Wednesday, May 31, 2023  |



Missed knockdowns mar Petalcorin loss in Australia

Fighters Network

Several missed knockdown calls and a determined challenger cost Randy Petalcorin his first defeat in over six years as Omari Kimweri took a split decision at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Australia, on Friday night.

Two judges scored the fight 115-112 for the Australia-based Tanzanian Kimweri (16-3, 6 knockouts) while the third had it 114-113 for Petalcorin (23-2-1, 18 KOs) of Davao City, Philippines.

Petalcorin entered the fight rated No. 2 in the world by THE RING at 108 pounds and lost his first fight since 2010, while Kimweri won his fourth straight.

After the fight Petalcorin’s managers Jim Claude Manangquil and Peter Maniatis expressed outrage at referee Malcolm Bulmer for missing the knockdowns which would have swayed the decision in their fighter’s favor.

“We were both shocked and disgusted about the decision,” said Maniatis. “It’s horrible for boxing and we will protest this.”

Petalcorin, 24, entered the fight having fought just one round in the previous 19 months and was quickly met by a blitz from the 33-year-old Kimweri. Petalcorin had the harder, straighter shots and proved as much when he stunned Kimweri with a straight left cross and dropped him with another left high on the head, though a knockdown was not called.

What Kimweri lacked in skill he made up for with heart as he looped awkward shots from odd angles which found their way around Petalcorin’s guard. Kimweri was not shy about bending the rules, hitting Petalcorin when he slipped to the canvas in Round 1 and striking him well after the bell to end Round 3.

Kimweri landed his best shot of the fight in Round 4, stunning Petalcorin as the two traded roundhouse rights.

After several rounds of close combat, Petalcorin finally struck paydirt at the end of Round 6, landing a hard overhand right left that had Kimweri rubber-legged. Kimweri appeared visibly hurt to begin the seventh as Petalcorin looked to finish what he had started. A left hand drove Kimweri into the ropes while another dropped him to the bottom rope. A knockdown should have been called as a punch landed and only the ropes kept him up but once again no call was made.

The same scene played out 20 seconds later as another Petalcorin cross sent Kimweri into the ropes.

Kimweri survived and came back strongly against an arm-weary Petalcorin to fight his way out of danger for the remainder of the round. Rounds 8 and 9 belonged to Kimweri as he initiated exchanges and bypassed Petalcorin’s defense with unorthodox angles. The WBC, which had its silver flyweight title at stake, revealed that Kimweri was ahead on all 3 scorecards after Round 8 — 78-74, 77-75, 75-73 — bringing desperation from Petalcorin.

After several warnings, a point was finally deducted from Kimweri in Round 10 for hitting on the break. Petalcorin pressed for a knockout in Rounds 11 and 12 against a tired Kimweri, and another knockdown could have been credited in Round 12 when the bottom rope prevented Kimweri from being knocked out of the ring.

As the decision was read, Petalcorin’s team celebrated prematurely but it was Kimweri’s hand that was raised.

“I hope someone does something to correct this because it’s killing the sport and the boxers,” Manangquil said.

Here’s a video of the moments in question.