French Boxing League President Quits After Yoka-Judges Comments Scandal

The President of the France National League For Professional Boxing, Robin Dolpierre, has resigned following his controversial comments on the Tony Yoka vs Ryad Merhy heavyweight fight.

Dolpierre, an ex-referee for the WBC, claimed Yoka should have been given a decision over Merhy since he was the A-side fighting in his native France. Merhy took the win on the scorecards via a split decision with two judges, Christophe Beaurain and Ammar Sakraoui, scoring it 96-94 in his favor. Judge Vincent Dupas had it 96-94 for Yoka. The comments were understandably controversial since the fight was in France with an all-French judging panel.

“Yoka needed help, but his head was pushed under water. How can he come back after three defeats? In England, in a similar fight, the local boxer would have won. When I saw Yoka almost in tears, after they announced the result, that hurt my heart. We could have at least given him a draw. But here, we’re not capable of helping out a fighter. We’re afraid of the public, above all. I stand by what I say.We’ve done more harm to boxing than if we had given the win [to Yoka],” Dolpierre

Yoka is a former Olympic gold medalist, having won the medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. But since becoming a professional, he has fallen short. The loss to Merhy was his third in a row. That was particularly damaging since Merhy is a cruiserweight. Dolpierre’s comments drew a huge response on social media, with boxing fans speaking out against poor officiating and corruption in the sport.

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