Hitchins Wins Controversial Decision, Lemos Fans Cry Foul – Boxing Results

By Will Arons - 04/07/2024 - Comments

Richardson Hitchins (18-0, 7 KOs) came out victorious in an IBF light welterweight title eliminator against Gustavo Lemos (29-1, 19 KOs), given a 12-round unanimous decision by the judges on Saturday night at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas,

A Questionable Outcome

Lemos hurt Hitchins several times, forcing him to hold to escape being knocked out. Interestingly, the referee allowed Hitchins to clinch frequently during the entire contest without warning him. It was a huge part of Hitchins’ game and ruined the flow of the fight.

The scores were:

– 117-111: Wow!
– 115-113
– 115-113

It’s safe to say that if a better referee were working tonight, Hitchins would have been docked multiple points and/or disqualified for his holding. It was a major part of Hitchins’ game to neutralize Lemos’ offense but it was well beyond what is normally allowed by quality referees.

Hitchins Under Fire

Fans on social media overwhelmingly questioned the decision, calling it a robbery, and the people at ringside loudly booed the results when they were announced.

The fans viewed Lemos as the rightful winner of the fight, as he was the one pushing the fight, landing the better shots, and trying to make it entertaining through all Hitchins’ defensive spoiling.

Hitchins’ game plan was pretty simple down to these three things: Jabbing, moving, frequent clinching, and illegal straight-arming to keep Lemos from landing.

Lemos landed well throughout the fight when he was able to weave his way through the clinching minefield by Hitchins, who was grabbing whenever he got near, and making it an awful fight to watch due to the lack of control by the referee. He was missing in action tonight.

The Eddie Hearn-promoted fighter Hitchins is now in a position to challenge for a world title against the winner of the fight between IBF light welterweight champion Subriel Matias and Liam Paro in June.

Hearn also promotes Matias, so it’ll be easy for him to match Hitchins against him next if Subriel wins his fight against Paro. After the fight, Hearn surprisingly complimented Hitchins for his performance, viewing it as an impressive performance. That was interesting to see Hearn praise Hitchins while keeping a straight face.

Matias is a strong fighter, so it’ll be interesting to see if Hitchins can hold him frequently as he did tonight without being clubbed at close range and knocked out or penalized by a quality referee.

Ideally, you’d like to see Hearn take the high road by giving Lemos an immediate rematch with a different referee working, but that won’t happen. There’s too much money in Hitchins going straight to a title shot, and they’re not going to risk putting him back in with Lemos and seeing him potentially lose.

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