Britain’s Jamie Cox Wins Debatable Decision Over Obadai Sai, Wins Commonwealth Light-Middleweight Title

By James Slater: Jamie Cox of Swindon picked up a debatable, controversial 12-round UD over Ghana's Obadai Sai tonight in London, taking the unbeaten African’s Commonwealth light-middleweight title with the win. The scores were 114-113, 114-112 and 115-113, all for Cox.

Cox is now 16-0(9). Sai, who was in tears after hearing the verdict and losing his belt, falls to 15-1(10).

The big talking point of the fight, which was a decent action scrap - were the repeated low blows Cox landed. “This stinks,” former world champ and current SKY commentator Johnny Nelson said of the decision - a decision that went to Cox despite his repeated fouls.

Beginning very early in the fight and getting seriously crazy in the 4th, southpaw Cox landed some seemingly blatant low blows; ones that landed well below the belt line of the 27-year-old champion’s shorts. This series of fouls overshadowed the good work 25-year-old Cox was doing. Also making tonight’s decision look a distinctly dodgy one, were the number of clear head shots Sai landed - his right hand landing flush on many occasions.

Many of the rounds were close, with Cox’s sheer work-rate winning him most of the early sessions. But Sai’s accuracy and class looked to have bagged him enough of the middle and later rounds to have earned him the verdict. Cox also finished the fight looking tired and badly bloodied. A clash of heads in the 2nd-round left the challenger with a nasty cut above the left eye, while a cut was opened over Cox’s right eye by a punch in the 6th.

Both fighters felt the pace, a quite torrid one, and at the end both were looking ragged. But to me it was Cox who got hit the most overall, it was Cox who looked less in charge, and it was Cox who flaunted with disqualification with those repeated low blows (well into double figures by the end of the fight).

For what it’s worth, I had Sai holding onto his crown by a couple of points. Doubtless many in the crowd at the Frank Warren charity event also felt Sai won, as loud booing was to be heard as the verdict was announced.

But if the scoring of the officials will probably be debated, the question of whether or not Cox should have been DQ’d will certainly be asked. The referee, Mark Green, did take two points away from Cox (one point in the 5th, another in the 12th-round), as well as warning him three times, but was that enough?

Cox later denied landing intentional low blows and he seemed unwilling to accept that he’d landed anything naughty.

“It depends on what you call low blows,” the winner replied to a question asking him about his constant fouling.

Anyone who saw tonight’s entertaining but ultimately controversial, somewhat spoilt fight will tell you; Cox’s low blows were definite low blows. The least Sai deserves is a rematch. To his credit, Cox did say he’d give him one.

Article posted on 10.09.2011

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