Monday, March 27, 2023  |



Guillermo Rigondeaux’s victory over Flores likely to be changed


LAS VEGAS — Guillermo Rigondeaux quieted his critics with a first-round stoppage Saturday over Moises Flores, but the victory probably will be short-lived.

The junior featherweight champion’s overhand left connected after the bell, and Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett told on Sunday that the result will likely be overturned to a no-decision following extensive review earlier that morning.

Both Bennett and referee Vic Drakulich watched the replay with audio on Sunday — they didn’t have access to the sound Saturday night — and determined “there’s no doubt that the the punch was thrown after the bell rang.”

When Bennett utilized instant replay Saturday, he relied on the opinion of HBO Sports Executive Producer Rick Bernstein, who said the punch was before the bell.

Drakulich, who is the sole arbiter of such a decision, wasn’t sure if it was before or after the bell at the time. Without access to the audio — and after Bernstein believed it was before bell — it was a ruled a TKO victory for Rigondeaux at 2:59 of Round 1.

HBO’s Jim Lampley told Bennett that “unequivocally” the punch came after the bell during an interview on the broadcast, and Bennett promised to review the result.

Now, with both Bennett and Drakulich in agreement it was a late blow, the referee will make a recommendation and it will be presented this week to the chairman of the commission.

“Based on the fact it didn’t go four rounds, and there’s no proof it was intentional,” Bennett said, “it would then become a no decision. … In fairness, I could have misunderstood (Bernstein), but I don’t think I did.”

Some believe Flores was acting in an attempt to steal a victory and the 122-pound title. Whether the Mexican truly was acting is impossible to determine, but Bennett did say that both Drakulich and the ringside physician determined that Flores “appeared to be concussed and was not able to continue.”