By Mesuli Zifo
IT is rare for a promoter to criticize an outcome favoring his boxer but that is exactly what Johnny Muller’s promoter Rodney Berman has done after Muller was awarded an undeserved split decision over Mateusz Masternak in their cruiserweight clash at Emperors Palace at the weekend.
Muller was floored twice, the second time in the seventh round and literally took punishment throughout the round.
Masternak who controlled the fight with a looping right also put Muller on the seats of his pants in the fifth but the fall appeared like a slip even though it was ruled a knockdown.
Muller fought bravely throughout the fight but he was still on the receiving end of the heavy exchange of leather, which turned the bout into one of the best cruiserweight fights ever held in the country.
After the outcome of 95-93 both ways, a disgusted Masternak stormed out of the ring and refused to grant interviews.
Berman who presented the fight as the main bout of his “D-Day” dubbed show was also riled by the outcome.
“Firstly Johnny Muller fought a hell of a fight and proved that he belongs in the world stage. Having said that there is no way that he was the winner. The outcome has left a bitter taste in my mouth and further reinforced the perception that a visiting boxer cannot get a decision in South Africa.”
Berman said he would file an official complaint with Boxing SA regarding the outcome of the fight.
“I am not sure if the decision will be changed but the judges who rendered that disgraceful results must never be allowed to judge a fight again.”
The outcome spoiled Berman’s partnership with Masternak’s Germany promoter Wilfried Sauerland of Sauerland Events with whom he has entered into an exchange programme involving the billing of each other’s boxers in their respective tournaments.
Berman said he called Sauerland after the outcome to register his displeasure with what took place.
“They know that we do not condone what happened and on our side we will take appropriate action.”
The outcome may have spoiled Masternak’s aspirations for a world title shot after he came short against WBC cruiserweight champion Grigory Drozd and Yuri Kalenga for the WBA interim belt in his only two previous losses.