The IBF ordered an immediate rematch between winner Mares and former bantamweight titleholder Agbeko after referee Russell Mora failed to penalize Mares for repeated low blows in their fight on Aug. 13 on Showtime.
IBF Championship Chairman Lindsay Tucker and IBF president Darryl Peoples determined that a Mares-Agbecko rematch was warranted after having reviewed replays of their bout, including an 11th-round knockdown punch that Mora ruled legal even though replays clearly showed the punch landing on Agbeko’s cup.
Mares won the Showtime-televised return bout by unanimous decison over Agbeko on Dec. 3. The move by Khan’s camp was similar to the formal protest made by King, but with a subtle difference, Tucker told RingTV.com last week.
“I know that Golden Boy was saying that it was the same case as it was with Mares. But in the case of Abner Mares, the difference between what happened with Khan’s situation and what happened with the Mares-Agbeko fight was that the guy who actually lost the first fight, Agbeko, was the guy who had been fouled,” said Tucker last week.
“This last fight, the guy who lost the fight was the guy who was committing the fouls. Khan was the guy who was holding down the head and using the elbows and doing the pushing.”
The IBF also ordered an immediate rematch off an informal protest with a cruiserweight title bout in which Cunningham lost his belt by sixth-round technical decision to Hernandez on Oct. 1 in Neubrandenburg, Germany.
The fighters accidentally clashed heads twice in the early rounds, causing a cut over Hernandez’s right eye that widened as the fight progressed. In the sixth round, Hernandez’s trainer, Ulli Wegner, asked for an examination by referee Mickey Vann, who then stopped the bout on the advice of ringside doctor Walter Wagner.
Tucker said that he and Peoples reviewed the video of the clash and determined that there “was an improper stoppage of the title fight.” They then oredered Hernandez and Cunningham to fight a return bout.
Peterson edged Khan, 113-112 on the cards of judges George Hill of New Jersey and Valerie Dorsett of North Carolina, losing 115-110 on that of Nelson Vazquez of Puerto Rico.
Organizations assign their own official scorers to bouts as backup references, and WBA representative Michael Welsh scored it a draw, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, while the IBF’s rep Paul Ortiz had it for Peterson, said Tucker.
Golden Boy Promotions had initially requested that Washington D.C.Boxing and Wrestling Commission chairman Scottie Irving overturn the result of the win by Peterson (30-1-1, 15 knockouts) over Khan (26-2, 18 KOs).
Khan was deducted one point each during the the seventh and 12th rounds by Cooper, who was chosen by the commission from a list of four referees provided by the IBF, according to Tucker and Irving. Khan was penalized for pushing Peterson’s head down in the seventh, and for shoving Peterson away in the 12th.
Tucker and Peoples responded to Khan’s formal protest seeking an immediate rematch against Cooper’s decision to deduct points.
“We decided not to order an immediate rematch on the basis of the fact that in the rules, if the referee feels that it’s a foul, then that’s his call to take a point. In that fight, he did warn Khan several times before he actually took the first point,” said Tucker.
“At one point, before he took the point, Cooper said, ‘this is the final warning.’ I believe that that was in sixth round, because he took the point in the seventh round. But before he took the point, he did say ‘this is the final warning,’ and then, he did take the point.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com