Travis Walker Files Protest With IBA

(Houston) – Munisteri Sports & Entertainment President Stephen Munisteri, on behalf of Travis “Freight Train” Walker, has filed a protest with the IBA concerning the premature stoppage of his bout with T.J. Wilson on Showtime on Friday night. Mr. Munisteri, an attorney, on behalf of Mr. Walker, has requested the IBA order an immediate rematch for the IBA Continental America’s Heavyweight Championship and in the event that Mr. Wilson refuses a rematch to declare the title vacant and allow Mr. Walker to fight for the title..

Mr. Munisteri stated, “We are still in shock and disbelief that the referee would stop a nationally televised championship fight with an undefeated fighter after a few seconds when the fighter never hit the canvas, was raising his gloves to his face to protect himself at the time of the stoppage, and was coherent and communicative to the referee. When you watch the replay in slow motion you will see that for a fraction of a second when Mr. Walker was hit with a hook, he was stung. But in all boxing matches you get stung when the punch lands on you. The question is after you are stung whether you can defend yourself. Mr. Walker clearly could defend himself.

In fact, the slow motion replay shows Mr. Walker, in the very next frame, is beginning to raise his gloves to his face further indicating he was only stunned for a fraction of a second. This is further reinforced when you watch the fight in real time. When you watch the fight in real time it shows that Mr. Walker, just a fraction of a second after being hit, not only had raised his gloves to his face but as soon as the referee jumped in, immediately started yelling at the referee not to stop the fight. This was clearly a bad stoppage. I was personally right there in the corner where Walker was and I could see that his legs never buckled and he was on sturdy legs. This is evident in the videotape when he walks around without wobbling one bit. Being in the corner if I thought that he was going to be in any danger of being hurt we would have immediately thrown in the towel. No one knows what would have happened if the referee had allowed the fight to continue, whether Wilson would have landed other blows or whether Walker would have tied up and/or counterpunched. What I do know is that in a previous fight, Walker had been dropped twice and came back in the same round to knock down his opponent and eventually knock down his opponent a total of three times to win the bout. He has great recuperative powers because he is in great shape. This fight should never have been stopped and it is a travesty that an undefeated fighter who was the champion was not given the benefit of the doubt. Mr. Walker would love to fight Mr. Wilson again to demonstrate he is clearly the better fighter and if given an opportunity to prove it will do so.”

Travis Walker stated, “I am in total disbelief that the referee stopped the fight. The referee told us in the dressing room that if we got caught on the ropes and we weren’t firing back that he would tell us that we would have to show him something to continue the fight and that we would have to throw punches in order for him not to stop the fight if he gave us that warning. It may not have been the best strategy on my part, but I made a decision in that first round seeing that Wilson was not in the best of shape to let him expend some energy early prior to counterpunching. If the referee had shouted instructions that he needed to see something as he promised that he would do in the pre-fight instructions I would have immediately either grabbed or fired back. I did take a couple of shots but I blocked most of them. The last shot that the referee stopped the fight on did sting me but I knew where I was and I was clearheaded. I believe he stopped the fight because he saw that my head went down and my hands were down, but if you notice a few seconds earlier I also dropped my head and hands but it was also apparent that I was clearheaded. I was clearheaded on the last shot as well as evidenced by the fact that I was not only brining my hands back up to my head, but as soon as I saw the ref starting to come in I was yelling ‘no, no, no.’ I yelled at the ref that I was fine. I also was on sturdy legs. Stopping this fight was a travesty and I am glad my management has asked for the IBA to order a rematch. I have even told my manager that I am so confident that I would win a second time that I am willing to have a winner take all purse.” Munisteri went on to say he hopes to hear from the IBA shortly and that he could arrange a rematch for reasonable purses by the end of December, early January.

Munisteri stated, “Travis’ suspension is up December 4, and we have already arranged for quick work fight on December 6 in Missouri on a Steve Smith promoted card. I have already been talking to our promoter and other promoters about possibly hosting a rematch the end of December or early January. If Wilson wants an opportunity to make a substantial amount more than he did for the last fight we will provide him that opportunity. If Wilson decides not to fight Walker in a rematch, because he knows that Walker will beat him, then Travis will move on with a couple of work fights in December and then we will look for a fellow prospect or ranked contender to fight in January or February to get the “Freight Train” back on track.”

For more information contact Stephen P. Munisteri.

Article posted on 23.10.2007

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