Another big (ish) world title fight, another controversy. So it continues to go in boxing. This morning, in all likelihood were it not for one of the worst calls, one of the most shockingly premature stoppage calls of recent years, 40 year old Ismael Barroso would be waking up as a new world champion. Yet Tony Weeks blew it, and everyone saw it.
Last night in Las Vegas, the veteran from Venezuela was clearly beating Rolly Romero, having dropped him in the third round and continuing to be the aggressor all night. Then, after being “knocked down” himself in round nine (it was a push, Barroso unhurt), and then, as the two men threw shots, Romero’s missing, Weeks inexplicably dived in and stopped the fight, perhaps taking Barroso’s dreams of ever becoming a world champion as a result of his actions.
There have already been some memes going around thanks to the call from the experienced, usually more than competent Weeks, how the stoppage was “week,” for example. Expect more to come.
It’s a tough job being a boxing referee, we get that. But Weeks, who has worked over 800 pro bouts during his career, including numerous world title fights, should not be doing the kind of premature stuff he was guilty of doing last night. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Weeks has never had a rep for being a referee with an itch trigger finger.
Romero, to his credit, agreed with everyone on planet earth when it came to how last night’s fight was unfairly stopped, but how could Romero NOT agree? A new world champion Romero, 15-1(13), has already called for fights with Ryan Garcia and Tank Davis in a rematch – but the first thing he should do is grant Barroso an immediate rematch.
Barroso, now 24-4-2(22) was boxing well, he was fighting well, he was winning. Ahead on all three cards at the time of the utterly frustrating to watch stoppage, this by scores of 78-73, 77-74, and 76-75, the southpaw was well on his way to becoming the oldest world champion in the sport today. This achievement was, to put it bluntly, robbed from him.
Let’s leave it to some fellow fighters to describe last night’s travesty:
“To all the young upcoming fighters, boxing is a business, if you can’t sell or if they don’t think you’re a value, you’ll get treated like some dirt,” Joseph Diaz.
“Wow. That was dirty. Way too early,” Ryan Garcia.
WTF was that !!!! I don’t even care Barroso still my new favourite fighter even if he’s 63,” George Kambosos.
“C’mon Tony Weeks! Terrible stoppage. Not one single punch landed,” Michael Hunter.
“If that result can’t be overturned, boxing should just eliminate the protest and stop pretending like there is an avenue to get justice for horseshit calls from referees and officials like the one Tony Weeks just made,” Caleb Truax.
“Boxing took an L tonight. That shit was pathetic,” Claressa Shields.
Nuff said. Now, will ANYTHING be done about what went down last night?