Philippines, 28 Nov 2022
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This past Friday night was suppose to be an action packed main event featuring world rated Filipino Michael ?Iron Fist? Farenas (38-4, 30KO) and the tough veteran Hector Velasquez (56-21, 38KO), but ended in a controversial fashion that left most Filipino and foreign boxing experts in complete confusion.

MAG Boxing Promotions had their second event at the San Juan Fil-Oil?Flying V Arena in the heart of San Juan City.

The fight started with a good feeling out for each boxer. The 2nd round was starting to heat up with both fighters as they were not afraid to exchange blows. Then at 1:40 into the round, everything changed; Velasquez was caught with a massive head clash that opened a deep cut on his right eyelid.

Veteran International Referee Bruce McTavish, the third man in the ring, admitted he was not in the right position to see if it was a punch or a head clash that caused the cut. He consulted the three Filipino judges, Ferdinand Estrella, Jerrold Tomeldan and Carlo Baluyot, to see if they saw what caused the opening of the cut. It was announced that 2 of the 3 judges said they saw a punch open the cut.

Did they have a better angle to see the incident? The replay contradicts what they thought they've seen.

The cut on Velasquez's right eyebrow.

The World Boxing Council has rules for championship fights and it states:

Instant Replay: In major controversies regarding uncertainty of origin of a cut, punches landed after the bell or any major situation that can change the outcome of the bout, the following procedure will be applied:


1. The WBC will appoint a panel in charge of instant replay. The panel will consist of the WBC Supervisor, the local commission Supervisor, and the specifically appointed monitor supervisor.

2. The promoter with the support of the television network will provide a monitor to be placed in the head table of the commission with headphones for audio commentary to receive the live feed.

3. Instant replay is limited to review (a) whether a cut or other injury to the face is the result of a punch or otherwise; or (b) whether a punch is thrown after the bell signalling the end of a round and (c) in any major situation that can change the outcome of the bout and where the replay clearly shows the actions are contradictory to the live ruling of the referee.

4. The referee may call ?time out? during the bout and consult with the instant replay panel, if in doubt, as to any scenario.

5. The instant replay panel will review any controversial instance that may have occurred in any round. A determination of the referee may be overruled solely if the instant replay monitor clearly and Conclusively reveals, according to each member of the panel, that the ruling of the action by the referee was mistaken in his original determination.

6. The referee may request to verify the action by watching the TV monitor or may choose to accept the panel?s recommendation.

7. Both corners and the audience will be notified of the final decision.

Team Velasquez was very upset after the decision. ?I have fought all over the world, and I never saw this happen in my life. The TV monitors were in plain view for the Referee, Fans, Judges and the WBC supervisor. This error by the Philippine Boxing Commission paints a bad picture for the whole Philippines,? stated Velasquez.

?We knew coming to the Philippines we had to win by a knockout, I trained very hard for this fight, I sacrificed so much and then this happens,? added Velasquez.

Velasquez was treated at San Juan Medical Center after the fight and needed four stitches to close the cut. The kind staff at the medical center were excited to take photos with the former champ.

Velasquez (2nd from right) poses with the San Juan Medical Center staff.

This has the making of an immediate rematch, and Velasquez wants it to happen. The Filipino fans were very proud to meet and greet with Velasquez. He was mobbed for photos everywhere he went, thanks to the great team at GMA TELEVISION, with their big exposure for this event.

The MAG Boxing Promotions had a very grand event, thanks to Promoters Anson Co, Manny Pacquiao and Gerry Penalosa for their hard work in making this happen. They want the best fights for the boxing fans.

Velasquez added, ?I am ready for a rematch, and if the fans want it to happen, I will come back. The Philippine Boxing Commission needs to be professional and overturn this bad decision and order an immediate rematch, if they don?t order a rematch, then it shows that the Philippines are not practicing sportsmanship and equality.?

Team Velasquez are going to file a protest with the WBC and a copy of the head clash, so this fight will be declared a no-contest.

Below is GMA7's report on the fight and the headbutt:

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Mike Angel Lopez.

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