Boxing

Lucian Bute, Librado Andrade, Marlon B. Wright and the Incompetent Timekeeper A Non-Controversy

Lucian ButeBy A.R. - As I wrote in my preview for this fight, "The Best of Friends, But Lucian Bute Shouldn't Take Librado Andrade Lightly", boxing fans did not enjoy a simple bull-fight, cooked up to make Bute look good. Andrade was not the predictable "bull" many had taken him for.

This bull almost killer the matador. Almost! Lucian Bute won fair and square last Friday night. He beat the count. The moment he was up on his feet, the fight should have been stopped. Forget about the "long count"; it is irrelevant; Bute was not knocked out, nor was Andrade robbed of his chance to knock him out for good, because of "the long count". The only controversial thing about the fight was why the timekeeper prolonged the fight illegally, after it had effectively ended.

Please watch the video of the last round and read the rules pertaining to this contest, before going any further.

VIDEO OF THE LAST ROUND: http://fr.justin.tv/clip/f2fc320a168

IBF BOUT RULES: http://www.ibf-usba-boxing.com/userfiles/File/IBF-USBA%20Bout%20Rules.pdf

KNOCKDOWN AND KNOCKOUTS:

1. A boxer shall be deemed to be down when any part of his body except his feet are on the floor, or if he is hanging helplessly over the ropes as a result of a legal blow as ruled by the referee, who is the only person authorized to determine this.

2. There will be a mandatory eight (8) count when one of the contestants is knocked off the soles of his feet or draped helplessly across the ropes. If this occurs, the knockdown timekeeper's count will commence and be picked up by the referee. At this point, the referee is in control and the knockdown timer will cease counting.

3. When a contestant is knocked down, the referee shall audibly announce the count as he motions with his right arm downward indicating the end of each second of the count. If the contestant taking the count is still down when the referee calls the count of ten (10) the referee will wave both arms indicating the contestant has been knocked out.

4. When a contestant has been knocked down, the referee will order the standing contestant to the farthest neutral corner and begin the count. If the contestant standing leaves the corner before the count has been completed, the referee shall discontinue the count and order the standing contestant back into the corner. The count will not resume until the standing contestant has returned to the neutral corner.

5. Three (3) knockdowns in any one round do not automatically terminate the fight. If in the referee's judgment, which must be keen and decisive, the knockdowns have been indecisive and clearly have no injurious effect upon the boxer, the contest may continue but with good sense and judgment and the boxer's welfare always paramount.

6. The bell will not save a boxer in any round of the bout. If a boxer is "downed" just before the 3-minute bell in any round, the referee's count shall continue and the bell will not ring until the boxer rises and his hands clear the floor.

THE ARGUMENT:

Lucian Bute was knocked down with two (2) seconds left of the twelfth and final round, not ten (10), as Andrade's trainer Howard Grant would have us believe. Just watch the video and convince yourselves! Eight seconds later, he was up on his feet. No parts of his body except his feet were on the floor and he wasn't hanging helplessly over the ropes either. According to Rule No. 1, therefore, he wasn't down; he was up. Since he was up within eight seconds of being knocked down, he would have beaten the eight (8) count. Since he continued to stay up after he beat the eight (8) count, he would have beaten the ten (10) count too, so, according to Rule No. 3, he couldn't have been knocked out. According to Rule No. 6, the final bell should have ringed as soon as Bute had risen with his hands clear of the floor, six seconds after the end of the three minute period. The main timekeeper failed to ring the bell at this moment, flaunting the rules. The timekeeper prolonged the fight illegally after it was in effect, according to the rules, over. The timekeeper's failure to abide by the rules led to an unwarranted controversy.

THE UNWARRANTED CONTROVERSY:

The referee is not responsible for timekeeping, except according to Rule No.2, after he picks up the count from the knockdown timekeeper, the second timekeeper. Marlon B. Wright, the referee, did not know that Bute had been knocked down two seconds left until the end of the round, because he has no way of knowing how many minutes, tens of seconds or seconds are left in a round, at any point after the starting bell. He can only guess, but it's not his job to do that either. That is why there is a timekeeper to keep track of time and announce the referee, if appropriate, using the bell, when the round is over.

Had the referee known that Bute had been knocked down with as little as two seconds until the end of the round, he would not have concentrated on Andrade to any extent, but would just have established whether Bute beat the count or not. Since the knockdown occurred two seconds before the end of the fight, Andrade became irrelevant. There was no time left in the round for Bute to get up, get the mandatory eight (8) count, for the fight to be restarted and for Andrade to play a further role in the fight. According to Rule No. 2, the referee, after sending Andrade to the neutral corner, was to pick up the count from the second timekeeper, the knockdown timekeeper, and continue counting. According to Rule No. 6, the main timekeeper was to ring the bell ending the bout as soon as Bute was up on his feet and his hands clear of the floor, as long as Bute had beaten the count, which he did. After ringing the bell, the referee was to invite the judges to give their decision, no knockout having been scored in the fight.

But the timekeeper failed to abide by the rules and failed to ring the bell, so the referee did not know that the bout was over. He must have assumed, reasonably, that since the bell did not ring, there was still time left in the three minute period for the fight to continue. Remember that the referee didn't know at what time during the round the knockdown occurred. He could have assumed that is occurred with ten, fifteen, twenty seconds or even longer left of the three minute round, not, as in the actual case, with two seconds left. In the absence of the timekeeper's final bell, he allowed the bout to continue, when, according to the rules, it had been over the very moment Bute beat the count.

"THE LONG COUNT"

"The long count" shouldn't even have taken place! Yet, it did, and it was responsible in great part for the controversy. "The long count" lasted twenty (20) seconds, not 24, as Andrade's Golden Boy Promotions' representative or Nick Charles from Showtime would have us believe. Just watch the video and convince yourselves! After Bute was knocked down, the referee sent Andrade to the neutral corner, picked up the count from the knockdown referee and counted to six (6). Bute was already up by the referee's count of six. He had beaten the count and the fight was over. Because the timekeeper failed to signal the end of the fight, the referee wrongly assumed there was still time left of the three minute period and carried on. Andrade also wrongly assumed there was still time left for him to play a further role in the fight. Having reached the count of six, the referee noticed that Andrade had moved from the neutral corner towards the centre of the ring, trying to gain an unfair advantage by closing the distance between him and his opponent. According to Rule No. 4, if the contestant standing leaves the corner before the count has been completed, the referee shall discontinue the count and order the standing contestant back into the corner. The count will not resume until the standing contestant has returned to the neutral corner. Andrade left his corner before the referee could complete his count. Marlon B. Wright discontinued the count and ordered Andrade back into the corner. He did not resume the count until Andrade had returned to the neutral corner. The referee obeyed the rules thoroughly and completely. "The long count" wasn't long at all. The only person responsible for "the long count" being as long as it was, is Andrade, who left the neutral corner to gain an unfair advantage. Although not seen in the video above, the Canadian PPV transmission showed Andrade almost half way across the ring, when the referee asked him to get back into his neutral corner. The 16,000+ in the arena saw it with their own eyes too! It's undeniable, whatever Andrade himself would have us believe.

"The long count" is irrelevant to the question of whether Bute was knocked out and to the question whether Andrade was robbed of his chance to finish Bute off, because it occurred after the bout was effectively over. To the extent that it is at all controversial, it only characterises the referee's supposed bias towards Bute. It is not material to the bout or to whether the right man won or not, because it occurred after the end of the fight. Had the timekeeper obeyed the rules and rang the final bell as soon as Bute was up on his feet with his hands clear of the floor, six seconds after the end of the final three minute period, "the long count" would not even have occurred. The fight was over. Bute beat the count. The decision should have gone directly to the judges because no knockout had been scored.

After the referee sent Andrade back to his corner, he resumed the count at six (6). In other words, he counted six twice! This irregular incident contributed to pundits characterising the referee as biased towards Bute. Bute was given an extra second to recover. Although irregular, this incident is immaterial to whether Bute was knocked out or not or to whether the referee stole a precious second from Andrade, depriving him of the chance to try and knock Bute out, after the fight was restarted. It is immaterial because Bute already beat the count before the referee counted six for the first time, so he didn't depend on that extra count of six to beat the count, and because the fight was already over before the referee restarted the count and counted six for the second time, so Andrade was no deprived of that extra second in his attempt to finish Bute off.

The fight was over but no one knew it, because the timekeeper had failed to ring the bell signalling the end of the fight the moment Bute was up on his feet with his hands clear of the floor, eight seconds after the knockdown, six seconds after the end of the three minute period, as Rule No. 6 requires. The referee continued the eight (8) count, finished the eight (8) count, asked Bute if he was ready to carry on by demanding that he raise his gloves, Bute raised his gloves, signalling he was ready to continue, the referee restarted the fight (even though it had long been over, according to the rules), Bute took a small step forward, and then and only then, did the timekeeper ring the bell. After hearing the bell, the referee waved it off.

WAS BUTE KNOCKED OUT?

The only way Andrade could have won by knockout in the final round, is if Bute had not beaten the count. According to Rules No.1 and No. 3, Bute would have been considered knocked out if any part of his body except his feet were on the floor, or if he was hanging helplessly over the ropes at the end of the ten (10) count. Now, eight (8) seconds after the knockdown, no parts of Bute's body except his feet were on the floor and he was not hanging helplessly over the ropes either. He remained in this situation for the rest of the evening. In other words, Bute was not knocked out. He was knocked down, got back up and would have beaten the eight (8) count, had that been completed, since he was up within eight (8) seconds. For Bute to be knocked out, events should have unfolded like this:

Bute goes down with two seconds to go. The referee sends Andrade to the neutral corner and picks up the count from the knock-down timekeeper. He keeps counting and when he reaches eight (8), at least one part of Bute's body except his feet was on the ground or he was hanging helplessly over the ropes. The referee counts nine and Bute is in the same situation, more or less. As he counts ten, at least one part of Bute's body except his feet was on the ground or he was hanging helplessly over the ropes. The referee waves his hands to signal a knockout. Andrade wins by KO 12.

This is of course, not what happened. Bute was up within eight seconds of the knockdown. It would have been impossible for the referee, any referee, to have counted him out. So, Andrade could not have won a KO12.

WAS BUTE THEN TECHNICALLY KNOCKED OUT?

It has also been argued that although Bute wasn't knocked out, he was in fact technically knocked out because he wasn't in a position to continue, after he beat the clock. According to the rules, though, he needn't have been in a position to continue, because there was nothing left to continue; the fight had been over the second he beat the count. Since there was no fight for Bute to continue, after the end of the fight, he needn't have been in a position to continue; he just needed to be up, early enough to beat the count, as defined by Rule No.1 (that no part of his body should be on the floor and that he shouldn't hang helplessly over the ropes). Bute was up and he beat the count because he was up within eight seconds of getting knocked down. There was no time to count him up; he beat the count!

The only way Andrade could have won a TKO 12 is if Bute had been knocked down earlier in the round, beat the count, was asked to continue and declined, or, tried to continue and was unable to do so, for example because he was staggering or losing his balance, with seconds still left of the final three minute round on the clock. This would have forced the referee to wave the fight off, deeming Bute technically knocked out, before the three minutes had elapsed. Since Bute went down with two seconds left on the clock, there was no time left for him to get up, get an eight count, and have the fight restarted for him then to suddenly become unable to continue, allowing the referee to deem him technically knocked out, before the three minutes of the final round had elapsed. In other words, Andrade could not have won by technical knockout either, whether Bute was in a position to continue after the mandatory eight (8) count or not. It is immaterial whether Bute was in a position to continue after he beat the count, because the second he beat the count, the fight was over. After the fight is over, whether you are able to fight on or not is immaterial to the question of whether you were up on your feet at the end of the fight, with your hands clear of the floor.

It has also been argued that the referee should have asked Bute to take a step towards him to prove he was in a position to continue, after he beat the count, at the end of the eight (8) count. Again, according to the rules, the referee needn't have done that because the fight was over. The referee didn't know that the fight was over, because the timekeeper failed to notify him by ringing the bell. In these circumstances, the referee might have asked Bute to take a step towards him to prove he was able to continue, but he wasn't obliged to do so according to Rule No. 5. According to Rule No.5, the referee just had to be satisfied himself that Bute was ready to continue. Having satisfied himself that Bute was ready to continue by looking into his eyes, the referee asked him to raise his gloves to signal that he was willing to continue, and Bute did so. That gave the referee the green light he needed to restart the fight.

All of this, though, is, of course, immaterial because the fight was long over. The fight ended the very moment Bute was raised and his hands clear of the floor, eight seconds after the knockdown.

WAS BUTE SAVED BY THE BELL THEN?

But, if we assume Bute wasn't able to continue after the mandatory eight (8) count, doesn't that mean that he was saved by the bell? Since the rules don't allow one to be saved by the bell, in any round, including the last round, according to Rule No. 6, how could Bute have not been declared technically knocked out?

Bute was not saved by the bell! For Bute to have been saved by the bell, the following needed to have occurred:

Bute gets knocked down with two seconds left of the round. The referee starts the count. Before he can count Bute out, the bell rings to signal the end of the three minute period, so the referee stops counting and Bute is saved by the bell, even though the moment the bell rang, he was still not raised with his hands clear of the floor, as defined by Rule No. 6, and, if the bell hadn't rang and if the referee had thus continued his count, he would have counted Bute out before Bute could have made it back up.

Bute couldn't have been saved by the bell! Not only did the timekeeper not ring the bell at the end of the three minute period to save Bute, but he also failed to ring the bell when he should have done so - the moment Bute had risen to his feet and his hands had cleared the floor. The timekeeper's failure to indicate to the referee that the fight was over led the referee to believe there was still time left of the three minute period, and thus, led him to continue the count after the end of the fight.

CAN THE BELL RING WHILE THE REFEREE IS STILL COUNTING?

There is no rule that says the bell cannot ring while the referee is still counting. Rule No. 6 suggests, although doesn't explicitly state, that the timekeeper can ring the bell while the referee is still counting as long as the fighter had risen and his hands had cleared the floor. According to rule No. 3, if the contestant taking the count is still down when the referee calls the count of ten (10) the referee will wave both arms indicating the contestant has been knocked out, so in this case, the bell no longer rings to indicate the end of the round, either during the referee's count, at the referees count of ten (10) or after the referee's count of ten (10); the end of the fight will instead be indicated by the referee waving both arms to indicate the contestant has been knocked out.

If the bell doesn't ring after you have been knocked out in the beginning or middle of the round, why should it ring if you have been knocked out at the end of the round? It doesn't! But there is no rule according to which the bell cannot ring while the referee is still counting, as long as the fighter had risen and his hands had cleared the floor. According to Rule No. 6, the timekeeper has to ring the bell at this time.

SHOULDN'T THE TIMEKEEPER HAVE WAITED FOR THE REFEREE TO FINISH THE COUNT BEFORE RINGING THE BELL?

What count should the timekeeper have waited for the referee to finish? The eight (8) count or the ten (10) count? Bute beat the eight (8) count, so he couldn't have received a ten (10) count anyway. He couldn't have been counted out. It was the responsibility of the timekeeper to ring the bell and signal the end of the round and out the bout as soon as Bute beat the count, this being the twelfth and final round. His failure to do so confused the referee into thinking there was still time left to restart the fight.

ISN'T THE DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE REFEREE TO COUNT OR NOT, TO CONTINUE COUNTING AND TO DETERMINE WHETHER BUTE HAD BEATEN THE COUNT? WHY SHOULD THE TIMEKEEPER DECIDE WHETHER BUTE HAD BEATEN THE COUNT?

It's up to the referee to count or not, to continue counting and to determine whether Bute had beaten the count or not but only as long as the fight wasn't already over. But in this case, the fight was already over. The referee didn't know the fight was over, because the timekeeper didn't ring the bell to warn him of this fight! The referee thought there was still time left on the clock, so he continued to count past the mark where he would have stopped had the timekeeper done his job and signalled the end of the round/fight.

WHEN SHOULD THE TIMEKEEPER HAVE RINGED THE BELL?

Rule No. 6 doesn't specifically prohibit the timekeeper from ringing the bell after the referee administers the full eight (8) count. According to one interpretation of this rule, the timekeeper could have waited to ring the bell until the referee finished administering the full eight (8) count, despite the fact that by then, (by the referee's count of six (6)) Bute has already risen and his hands had cleared the floor. The referee rang the bell neither when Bute had risen and his hands had cleared the floor, according to a strict reading of Rule No. 6, nor later, when the referee had finished the full eight (8) count, according to this second interpretation of the rule, nor, indeed, afterwards!

The timekeeper in fact waited for the referee to receive confirmation from Bute that he was willing to continue, and for him to restart the fight before he rang the bell, flaunting any possible interpretation of rule No. 6. It seems that the rogue timekeeper could in fact have stopped the clock altogether when Bute was knocked down with two seconds left of the round, and let the fight continue for those two seconds after the referee restarted the fight, before ringing the bell to signal the end of the fight. The rogue timekeeper's illegal action prolonged the fight for two seconds after it was in fact over, de facto allowing Andrade an extra two seconds to attempt to knock Bute out in.

Had Bute been knocked out with four or five seconds left on the clock, the rogue timekeeper's actions could have led to Bute being knocked out within those extra four or five seconds after the end of the fight! Andrade's team have accused the referee of being in Bute's team's pocket, for having counted six (6) twice, against the rules. But why is Andrade's team also not accused of paying off the rogue timekeeper to extend the fight after it was over, to try and give Andrade an unfair advantage? The clock doesn't get stopped the moment a fighter is knocked down; it keeps on running. What happens when a fighter gets knocked down is that the second timekeeper, the knockdown timekeeper, starts his own clock. After the referee calls a knockdown and sends the fighter standing up to the neutral corner, he picks up the count from the knockdown timekeeper and continues the count, according to Rule No. 2. But the rogue timekeeper seemed to have done just that! He stopped the clock and prolonged the fight, instead of ending the fight as soon as Bute beat the count. He also deceived the referee into believing there was still time left on the clock for the fight to be restarted, even though the fight had long been finished.

DOESN'T THIS MEAN THAT THE TIMEKEEPER WOULD HAVE DECIDED THAT BUTE HAD BEATEN THE COUNT INSTEAD OF THE REFEREE? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? SHOULDN'T THE REFEREE ALONE DECIDE WHETHER BUTE HAD BEATEN THE COUNT?

Well, Rule No. 6 says:

"If a boxer is "downed" just before the 3-minute bell in any round, the referee's count shall continue and the bell will not ring until the boxer rises and his hands clear the floor."

and not:

"If a boxer is "downed" just before the 3-minute bell in any round, the referee's count shall continue and the bell will not ring until the boxer rises and his hands clear the floor AS LONG AS THE REFEREE GIVES HIS APPROVAL OR INDICATES TO THE TIMEKEEPER THAT HE IS ALLOWED TO RING THE BELL." (or something to that effect)

Why would the referee have to be the sole arbiter of whether the fighter had risen with his hands clear of the floor? Isn't it obvious whether he had risen and whether his hands had cleared the floor? I think it is! The timekeeper has a clear view of the ring. If the timekeeper is not 100% certain these conditions are met, he'd just not ring the bell, allowing the fighter more time to fulfil these conditions before ringing the bell, or allowing the referee to count him out for failing to fulfil these conditions before the count of ten (10).

True, it is indeed possible for the timekeeper to ring the bell whilst the referee is still counting only for the fighter to collapse a second later, leading to calls that the referee should have been allowed the full eight (8) count before the timekeeper was to have been allowed to ring the bell. Yes, it is possible for the timekeeper to get it wrong, just like it is possible for the referee to get it wrong, and stop a fight too early, for example, when all evidence after the stoppage suggests the fighter was not as hurt as the referee assumed he was. It could be argued that due to the proximity to the fighters, the referee should be the sole arbiter of whether the fighter had beaten the count or not, true; but the reasons it doesn't make sense for the referee to give a nod to the timekeeper to do anything at all, including to ring the bell are, for example:

1. The referee doesn't know how many seconds are left in the round. If there are more than 8 seconds left in the round, the count will have finished by the time the round is over anyway, and it will have been already decided by the referee, de facto, that he had beaten the count, so the timekeeper would not have had to play a role in determining that the fighter had risen and his hands had cleared the floor anyway. Because the referee doesn't know how far into the round they are at any given time, he wouldn't know whether it was appropriate or not to give a signal to the timekeeper that he could ring the bell for the end of the round.

2. The referee has to pay as much attention to the fighter as possible, to determine whether he has or hasn't beaten the count. He cannot afford to be distracted by looking at the timekeeper and giving him signals in the middle of the count.

3. The referee could stop the fight at any moment during the count, calling it a TKO, if the fighter was deemed by him in no condition even to attempt to beat the count.

It therefore makes much more sense from a practical standpoint to allow the timekeeper to also have a say in whether the fighter met the three conditions, in my view, particularly since the referee could not be undermined by the timekeeper, given his power to call a fighter technically knocked out, at any stage before the final bell. But what if Bute looked like he was on his feet with his hands clear of the floor, the timekeeper rang the bell, deciding he had beaten the count, only for Bute to then collapse in a heap again. The answer is it would be immaterial! What happens after the end of the fight is immaterial. If Andrade had collapsed from sheer exhaustion after the final bell, for example, would that have meant Bute KOed him? Of course not. You can win a fight, collapse the second it was over and die and your win would still stand, as long as you are deemed to have beaten the count, after you were knocked down. It is immaterial, again, but for what is worth, Bute in fact didn't collapse after the final bell. He walked gingerly to his corner. He then listened to the decision, celebrated, gave a press conference, went home, etc.; just another tough day at the office...

DOESN'T THAT STILL ALLOW FOR BUTE TO HAVE BEEN SAVED BY THE BELL?

Again, no, for the same reasons given above. The bell could not have saved Bute. It could only have ringed if he was up, having beaten the count, in the first place.

ISN'T THERE STILL A CONTROVERSY BECAUSE AFTER BUTE BEAT THE COUNT HE STILL HAD HIS BACK AGAINST THE CORNERPOST AND THE REFEREE DIDN'T ASK HIM TO TAKE A FEW STEPS FORWARD, BUT INSTEAD HE HIMSELF WALKED TOWARDS HIM AND WIPED HIS GLOVES WHILST BUTE'S BACK WAS STILL TOUCHING THE CORNERPOST?

It doesn't matter whether Bute was leaning against the corner post after he got up on his feet. By rising with his hands clear of the floor before any referee out there would have had the chance to count him out he beat the count. By beating the count, he put an end to the fight, according to Rule No. 6. Although utterly immaterial to the controversy, while the referee was continuing to count him, Bute could have rested against the cornerpost with his hands on the ropes for all it mattered, as long as he satisfied the referee he was ready to fight on at the precise count of eight, which, in this case, he did. At the count of eight, Bute was on his feet and his hands were clear of the floor. According to Rule No. 6, he was up. He had beaten the count. The fight was over and the timekeeper should have ringed the bell, if not earlier, the very moment Bute had risen, then, at least at this point in time, after the referee completed the eight count.

Could Bute have made a step forward towards the referee without falling? We don't know, it's true, but it doesn't matter! Bute could have fallen flat on his face for all it mattered, after beating the count, because he'd have fallen on his face after the end of the fight. As it happened, he didn't fall flat on his face but put up his gloves and took a step forward after the referee restarted the fight and after the fight was over two seconds later, he walked gingerly to his corner, unassisted.

SHOULDN'T THE REFEREE HAVE DEEMED BUTE TECHNICALLY KNOCKED OUT BEFORE THE KNOCKDOWN, WHEN HE WAS GETTING BATTERED POST TO POST BY ANDRADE?

The referee could have called a technical knockout at that stage, but let us not forget that there are no standing eight (8) counts in championship fights. Whilst Bute was in no position to defend himself, in the referee's opinion, he wasn't getting hurt badly enough to warrant stopping the fight either. Was the referee right not to stop the fight then? Hindsight would suggest he was! Bute did eventually get knocked down but it was as much down to him being exhaustion as it was down to him getting subsequently hurt. Bute also managed to beat the count, so he couldn't have been that hurt. Let us also not forget that Andrade didn't look fresh enough to hurt Bute too badly in the last thirty seconds, despite Bute not being in a position to defend himself. The referee had to take account of Andrade's offensive potential too. He judged that correctly as being limited. Andrade had around 30 seconds to score a knockout against a fighter who could no longer defend himself except by holding on, and he couldn't do it Andrade was too tired himself!

DIDN'T THE REFEREE PREVENT ANDRADE FROM WORKING ON THE INSIDE AND FROM FINISHING BUTE OFF IN THE LAST ROUND, ROBBING HIM OF HIS WIN?

No. The referee prevented Andrade from using his head and elbows against Bute whilst the latter was clinching. He also prevented Andrade from throwing Bute unto the ropes, illegally. The referee broke up the clinch, allowing Andrade to take Bute out fairly, with a punch. Andrade simply couldn't do it. When he did score a knockdown eventually, Bute beat the count and it was too late for Andrade to follow it up. The fight had already been over.

ISN'T IT FAIR TO SAY BUTE WON ON A TECHNICALITY? EVERYONE KNOWS HE WAS KNOCKED OUT, IN FACT!

No! Bute didn't beat the count on a technicality. Neither was he saved by the bell. Neither did he beat the count as a result of "the long count". Bute wasn't knocked out at all; technically or practically. He was up on his feet, his hands clear of the floor, without hanging helplessly over the ropes or hanging onto them for support, and without leaning unto the cornerpost! Bute had been knocked down, but not knocked out!

In conclusion, Bute was not knocked out. He beat the count and the fight should have been stopped as soon as he had done so. The timekeeper failed to abide by the rules, prolonging the fight illegally, giving Andrade an unfair advantage. Fortunately, Andrade's two seconds unfair advantage was too small to allow him to knock Bute out, after the end of the fight. The referee, Mr. Marlon B. Wright, used his judgement at all times during the fight and obeyed the rules completely, save when he counted six (6) twice. If there was anyone to blame for the unwarranted controversy, it was the timekeeper who prolonged the fight illegally.

Marlon B. Wright is a good, fair referee. He gave Bute two warnings for clinching and he gave Andrade a warning for using his elbow and one for using his head. Bute clinched too much on more than two occasions, but Andrade used his elbows and head on more than two occasions too! Which one is a worse infringement of the rules? Andrade wasn't even penalised for repeatedly throwing Bute into the ropes! So how did the hometown referee undermine Andrade?

The IBF should not investigate whether referee Wright was in the pocket of Team Bute, or whether he helped Bute get a hometown decision. Instead, the IBF should investigate The Incompetent Timekeeper who prolonged the fight illegally after it was effectively over.

If Bute had beaten the count and then would have fallen back down on the floor, the referee, not knowing that the fight had already finished the moment Bute had beaten the count, could have declared him technically knocked out, despite the fact that he would have done so after the end of the fight! Bute was just lucky to have recovered enough not only to beat the count but also to remain on his feet after the end of the fight. What happens to a fighter after the end of the fight has no bearing on the result of the fight, unless, as in this case, the fight is prolonged illegally and the referee doesn't know about it! The referee, Marlon B. Wright, didn't rob Andrade. He couldn't have robbed him after the end of the fight anyway! But he could have unwittingly robbed Bute of his win by declaring him technically knocked out not knowing that the fight was already over, if Bute had not been as strong as he proved to be for as long as he was, and all due to the omission of the incompetent referee to ring the bell when the fight was effectively over, when Bute rose on his feet with his hands clear of the floor, six seconds after the end of the three minute period of the last round!

REMATCH?

You bet!

Article posted on 28.10.2008



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