The decision to change the result of Charlie Edwards’s WBC flyweight title defence against Julio Cesar Martinez from a knockout victory for Martinez to a no-contest was not taken by WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman alone, but by a three-man panel.
Charles Giles, who is chairman of the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) as well as a vice-president of the WBC, said he was one of the hastily-arranged panel called on to make a decision after Martinez finished Edwards off with a body shot blatantly landed when Edwards was already on the floor.
The obvious foul was completely missed by Mark Lyson, the referee, who was taking charge of his first world-title fight, but after Martinez’s knockout victory was announced, Sulaiman took the ring microphone to announce that the decision had been overturned.
“Mauricio did not make the decision all on his own,” Giles said.
The panel that met ringside at the O2 Arena, London, consisted of Sulaiman, Giles and Duane Ford, the president of the NABF, who had been the WBC supervisor for the fight.
“The many cases the decision would have been made by a panel at the WBC headquarters in Mexico City, but we gathered together as a panel,” Giles said. “We all saw it as a foul in real time and the replays showed that the foul was so obvious that we should change the decision as per the WBC rules.”
Giles, who oversaw the rules meetings for both world title fights on the card, also denied that the decision was contrary to BBBoC rules.
“Use of VAR or video replay isn’t against Board rules, because we don’t have a rule about it,” Giles said.
Unlike the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Luke Campbell fight, which was held under the unified rules of boxing, the Edwards-Martinez fight was staged under WBC rules.
The BBBoC has the right to object to certain rules being applied and did to two – the announcement of judges’ scores after the fourth and eighth rounds, plus the rule that sees a point deducted from the uninjured boxer in the event of an injury being cause by an accidental foul. No objection was made about video replay rule being applied.
The BBBoC is likely to discuss adopting the rule on video replays at an upcoming full council meeting.