Tonight at Wembley, Dereck Chisora got back to winning ways with a 6th-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Malik Scott. The ending, at the very least a slightly controversial one, came at the two minute and 56-seconds mark of the 6th.
Chisora, in improving to 17-4(11) said after the fight that he wants to go back to Germany to fight the Klitschkos, again in the case of WBC king Vitali. Scott, now 35-1-1(12) said “everyone knows I beat the count,” yet otherwise took the defeat graciously.
So, now to the controversy. Scott, ahead on the cards at the time of the stoppage and having boxed very well, was belted by a right hand shot that landed on the back of the head as he was on the ropes. Scott went down, smiling as he did so, appearing relatively unhurt. But then, as the referee counted, Scott remained on one knee, jumping up at a fraction of a second after the count hit “9.” Could Scott have risen earlier than he did? It sure looked like it. Did Scott beat the count of ten and appear in shape to carry on (bearing in mind there was a scant 4-seconds remaining in the round at the time of the third man in the ring waving his arms to signal the bout’s termination)? Again, it sure looked like it.
On a replay (which of course the ref does not get the benefit of), Scott seemed to rise at “9-and-a-half,” therefore the fight should have continued. Had it done so, who might have won? We will never know. But there could be a rematch.
From my own perspective, for what it’s worth, tonight’s ending reminded me of the James Douglas-Mike Tyson fight from 1990. If you recall, “Buster,” felled by a Tyson sledgehammer in the 8th-round, just barely beat the count of ten, getting up just a fraction after “9” as Scott did tonight. At the time, most commentators said Douglas wisely took the full benefit of the count so as to clear his head. Imagine if the ref that night in Tokyo had waved his hands as Buster arose, oh, so close to the ten second mark? Heavyweight history would have been a whole lot different.
Tonight’s result, whoever won, would not have had a massive effect on boxing. Still, from my position, and again, for what it’s worth, I think Malik Scott was slightly hard done by. Of course, as some have said, Scott should not have risked things by not jumping up as quickly as he could have. But as Scott said himself post-fight, he is a professional. And isn’t a pro taught, upon the occasion of a knockdown, a to get their head fully clear, and take as much of a count as they possibly can, before they jump up and resume combat?
The fans may argue long and hard over this one.
In the meantime, promoter Frank Warren said Chisora will be back in action on September 21st, for which fight he “will try and get another big name” for Del Boy.