WBC admits missed knockdowns but Petalcorin-Kimweri decision stands
The result of the Randy Petalcorin vs. Omari Kimweri fight will stand despite the World Boxing Council admitting the referee made mistakes that resulted in uncredited knockdowns by Petalcorin.
The fight, which took place April 15 in Melbourne, Australia, was called into review by the Mexico-based sanctioning body after video of four missed knockdowns went viral online, sparking outrage from reporters and fans. Had the knockdowns been credited, the Filipino boxer Petalcorin (23-2-1, 18 knockouts) would have won a unanimous decision. Instead, the Australia-based Tanzanian Kimweri (16-6, 6 KOs) walked away with a split decision win and the WBC “silver” flyweight title.
In an email, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman admits that a ring officials committee did rule that knockdowns were missed but chalked them up to “wrong mechanics” by Malcolm Bulner, who like the three judges is from Melbourne. A YouTube video of the missed knockdowns has been viewed over 23,000 times since being posted on April 17.
“The WBC ring officials committee will handle the necessary disciplinary actions in place. There were actions considered as knockdowns but also it is easy to see it was wrong mechanics and not bad faith actions from ref,” said Sulaiman.
Sulaiman cites a point deduction in Round 10 against Kimweri as absolving Bulner of “any doubt of favoritism,” though the deduction came a round after open scoring revealed Kimweri to have a working lead on the scorecards.
A release by the WBC addressing the protest, titled “WBC Congratulates Omari Kimweri and Randy Petalcorin,” took the high road on the matter, choosing to highlight the fight’s “extremely competitive” nature instead of its controversy.
The release stated that the WBC silver flyweight title would be vacated, with Petalcorin being offered a consolation fight against silver junior flyweight (108 pounds) titleholder Ricardo Perez of Mexico, and Kimweri offered the same deal against the 105-pound equivalent, Janiel Rivera.
“The natural course of action would be to order a rematch. However, both camps have now advised the WBC that their boxers no longer wish to compete in the flyweight division,” said the release.
Sulaiman adds that the anti-doping tests administered by the Victoria Boxing Commission “were reported by the local commission as negative.”