Hitchins Wins, Boxing Loses: Devin Haney and Fans React to Controversial Decision

By Tim Compton - 04/07/2024 - Comments

Devin Haney posted his reaction on social media to Richardson Hitchins’ controversial 12-round unanimous decision over Gustavo Lemos last Saturday night in their IBF light welterweight title eliminator in Las Vegas.

WBC 140-lb champion Haney posted on X, showing an emoji of a person covering their eyes at what they’re seeing. That reflects the trainwreck-level performance by Hitchins (18-0, 7 KOs), who sent most of his fight against the previously unbeaten Lemos (29-1, 19 KOs), clinching him excessively and running.

YouTube video

The judges scores:

– 117-111
– 115-113
– 115-113

Hitchins’ Strategy: Clinch, Run, Repeat

At the end of the fight, they shockingly gave Hitchins the decision despite him not doing nearly enough to deserve a victory, and many felt that he should have been disqualified for cheating with his nonstop holding.

It was the type of holding that rates a DQ, not just a point deduction, because he had it down to a science. Hitchins would throw a punch and then grab Lemos immediately after to prevent him from firing back.

The Art of the Excessive Clinch

It seemed obvious to some fans that Hitchins had trained for this and had always intended to tie up Lemos all night to neutralize his offense, albeit by bending the rules by going overboard with his holding.

“When I heard 117-111, I thought that can only be for Hitchins because sometimes a judge can score that kind of boxing style,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing, reacting to his fighter, Richardson Hitchins, being given a controversial win over Gustavo Lemos last Saturday night with one oddball score.

Eddie Hearn’s Baffling Defense

“For me, 115-113 is the right scorecard. Now, on a 115-113 card, it can really be 115-113 either way. You’re one round away from a draw. Two rounds away.

“When I see 117-111, if you look at the scorecards. I think we posted it. That judge gave Richardson the last four rounds. He definitely didn’t win 11. He might not have won 12. I thought the cleaner work was from Richardson.

“The first few rounds, Lemos came out like a train, and then Hitchins started to control the fight, and then Lemos came back in the fight at the end. It was a really close fight. Richardson was catching a lot of shots as well, but he was hurt a couple of times. I thought it was an amazing fight.

“We sometimes give Richardson a little stick for not giving us those kinds of fights, and tonight he did,” said Hearn with a confusing remark, given that Hitchins spent most of the fight holding and running from Lemos.