WBO President orders independent panel to review Kildare boxer Dennis Hogan's controversial world title defeat
The President of the World Boxing Organisation Paco Valcárcel has said he will order an independent panel of judges to assess the controversial scoring in Dennis Hogan's world title fight in Monterrey, Mexico last weekend.
The Kilcullen fighter lost on a majority 2-0 decision, though most observers felt he had beaten the defending WBO super welterweight champion Jaime Munguia, who was the overwhelming favourite.
It has also emerged that neither boxer was drug tested after the fight. Drug testing is supposed to be mandatory after world title contests.
However, in his first public comment on the escalating controversy, Valcárcel told Kevin Iole from Yahoo Sport that while the failure to have testing was disappointing, it would not be grounds to order a rematch.
"There was supposed to be testing," Valcárcel told Yahoo Sports. "But the lab didn’t show up."
Asked why the absence of drug testing - regardless of the controversy over the scoring – wasn't grounds for a rematch Valcárcel fudged the issue.
"We have to presume the guy [Munguia] was clean. He has no history of any issues. The testing should have been done, but the lab didn’t show up, so there was nothing that could be done."
This is not the first time that an Irish boxer has run foul of the boxing authorities in Mexico.
In 2016 Monaghan's Christina McMahon was beaten by Mexican fighter Zulina Munoz in a WBC super flyweight title in Chihuahua. Afterwards, the 'sealed' bottle which McMahon was given to provide a urine sample had holes drilled in its bottom.
None of the three judges scored the contest in Hogan's favour. Richard Levine had it 114-114 draw, Rocky Young give the verdict to Munguia 115-113 while judge Waleska Roldan's score of 116-112 – which meant she only had Hogan winning four of the 12 rounds – was greeted with disbelief.
Hogan's management team headed by Dubliner Paul Keegan lodged an official protest with the WBO over the scoring, the failure to drug test the fighters and the conditions in Hogan's corner. His cornermen were not provided with chairs or stools to sit on during the contest whereas Munguia's team were.
Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy organisation co-promotes Munguia along with Zanfer Promotions.
The President of Golden Boy Eric Gomez said though he scored the fight in favour of Munguia, they were open to a rematch. Speaking to Yahoo sport, he expressed surprise that the post fight drug test did not occur.
Hogan, who is currently on holiday in Ireland, has admitted that he his now beginning to doubt whether the Munguia camp will keep to their promise, made immediately after the fight, that they would give him a rematch.
The fact that the controversy refuses to die down nearly a week after the fight is embarrassing to both the WBO and in particular Golden Boy.
It remains to be seen, though whether the WBO will order a rematch.
A get-out clause for everyone would be for Munguia, who is clearly struggling to make the weight in this division, to move into the middleweight division and for WBO to then Hogan as the mandatory challenger for the then vacant super welterweight title.