Judge changes decision on scorecard - Broad support for Ahmet Öner

Arena Press Release: After the very emotional discussions right after the European heavyweight championship between Sinan Samil Sam and Paolo Vidoz in Ankara Friday night ARENA-CEO Ahmet Öner gained broad support for his reaction to the draw. After the dust had settled Öner talked to the involved officials who made clear that they understand his anger..

“Basically everybody agrees on what happened” states Öner. “We knew that it was a close fight but we thought that Sinan had won it - especially after he dominated the last round. But then one of the judges all of a sudden changed his mind which is very contestable from my point of view. I was really upset about this and we will not accept this without an inquiry.”


One of the judges changed a 10 for Sinan on the 12th round scorecard into a 9 afterwards. That single point made the difference between a close split decision win and a draw.

“Of course, you can always give close rounds to both fighters” says Öner. “But to change your decision afterwards in the final rounds smells like fraud. Especially as I thought the last round was one of the clearest rounds in favour of Sinan.”

Being a former professional boxer himself Öner knows how Sinan must have felt after hearing the official result: “Sinan was so sure that he had won the fight. His corner and everybody told him: ‘If you win the last round, then you’ll win the fight.’ Then he felt he had won the last round. Of course, he thinks that he has been cheated. I felt the same right after the fight and I couldn’t control my feelings.”

After everything had calmed down a little Öner talked to all the judges and EBU president Bob Logist who promised to take a closer look at the situation again.

“I may have overreacted in the first moment”, adds Öner. “But the conversations afterwards show me that I was right. Everybody backed me up and told me to go the official way of protest. That is what I discussed with Bob (Logist) as well and he supports it.”

Aleksejs Kosobokovs, supervisor of the show for the Baltic League of Professional Boxing stated: „I was surprised by the result as I saw Sinan ahead with two rounds at least. Of course, this fight was not under my control and is none of my business but I fully understand that Ahmet Öner is angry about this outcome.”

But not only the officials sympathize with Öner. His opposition of the night understands him as well. “To be honest usually in professional boxing you calculate with a home advantage” says Vidoz-promoter Christian Cherchi. “That is why we wouldn’t have protested in that moment if Vidoz had lost by close decision. I understand Ahmet who only protects the interests of his fighters. That is what all promoters do. You shouldn’t blame him for his emotional temper. He's a young promoter and I think the experience will help him in the future.”

Article posted on 05.07.2008

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