By Jake Donovan
For the second time in less than two weeks, the World Boxing Organization has disagreed with Dennis Hogan—and public perception—of his deserving the decision and the super welterweight title.
An independent five-personal panel assigned to review the April 13 title fight between Hogan and defending champ Jaime Munguia—as per an official protest filed by Hogan’s team—produced the same results that came of their fight in Monterrey, Mexico. Munguia escaped with a majority decision win, which was upheld by the WBO upon further review.
“Be it resolved by the World Championship Boxing Committee that given (the review of the fight), it can be established that the results favor Jaime Munguia,” Luis Batista-Salas, chairman of WBO championship committee said in an official statement on Friday.
Hogan (28-2-1, 7KOs) was a major underdog heading into his first career title fight, with the Australia-based Irishman having to travel to Munguia’s native Mexico for such an opportunity. The 34-year old pushed Munguia to the brink, finishing strong down the stretch but by which point the fight was already out of reach on one official scorecard.
The fact that none of the three judges had him winning the contest didn’t sit well with Hogan’s handlers, whom filed an official complaint on April 16 with the WBO. The matter was promptly addressed, with the Puerto Rico-based sanctioning body immediately assigning a five-person team of trained ring officials to review the contest.
“[T] he WBO appointed five (5) anonymous, competent Judges from different countries (excluding Mexico and Australia), to watch the bout without audible distractions. [T]he results of these five (5) independent Judges’ scores were tabulated to clearly ascertain the rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 per cent. [T]hat means that 3 of the 5 officials have to agree to determine which fighter won the round.
“[T]he findings of the (5) stated that Munguia won the 3rd, the 5th and 6th by 100%; the 12th round by 80%; the 2nd, 7th and 9th rounds by 60%. Hogan won the 1st, 8th,10th and 11th by 100%; none in the 80%; the 4th round by 60. [I]t can be established from the Judges’ scorecards that on the date of the bout Munguia won 7 rounds while Hogan won 5 rounds; and on the (5) independent Judges’ panel, Munguia also won 7 to 5.”
Hogan’s team also contended that Munguia’s corner was being fed scorecard results in between rounds. Such allegations weren’t addressed in the resolution released on Friday.
Even in the event that an independent scoring panel saw the bout drastically different from the fight night judges, the WBO—nor any sanctioning body—has the authority to overturn an official verdict unless provided evidence of corruption or wrongdoing. Most protests are filed generally with the hope of at least landing an immediate rematch.
Such a fight has yet to come to surface, nor will Munguia and his team race to such a contest as it is neither in demand nor fits in with his goals of eventually conquering the middleweight division. The 6’0” super welterweight admitted to have recently struggled to get within the 154-pound limit for this contest and is already thinking about advancing plans to move up in weight, originally targeting next spring for his middleweight run.
Meanwhile, neither side has established an opponent for their next ring adventure. Hogan isn’t giving up hope for a rematch, and the WBO is at least keeping the door open for full peace of mind in the event that this latest ruling isn’t embraced.
“This is a final decision of the WBO World Championship Committee,” explained Batista. “The decision may be appealed to the Complaint and Grievance Committee, pursuant to WBO World Championship Section 34, which as per Rule 3(e) of the WBO Appeals Regulation, must be submitted in writing to the WBO President within fourteen (14) days of the date of this decision as its sole and exclusive remedy.”
Munguia advanced to 33-0 (26KOs) with the win and is now clear—unless ruled otherwise in the next 14 days—to take on a voluntary title defense for his next contest.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox