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Cuarto cries foul


PhilBoxing.com



Cuarto.
Rene Mark Cuarto lost his IBF minimumweight crown to Mexico’s Daniel Valladares on a split 12-round decision in Monterrey yesterday morning (Manila time) but insisted he was victimized by dubious officiating from Arizona referee Wes Melton who ignored a knockdown and deducted a point for a third delay in fixing loose tape on his glove.

Judge Jonathan Davis of California scored it 116-111 and judge Daniel Sandoval 115-112, both for Valladares while judge Joel Elizondo of Texas saw it 114-113 for Cuarto. In the eighth frame, Cuarto hurt Valladares who went down from a flurry but Melton ruled it a slip. MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons, watching at ringside, said it was a clear knockdown. In the 10th, Melton slapped a point deduction on Cuarto for a delay to fix loose tape on his glove. The tape was loose again in the 11th and Melton cut it off instead of leading Cuarto to his corner for repairs. Gibbons said in his over three decades of involvement in boxing, he had never before witnessed a referee deduct a point for fixing loose tape.

Cuarto’s trainer Nonoy Neri fumed at the end of the bout. He said there was no way Valladares won the fight as he was bloodied from a scalp wound and cuts over both eyes. Neri said in the fourth round, an overhand right opened a deep cut in the corner of Valladares’ left eye while accidental butts left a small gash over the right eye and a scalp wound. Welton summoned the ringside physician to check on Valladares’ cuts at the start of the seventh and ninth rounds but allowed the fight to continue. Neri said if Welton waved it off, Cuarto would’ve won by TKO.

Gibbons said Cuarto will exercise the rematch clause in the fight contract. He’ll try to solicit support from sponsors to bring the return fight to Manila. Neri said weight was no problem but landing in Mexico four days before the fight made it difficult to shake off jet lag. Then, the hot weather didn’t help. Gibbons’ son Brendan, who assisted in Cuarto’s corner, said it was 94 degrees outside the arena and over 100 degrees inside. The humidity moistened the tape on Cuarto’s gloves and caused the loosening.

Cuarto said he felt Valladares’ punches but wasn’t bothered. In the late rounds, Neri told Cuarto to stick his jab and throw combinations without looking for a knockout but the defending champion charged in for a homerun instead, allowing Valladares to clinch in close quarters repeatedly. Cuarto appeared to run out of steam down the stretch and the Mexican capitalized by finishing stronger. But if Welton scored the knockdown and didn’t deduct a point, Cuarto would’ve retained the title by either a split decision or draw.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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