Cunningham-Hernandez: A pretty good fight and great ending

On Saturday night in Neubrandenburg, Germany, Yoan Pablo Hernandez was awarded the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Cruiserweight Title by split technical decision over 2-time champion Steve Cunningham of Philadelphia after Hernandez's corner and doctor advised the referee to stop the bout in the corner after the 6th round.

Since the bout, in a release sent out by Sauerland Event, the Hernandez corner has attempted to take the focus away from the machinations that caused the stoppage and the score cards - with the judges voting for Hernandez being universally criticized by the media worldwide - which awarded Hernandez the belt, and have attempted to create controversy over the failure of the referee to stop the bout after Cunningham had been knocked down in Round 1, a move reminiscent of the “controversy” that some tried to create in the aftermath of Mike Tyson v Buster Douglas, Hernandez trainer Ulli Wegner is looking to divert attention away from the role played by the ring doctor Walter Wagner, who advised referee Mickey Vann that the fight should be stopped even though the cuts suffered by Hernandez were not bleeding. Cunningham responded to the tactics saying, “As soon as I read what Wegner was saying, I knew what it was - they want to take the focus off the way the fight was stopped. I am a true champion and despite the knock down, I was coming back to win that fight and they were not going to let that happen.”

In an AP report, Dr. Wagner is quoted as stating that he recommended that the Cunningham v Hernandez bout be stopped even though “the cuts weren't dangerous but the blood could have run into his eyes and affected his vision. I think the head clashes that the referee felt were accidental weren't entirely accidental. You can have different opinions there. Hernandez was at a disadvantage from the cuts, so I gave the recommendation.”

Let's get this right - the doctor, who was observed at ringside cheering on Hernandez and was noted to have been keeping a scorecard together with a representative of Sauerland Event, advised the referee - who would be remiss not to take the advice of a physician - to stop the bout because, in his medical opinion (?), Dr. Wagner felt that Hernandez was at a “disadvantage”- even though the cuts 'weren't dangerous” - and the blood “could have” run into Hernandez's eyes and “could have” affected his vision - even though it was clear that neither cut was bleeding when Hernandez arose from his stool?

Dr. Wagner proceeded to further question the judgment of the experienced referee Mickey Vann on the boxing (not medical) call about whether the clashes of heads were accidental or not? “Everyone knows that the referee is the one to make those calls, I am not a dirty fighter, never have been. When an orthodox and a southpaw fight, head butts are likely to happen, and with that cuts are likely also, but if the cuts were not causing a problem, the fight should have continued. The only person with a disadvantage was me, I was fighting against way more that Yoan Pablo Hernandez on Saturday night.” said Cunningham.

Dr. Wagner is no stranger to controversy - he was the ring doctor who was in the corner of Ulli Wegner-trained Arthur Abraham when Abraham was permitted to fight on against Edison Miranda, in spite of having suffered a broken jaw and with Abraham's face being a mask of blood throughout the bout. This obviously was, in the humble and respected opinions of Herr Wagner and Herr Wegner, far less an injury than was suffered by Hernandez, as both argued that Abraham could continue but that Hernandez could not. “It's really crazy. Abraham was allowed to fight on like a warrior despite his serious injuries and my fight was stopped due to two cuts that weren't bleeding, I guess they liked their chances with Abraham over Miranda more than they did of Hernandez beating me” said Cunningham.

Cunningham then went on to recount how the night went, “In the first round I was feeling him out. I thought it was going well and then I got caught by a good shot and went down. I was down but not out. The knock down only me made me more determined. After the action started in the second I was back and went to work. I could feel myself getting stronger, sharper every round and I could feel him fading. I could taste a late round stoppage coming. But as you know, we didn't get the chance to see who the best man was as they stopped it after the sixth round.”

Most neutral observers had Hernandez winning the first two rounds, with Cunningham taking control and winning Rounds 3 through 6. With Cunningham coming on and Hernandez fading, at the conclusion of Round 6, the referee asked the doctor to have a look at the cuts.

Doctor Wagner informed referee Vann that the fight should be stopped. The referee, who is in fact the final arbiter, was in a position in which he cannot, in good conscience, overrule what he takes to be advice provided by a neutral ring doctor based on what is believed to be medical opinion. Referee Vann asked “is that what you're telling me” and then stopped the fight on the advice of ring physician Wagner. Hernandez walked to the center of the ring, without a drop of blood coming from either cut, and shrugged to Cunningham like he didn't know why the fight was being stopped.

Hernandez wasn’t the only person confused by the decision, “I am a world champion, this is how I provide for my family and I have and always will fight to the end. Perhaps Wegner was out for some revenge after what I did to Huck, they wanted my belt and were willing to do whatever to take it” said Cunningham, before continuing “I have asked my lawyer to look what my options are, at the end of the day, no one should feel good about the way this fight ended. Hernandez and I share the same promoter and they should want to see this rectified. I have always been so proud to be the IBF Champion, they are an organization that stands behind their rules and does not get pulled into the shady politics and I respect them so much for that. I know they want their champions to earn the title, a rematch is truly in order.”

For those that have yet to see the fight check it out on YouTube (link to English language version) and then make your own mind up.

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John Joe Nevin will be taking home at least a bronze medal from the 2011 AIBA World Championships following a quarter-final win in Baku, Azerbaijan today.

But Darren O'Neill and Michael Conlan lost out in their quests for medals following last-eight reversals to Ryota Murata of Japan and current European champion, Andrew Selby of Wales.

Nevin, a bronze medal winner at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan, came from behind to beat Orzubek Shayimov of Uzbekistan 19-17 in this morning's bantamweight quarter-final.

He'll now meet England's Luke Campbell in the semi-finals on Friday.

Nevin, who secured qualification for the 2012 Olympics by virtue of reaching today's quarter-final, beat Campbell 13-2 in the semi-finals of European Union Championships in Denmark in 2009. Nevin won silver at that tournament.

Campbell, who boxes out of the St Paul's ABC in Hull, won gold at the 2008 European Championships in Liverpool.

Nevin was three points down (7-4) down versus Shayimov but reduced the deficit to two points (11-9) by the end of the second before putting in yet another big final round to claim a 19-17 victory and his second podium finish at an AIBA World Championships.

Today's win makes the Cavan BC stylist the only male (Katie Taylor has won three gold medals at AIBA World Championships level) boxer to win two medals at the AIBA World Senior Championships in the history of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.

Meanwhile, Conlan, who boxes out of the St John Bosco BC in Belfast, produced another big, brave performance but agonisingly lost out by a single point (25-24) to Selby in the flyweight class.

Selby, who claimed gold at the European Championships in Turkey early this year, won the first round of today's clash 7-4 and ultimately that secured victory, as 19-year-old Conlan, in his first year boxing senior, won the next two rounds 10-9 and 10-9 only to find himself one point in arrears at the final bell.

Kilkenny southpaw O'Neill, who like Nevin and Conlan secured Olympic qualification by virtue of reaching the last eight, was 3-2 behind at the end of the first versus Murata, who eliminated two-time World champion, Abbos Atoyev of Uzbekistan, in the preliminaries.

"I had a good campaign here and I was looking forward to getting into this fight. I came to the World Championships hoping to qualify for the Olympics Games. I've done that. I'm obviously very disappointed with today, but on the day he was a better boxer. His game plan worked," said the Irish 2012 Olympian following today's defeat.

Thursday is a rest day in Baku. The semi-finals will be held Friday followed by the finals on Saturday.

2011 AIBA World Men's Championships Baku, Azerbaijan

September 27th

52Kg: (last 64) Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) beat Alexandr Riscan (Moldova) 25-12

September 29th

69Kg: (last 64) Roy Sheehan (St Michael's Athy) beat Carl Hield (Bahamas) 15-10

September 30th

64Kg: (last 64) Ray Moylette (St Anne's) beat Arturs Ahmetous (Latvia) 16-11

October 1st (last 64)
75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown) beat Glodi Eneste (Norway) 16-5
60Kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael's Athy) beat Mohammad Momevand (Iran) 23-11

October 2nd (last 32)
52Kg:Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) beat Olzhas Sattibayev (Kazakhstan) 18-17
64Kg: Ray Moylette (St Anne's) lost to Manoj Kumar (India) 7-19
69Kg: Roy Sheehan (St Michael's Athy) beat Borna Katalinic (Croatia) 21-17
81Kg: Joe Ward (Moate) beat Dilovarsho Abdurakhmanov (Tajikistan) 22-4
91+Kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel) beat Faruth Kalonov (Tajikistan) RSC2

October 3rd (last 32)
49Kg: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family) lost to Mark Barriga (Philippines) 12-20
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) beat Akhil Kumar (India) 21-14
60Kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael's Athy) beat Mohammad Khaiber (Afghanistan) 26-13
75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown) beat Mohamad Hikal (Egypt) 15-13
91Kg: Ken Egan (Neilstown) lost to Jose Gomez Larduet (Cuba) RET3

October 4th (Last 16)

52Kg: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) beat Nordine Oubaali (France) 20-17
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) beat Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu (Mongolia) 18-18 count back
69Kg: Roy Sheehan (St Michael's Athy) lost to Egidijus Kavaliauskas (Lithuania) 7-11
60kg; David Oliver Joyce (St Michael's Athy) lost to Jai Bhagwan (India) 30-32
75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown) beat Mladen Manev (Bulgaria) 19-12
81Kg: Joe Ward (Moate) lost to Ehsan Rouzbahani (Iran) 15-15 count back
91+Kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel) lost to Roberto Cammerelle (Italy) RET3

(No count back scores available)

October 5th - Quarter-finals

52Kg: Michael Conlan (St John Bosco) lost to Andrew Selby (Wales) 24-25
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) beat Orzubek Shayimov (Uzbekistan) 19-17
75Kg: Darren O'Neill (Paulstown) lost to Ryota Murata (Japan) (afternoon) 9-18

October 7th - Semi-finals
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) v Luke Campbell (England)

NEWS - Four medals guaranteed on historic day for Great Britain at World Championships

Four medals guaranteed on historic day for Great Britain at World Championships

Joshua becomes fifth boxer to qualify for 2012 with stunning victory over World and Olympic Champion Roberto Cammarelle

Great Britain has guaranteed four medals in a historic day at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, which saw super-heavyweight, Anthony Joshua become the fifth member of the team to secure qualification for London 2012 with a stunning victory over the reigning World and Olympic Champion, Roberto Cammarelle.

Joshua outpointed the Italian 15-13 to guarantee a bronze medal and secure a place in his home-town Olympics next year. The victory followed wins for Luke Campbell, Tom Stalker and Wales’s Andrew Selby who all secured a place in Friday’s semi-finals and the minimum of a bronze medal.

Anthony Joshua said: “"It was a tough learning curve at the Europeans, I'd never boxed three times before, and I was so close to the medal. Sometimes making mistakes isn't a bad thing. I've learnt from that and come back stronger.

“I've made the games and I believed I would, but it's not just about me it's the first time we've had four medals at the Worlds. It’s just great for boxing back home, we're helping put the sport on the map. The support we've had has been brilliant and the team has been brilliant here as well.

“I believed I could beat Cammarelle, so I'm not shocked. It’s not always about the name, but who the best boxer is on the day. He was a real gent afterwards, he's a legend so I've got great respect for him but I'm just so pleased to be in the semis."

Details of all today’s bouts are below:

56kg: Luke Campbell v Detelin Dalakiev (Bulgaria) 12:8

Luke Campbell eliminated the reigning world champion to become the first GB boxer into the semi finals, guaranteeing himself the bronze medal. It was a cagey contest with both boxers keeping at arms length. An early lead was important, and Luke edged one point ahead at the end of the first. The lead remained one going into the last, but Luke used his speed and movement in the last to catch his opponent pull away to a 12:8 win.

64kg: Tom Stalker v Manoj Kumar (India) 24:18

In an action-packed encounter, the lethal Liverpudlian was the more accurate boxer and scored with the decisively clean shots, both inside and at length, to rack-up a healthy 24 points to his opponent's 18.

52kg: Khalid Yafai v Rau'Shee Warren (USA) 9:14

Khalid was undone by a slow start, going into the second round 4:1 down after the American's fast hand enabled him to open up a gap. Khalid pulled the score back to a two point deficit going into the last and, despite a valiant effort, he couldn't retrieve the deficit, and Warren was able to increase his score to end up a 14:9 winner.

52kg: Andrew Selby v Michael Conlon (Ireland) 25:24

Another fantastic result for Andrew in which the scoreline didn't reflect the Barry boxer's superiority. Andrew's trademark speed of hand and gliding movement around the ring were a hallmark of the contest, but with the Belfast boxer in pursuit after Selby built a 7:4 first round lead the score remained close. The lead was reduced to two at the end of the second, and after a frenetic final round, Andrew's hand was raised as the deserved winner by the score of 25:24.

91kg+: Anthony Joshua v Roberto Cammarelle (Italy) 15:13

Performances don't come any more momentous than this. In only his second multi-nation tournament as a senior, Anthony Joshua took-out the reigning World and Olympic Champion. Big Josh acquitted himself brilliantly from the off, keeping the Italian at bay with his fearsome jab and moving smoothly around the ring to evade Cammarelle's efforts to work on the inside. Trailing by one at the end of the first, Anthony scored with some big right hands to take a lead into the final round. The final round, with both boxers tiring was painful viewing, but Anthony boxed like a seasoned campaigner to roll on into the semis.

69kg: Fred Evans v Egidijus Kavaliauskas (Lithuania) RSC

A disappointing end to the day as the referee brought proceedings to a close after the Lithuanian put Fred down at the beginning of the second with a big backhand right.

Live coverage of Friday’s semi finals and the rest of the tournament can be seen at and and Sky channel 452.

Article posted on 06.10.2011

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