Is It Time For Replays In Boxing?
One of the most controversial topics in sports has come to boxing, as one of the sport’s biggest promoters has called upon the inclusion of a replay challenge.
Hearn hopes boxing follows the same path some MMA commissions have applied within their unified rules, following the WBC overturning the result of Charlie Edwards’ controversial WBC world flyweight title defense against Julio Cesar Martinez.
During the third round of their fight this past weekend inside the O2 Arena, Edwards was sent to one knee by Martinez, then the challenger landed a devastating body shot that saw Edwards flip over.
While most if not everyone inside the London arena saw the illegal act take place, the most important person, referee Mark Lyson, did not, stopping the fight and calling it for Martinez.
WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, who’s Governing body sanctioned the match, heard the crowd’s negative reaction and the late punch played continuously in the arena, and immediately overturned the referee’s decision, making it a no-contest.
While Edwards did not gain the victory via disqualification, the fighter kept his title.
“What’s the downside? There is no downside,” Hearn said of the inclusion of replay. “It’s not as if it is going to slow the game down. That’s the problem that people talk about with football and cricket. There’s this big controversy. He can’t get up. So let’s look at it.
“They look at it very quickly, and they’ll rule on it very quickly. And you’re given time to recover (if a boxer is fouled). If there’s a questionable low blow, for example, and the ref says you’re disqualified it allows someone to say, ‘hang on, let’s just have a look at that.'”
“Essentially, it’s VAR for boxing, everybody else is doing it,” Hearn said comparing it to the system used in international football. “When somebody is fighting for a world title, and it’s his livelihood. It is not allowed by the British Boxing Board of Control, but when you’ve got 12 screens around the ring, you can’t ignore it.
“I think Mauricio was great – he said ‘I am the president I don’t need to look at this again’. But I’ve never seen it before. I think it was completely, 100 percent, the right thing to do.”
“A lot of people said he should have been disqualified. But somebody tweeted me ‘Mauricio Sulaiman has gone full Vince McMahon,'” Hearn said of the WBC President’s actions seeming similar to the WWE chairman.
Report: Boxing Scene