Two of the judges’ scores Saturday night cut Wendy Toussaint deeper than Ardreal Holmes Jr.’s head.
Toussaint thus left Little Caesars Arena in Detroit with a suspect split-decision loss on his record in addition to a gruesome, jagged gash on his forehead. An aggressive, effective Toussaint seemingly did enough to outpoint the undefeated Holmes, but judges Katealia Chambers (77-74) and Vincent Santino (76-75) scored their scheduled 10-round junior middleweight fight for Holmes, who won a technical split decision because referee Gerard White stopped it in the eighth round due to Toussaint’s cut.
Judge Rose Gross gave Toussaint credit for a 77-74 win, but the Haitian-born Toussaint still suffered his second professional loss on the Claressa Shields-Maricela Cornejo undercard.
“I didn’t lose that fight,” said Toussaint, whose cut was caused by an accidental clash of heads in the eighth round. “It was my plan to come out fast and outwork him, and it worked. I had him hurt. I don’t agree with the point deduction, and the judges got it wrong.”
White deducted a point from Toussaint in the third round for blatantly hitting Holmes on the back of his head. Toussaint also was warned by White for various fouls before White took a point from him.
That point deduction was the difference on Santino’s scorecard. If that point hadn’t been taken from Toussaint, Santino would’ve scored the action even, 76-76, and the official result would’ve been a technical split draw.
Holmes (14-0, 5 KOs), a tall southpaw from Flint, Michigan, has been more impressive in previous televised bouts than he was against Toussaint. He didn’t fight with much urgency, yet Holmes still felt he did enough to eek out a victory over Toussaint (14-2, 6 KOs), of Huntington, New York.
“I thought the decision was fair and it was 4-4, but the point [deduction] did it,” Holmes said. “He was out of gas the last quarter of the fight and I thought [he] was going to sleepwalk through those rounds because I was going to keep coming forward and coming to get him.”
The 28-year-old Holmes, who entered the ring as almost a 4-1 favorite, admitted Toussaint was better than he anticipated.
“He actually surprised me,” Holmes said. “Watching film, he usually slows in the fourth or fifth round. That’s what I thought he was going to do, but he shocked me and he didn’t.”
Toussaint wants a rematch, but Holmes seemed interested in going in a different direction.
“I don’t want any specific names,” Holmes said. “I trust in my team. They’re going to keep picking them. This [was] a tough fight and we need fights like this.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.