On Saturday, Paul Magno of Yahoo! Sports brought attention to a very serious situation regarding tampered gloves, which took place in Mexico last weekend prior to a women’s bout.
The fight in question was the rematch between Riyo Togo and Mariana Juarez. The first fight took place in April, with the usually durable Juarez getting shockingly stopped in the first round. She previously hadn’t been stopped since 2005.
According to the article, members of Juarez’s team during a pre-fight inspection found the padding in Togo’s gloves to have been tampered with.
“The padding had been removed from the front part and that the fighter’s knuckles and hand wraps were pressed directly against the leather of the glove,” wrote Magno.
The issue was brought up to WBC supervisor Dr. Lorenzo Soberanes, who had the gloves confiscated.
RingTV reached out to WBC executive secretary Mauricio Sulaiman regarding the issue and the current plan of action.
“The WBC has received the gloves in the office, and a hearing will be held with the trainer who allegedly removed the padding from the gloves, in our headquarters on Wednesday,” wrote Sulaiman in an e-mail.
“We will conduct the process to gather all information and proceed with the ruling about this very sensible case.”
“The WBC is very proud of the work and performance of our WBC supervisor, Dr. Lorenzo Soberanes, who has been a very hard working, respectable member of the boxing industry in Mexico as head of the Cd Juarez commission and member of the WBC for over 20 years.
We will make a public statement after the hearing is completed.”
The situation is very reminiscent of the glove tampering that took place prior to the 1983 bout between Luis Resto and Billy Collins. Resto battered Collins for ten rounds and it was discovered by Collins’ father in the ring after the fight that there was something amiss with the gloves.
The end result was that the gloves were found to have been stripped of the padding almost completely, and both Resto and trainer Panama Lewis received a lifetime ban from the ring, though Lewis still works with fighters in the gym.
That a crisis was averted last weekend in Mexico is a positive, but one has to wonder what took place when these two women met the first time.
Mark E. Ortega is a contributing writer to RingTV and has been featured in boxing publications RING Magazine and Boxing Monthly. He is a member of the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America and can be reached via e-mail and followed on Twitter.