight title on Friday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Judge Levi Martinez had an accurate score of 117-111 in favor of Campillo. Jerry Roth had a very off night with his final tally of 115-113 in favor of Shumenov, and Particia Morse Jarman should be banned from judging after submitting her horrendous score of 117-111 in favor of Shumenov.
BoxingScene.com had it 116-111 in favor of Campillo.
Doug Fischer, handling broadcast duties for the live telecast on Fox Sports Net, had it 8 round to 4 in favor of Campillo. After the fight was over, Fischer was quoted as saying "Shumenov got a gift. Hell of a fight but Campillo should have won."
I agree with many of my colleagues who saw a near one-sided fight in favor of Campillo. The fight wasn't close. The rounds were easy to score. One fighter with a big gas tank had outworked another fighter with serious stamina issues. Other than a cut near his left eye, Campillo barely had a mark on his face. Shumenov had the appearance of a fighter who went through a twelve round war.
Based on what I saw, 75% of Shumenov's punches were either blocked or completely missed their mark. He barely landed anything of note. Campillo couldn't miss the target if he closed his eyes. Shumenov was wide open for every punch that landed and his balance was terrible.
Campillo's promoter Sampson Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com that he plans to file a protest with the WBA on Monday. He will demand a full investigation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission with respect to the scoring by Particia Morse Jarman.
"I demand a full investigation on the judge who scored 117-111. It was another travesty for boxing. I want a full investigation on the judge. That judge put a black eye on boxing and a black eye on all of the judges in Nevada and all the people of Nevada. She can never come back to judge again. She is either blind or got paid off - one of the two. Keith Kizer is one the best commissioners and he will never allow that [for her to judge again]," Lewkowicz said.
"I will demand for the WBA to watch the fight and ask for an immediate rematch. This is why boxing is doing so bad because of this kind of travesty that happened tonight. It happened with Sergio Martinez when the ref stopped the fight after he counted to ten and then let the fight continue, and it happened with Joan Guzman when Funeka won that fight. The commissioners need to penalize these kind of officials. On Monday morning the WBA will receive a protest of this travesty."
Campillo was so confident of a win he thought the scores were misread by the ring announcer. He told BoxingScene of his plan to request an immediate rematch through the WBA.
"I got robbed in Las Vegas. This is an embarrassment for everyone. I will immediately request a rematch from the WBA," Campillo said.
I received a lot of angry phone calls from industry figures who were outraged with the scoring. One of the angrier calls came from promoter Lou DiBella. He echoed the popular opinion that calls for a full investigation of Jarman. As a representative of the sport, he was personally embarrassed by the decision. He made a very good point. How can the industry create new fans with this kind of officiating?
"They should have a full investigation of that fight and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. That was disgraceful. It was a Funeka decision. I had that fight 10 rounds to 2 or 9 rounds to 3 at most. That's a disgrace. American boxing owes Campillo an apology. A decision like that makes it embarrassing to tell people that you are in the industry. You couldn't have scored the fight for Shumenov if you actually watched the fight. Every comment I've read on the fight. Every person I've spoken to said Campillo won. Is everyone wrong and the two judges are right? Something is going on with theses decisions that are so out of whack and we have to do something right now about it," DiBella said.
"Jerry Roth had one of the worst nights of his life. The other judge that had it 9 rounds to 3 for Shumenov, they should immediately sit down and have a chat with her and take a close look at her scorecard. I can accept Roth had a bad night. I can't accept the other scorecard under any circumstance. Every day that passes we are shooting ourselves in the foot as a sport and an industry. How can you make new fans when they watch a fight that end with a decision like that? Anyone who says Shumenov won doesn't know a f**king thing about boxing. Explaining this to the fans makes me embarrassed to be in this industry. The fight was not even close."
"Poor Sampson; in the last year he got f**ked more times than a porn star. Someone should take a CD of that fight and drop it off on Senator McCain's desk. I don't blame Shumenov. He fought his heart out but he got beat. The two judges are the ones who have to answer the questions, not the Shumenov camp. The whole world knows he lost except for two judges."