Sharkie’s Machine: Librado Andrade KO’s Lucian Bute in 12th but Loses Decision?”
By Frank Gonzalez Jr. - October 25th, 2008 - In a tough, Super Middleweight title fight in Montreal between Canadian IBF titlist, Lucian Bute (23-0, 18 KO’s) and Mexican American IBF #1 contender, Librado Andrade (27-2, 22 KO’s), the referee, Marlon B. Wright turned out to be terribly wrong.
Article posted on 26.10.2008
It was a good fight, with Andrade always coming forward and Bute demonstrating slick boxing skills and constantly beating Andrade to the punch. Andrade was ruled downed in the tenth round from a push that should’ve been called a slip but the ref counted it as a knockdown. Bute had clearly won most of the rounds with the faster hands and cleaner punches and arguments can be made that Bute won ten of twelve rounds. But the truth is—Lucian Bute was knocked out in the twelfth round. He was knocked out by Librado Andrade, who was robbed by referee Marlon B. Wright. Unfortunately, the record books will not recognize this truth.
This was an example of hometown cooking at its worst.
After eleven rounds of punching, Bute was fatigued and hurt by a few strong Andrade rights in the eleventh round. He was getting hit a lot again in the 12th and Bute was fading fast. Andrade kept up the pressure, knowing that one clean shot would end the fight. Bute was already out on his feet before being hit with the punch that saw him go down but the ref kept getting between them, appearing to be protecting Bute by giving him more time to survive the last few seconds of the last round.
With ten seconds to go, Andrade pressed Bute into the corner ropes and threw punches that staggered Bute towards the opposite side of the ring. Andrade pursued him and the ref stepped between then again without cause. With less than five seconds to go, Andrade landed a flush right to the face of Bute that floored him. It was over! But the ref didn’t wave Bute out for the KO, he didn’t even start to count until Bute had struggled to his feet, still wobbling.
From the moment Bute went down, I started to count. Referee Wright didn’t even start to count until I had already counted 15 and he turned after counting to three to yell at Andrade to stay in his corner—though Andrade already WAS in the corner and doing nothing to suggest he was going to interfere with the count.
This was one of the more blatant examples of corruption I’ve seen in boxing over the last 20 years. Why did Wright stop counting, then turn and check on Andrade’s physical position in the ring, giving Bute all that extra time even though Bute was clearly OUT ON HIS FEET by the time he belatedly started to count?
When Wright turned back to continue his count, he started backwards from ten and stopped by the time he got to seven. It was incredible to see such an obvious act to save Bute from losing by knockout. In reality, Andrade won by KO. Unfortunately, the man who robbed him of his victory will not be held to account for his outrageously dishonest influence on the outcome of this fight.
All in all, it took Wright 24 seconds to render the count, which incorrectly saw Bute as having beaten the count. Even after the bogus count, Bute staggered off toward his corner, incapable of continuing if he had to.
The official decision came quickly to announce that Bute had won the fight, but there shouldn’t have been a Decision—anyone with eyes could see that Andrade had knocked Bute OUT!
How does Wright justify his actions? He said afterwards that it was Andrade’s fault that Bute won the decision because if Andrade would have stayed in his corner, he wouldn’t have had to stop the count. This is clearly bullshit. During the count, Wright, for no reason, paused his count and turned completely around to yell at Andrade. Why did he assume Andrade was not in the corner? I’ve seen thousands of fights but never saw a ref pause his ten-count to check if the other fighter had his back touching the corner ropes. Talk about being technical? The referee was technically dishonest. Surely US referees are guilty of similar crimes. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any place where boxing is administered honestly.
No matter how you slice it, this was a clear case of a Canadian referee protecting a Canadian titlist from losing his title. It was disgraceful!
This was actually a really good fight. It’s a shame that it had to end in such a crooked way. If Lucian Bute has any honor, he’d do well to call for an immediate rematch. If he doesn’t, his credibility will suffer. Anyone who saw this fight can attest that this “decision win” was incredibly dishonest. And I thought the Glen Johnson vs. Chad Dawson decision was bogus?
* * *
Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
previous article: News: Abraham-Marquez; Peter Buckley, Arnaoutis-Ankrah Undercard
next article: Bernard Hopkins: Doing It His Way and the Heavyweight Picture