Boxing announcer quits after backlash to calling the wrong winner, saying he’s ‘no longer the world’s punching bag’

A ring announcer who mistakenly called the wrong winner in a women’s World Boxing Association (WBA) title fight has quit after receiving abuse on social media, adding that he will no longer be “the world’s punching bag.”

Dan Hennessey wrongly announced England’s Nina Hughes as the winner of her WBA bantamweight fight against New Zealand-Australian Cherneka Johnson, which took place in Perth, Australia on Sunday on the undercard of Vasiliy Lomachenko’s fight against George Kambosos Jr.

Hughes celebrated her believed win, before Hennessey checked the score cards and brought both fighters back to the center of the ring by their hands. He then declared Johnson the winner, with video footage showing a confused Hughes shaking her head.

Hennessey took to Facebook after the fight to apologize and accept “full responsibility” for the mistake, writing on Sunday: “I own it. It’s all on me.”

He added: “I have apologized to all involved and now I apologize to you. I am sorry for what happened. Again I own it and can only try and do better next time. Not my best day in the office.”

Nina Hughes was confused after being announced as the winner before the fight was awarded to Johnson. - Richard Wainwright/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Nina Hughes was confused after being announced as the winner before the fight was awarded to Johnson. - Richard Wainwright/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

But come Tuesday, the announcer said he would be doing one more show before retiring from his job following “worldwide backlash.”

He wrote: “I love all the support from everyone. Thank you all for the kind words. Unfortunately the worldwide backlash is absolutely incredible and it’s effecting (sic) my mental health to a degree where I will have 1 more show ever.. I am doing this show because I am still a man of my word.”

Hennessey added: “I love and will keep in touch with all my friends from around the world. Thank you.. No longer the world’s punching bag. I’m out.”

Hughes told The Guardian that the scorecard decision and mix-up was “devastating.”

“We were all confident I’d won, so when they announced the scoring I thought, ‘Oh brilliant, I’ve got it,’” she said. “I had my hands raised, and they had even come over with the camera. I was just about to do the post-fight interview but then they started dragging me back by my hand.

“I was thinking, ‘What’s going on? What’s going on?’ And then when I heard the ring announcer start to announce the score again I started to feel numb.”

She added: “It’s a weird feeling really because I was really happy with how I performed and I thought I did enough to win the fight. It’s devastating that my world title has just been taken away from me.” Hughes has since said on X that she would like a re-match.

Johnson described her win as “overwhelming” and a “rollercoaster of emotions.”

“The feeling is just something I’ve never experienced before,” she told “The MMA Hour” podcast. “It’s pretty crazy watching it again. There were butterflies in my stomach. How do you go from such a low point to trying to celebrate such a high point, you know?”

CNN has contacted the WBA for further comment.

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