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Outraged Fans Cry Ask GAB to Punish Ref and Judges in Villanueva-Macas Fight

PhilBoxing.com


Shortly after the posting on youtube.com yesterday of the 5th round of the controversial fight between undefeated featherweight prospect Lorenzo Villanueva and junior lightweight Eric Macas, which was initially declared by the referee as a technical decision victory for Macas, outraged boxing fans immediately called for the investigation and imposition of sanctions against the officials involved in the May 23 fight in Ozamis City.

"Damn, the ref and the judges are blind," said one blogger obviously referring to the slomo action of the controversial 5th round which showed the young and raw North Cotabato fighter Villanueva connecting with three clean punches to the face of Macas before referee Delbert Pelegrino stepped in to stop the fight and declared that the cut was caused by a headbutt.

Confounding the situation was the anomalous scoring of the judges at ringside who had Macas leading in their scorecards. One of the judges, Cyrusman Manatad, even had Macas leading 49-46 which meant that Villanueva won only one round of the five rounds scored. Under the rules, when the fight is stopped because of injuries to either fighter caused by a headbutt after the 3rd round, the scores are totalled and whoever leads will be declared the winner. However, if the fight is stopped because of injuries resulting from legal blows, the boxer who cannot continue loses the fight.

"Hometown decision," complained another blogger. Macas fights out of the Black Scorpion Stable of Lanao del Norte which is just across the bay from the venue of the fight, Ozamis City, and all the judges, including Manatad who is the son of an employee of Macas' manager, are from the area.

"Kaya hindi umaasenso ang Pilipino (boxers)," said a blogger while another said that it was obvious that the referee did not know his job.

Villanueva's manager, North Cotabato Vice Governor Manny Pinol, immediately protested the result of the fight shortly after Macas was declared winner and challenged the GAB panel to view the video recording of the bout.

Copies of the video recording of the fight have been sent to Commissioner Angel P. Bautista, officer in charge of the GAB, boxing chief Dr. Nasser Cruz, the referee and the judges of the fight and the manager of Macas, Limuel Yap of Maranding, Lanao del Norte.

"I am doing this in the interest of fair play and justice," said Vice Gov. Pinol who said that while Villanueva is raw and has an awkward fighting style, his courage and determination inside the ring are admirable and he could be transform later into a better boxer.

Villanueva, prior to the fight with Macas, was 14 - 0 with 14 knockouts. The bout against Macas was the first that went beyond 4 rounds for Villanueva.

GAB is expected to issue its ruling this week on the appeal of Vice Gov. Pinol for the result of the fight to be reversed to a technical knockout victory in favor of Villanueva.




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