WBO to look at Munguia-Hogan scoring as Hogan team bemoans lack of postfight drug test

·Combat columnist
MONTERREY, MEXICO - April 13: Jaime Munguia celebrates his victory over Dennis Hogan on April 13, 2019 at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images)
Jaime Munguia (R) celebrates his victory over Dennis Hogan on April 13, 2019 at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. (Getty Images)

The president of the World Boxing Organization told Yahoo Sports on Thursday that he would order an independent panel of judges to assess the controversial scoring in the junior middleweight title fight held Saturday in Monterrey, Mexico, in which champion Jaime Munguia retained his belt by a majority decision over challenger Dennis Hogan.

The controversy was over judge Waleska Roldan’s score of 116-112 in favor of Munguia. The majority of the media which saw the fight scored it for Hogan, as did 59 percent of fans in a social media poll conducted by DAZN, which streamed the bout. Judge Rocky Young had it 115-113 for Munguia, while judge Richard Levine scored it 114-114.

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The larger issue, however, is over the failure of the local commission in Monterrey to conduct a postfight anti-doping test.

WBO president Paco Valcárcel said that while the failure to do the test is disappointing, it would not be grounds for him to order a rematch.

“There was supposed to be testing,” Valcárcel told Yahoo Sports. “But the lab didn’t show up.”

When asked why that fact, let alone being coupled with the dispute over the scoring, wasn’t grounds for a rematch, Valcárcel stood firm.

“Not based on that,” Valcárcel said of the failure to do an anti-doping test. “We have to presume the guy [Munguia] was clean. He has no history of any issues. The testing should have been done, but the lab didn’t show up, so there was nothing that could be done.”

Hogan, in a statement to Yahoo Sports, said the failure to do the testing only added to his team’s claims of an unfair bias given to Munguia.

“How can there be no drug testing after a world title fight?” Hogan asked. “This is 2019. I was waiting in the dressing room for one hour after the fight for the commission to come and check me and nobody turned up. This only adds more questions to what took place on Saturday night. Why is the promoter standing right behind a WBO supervisor during the fight and communicating with the corner? [Fight promoter] Fernando Beltrán offered me the rematch immediately. He said I deserve it. I want my rematch. I won that title.”

Hogan’s team filed a protest with the WBO over the scoring, the failure to drug test the fighters and the conditions in Hogan’s corner. Hogan’s cornermen weren’t provided chairs or stools, as is customary and as was the case for Munguia’s team.

According to the protest Hogan filed with the WBO, “Mr. Hogan's team resided in the blue corner and were not granted seats to sit in during the contest. Instead, the four members of the corner had to sit on the floor, stairs to the ring and kneel as people continuously were walking through the corner and creating a distraction and interfering with the team's ability to effectively view the fight and prepare items at ringside. Team members were shoved and stepped on continuously throughout the contest. Furthermore, the team was not granted full access to the ring apron as was Mr. Munguia's team. Access to the right side of Mr. Hogan was blocked off only allowing the chief second to enter the ring and the cutman to work on the left side of Mr. Hogan.”

Peter Kahn, an adviser to Hogan, was irate by the scoring and by the failure of the fighters to be tested. When apprised of Valcárcel’s comments about the laboratory officials failing to appear to collect the specimen, Kahn nearly became apoplectic.

“My response to Paco saying that the lab didn’t show up is that is a weaker excuse than a child telling his teacher that ‘the dog ate my homework,’” Kahn said to Yahoo Sports.

Golden Boy Promotions co-promotes Munguia along with Zanfer Promotions. In Mexico, though, Zanfer is the lead promoter and Golden Boy only assists.

Yahoo Sports made repeated efforts to reach Zanfer’s Fernando Beltrán, but was unable to do so. Gomez, who said he scored the fight for Munguia, said he understood the Hogan team’s disappointment and is open to a rematch.

He was surprised when he learned the postfight drug test did not occur.

“It was news to me,” Gomez said. “Everything with the drug testing was organized through the commission. The WBO had a supervisor there [Geno Rodriguez] and I don’t know who it was, but someone dropped the ball. … In Mexico, every state has different rules, just like in the U.S., but I don’t really know why the test didn’t happen.

“We’re open to a rematch. The kid [Munguia] is on vacation and we need to sit down with him, and we’ll meet with him at the Canelo [Alvarez-Danny Jacobs] fight in Vegas in a couple of weeks. We have a good relationship with the Hogan people. I understand they’re upset, and I don’t get what happened with the drug testing. As far as the scoring, I can see how some fans and maybe the media felt it was close or that Hogan won, but I had Munguia. He worked the body well and there were a lot of close rounds and he came on at the end. I felt Hogan didn’t prove he beat the champion.”

A video shot by a fan who was seated not far from Rodriguez shows Beltrán and Zanfer employee Juan Carlos Torres hovering near the commission table, right behind Rodriguez, which is where the scores are kept. A Hogan team member who provided Yahoo Sports with the video but who didn’t want his name used said he believed Torres and Beltrán saw the scores and relayed the information to Munguia’s corner, which could have been an advantage.

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In the video, Torres is seen walking around the corner of the ring toward Munguia’s corner, but he is not looking at where Rodriguez is seated.

Kahn was outraged by what went down.

“I have never been on the losing end of such a blatant robbery in my life,” Kahn said. “Dennis Hogan should have left Mexico with the WBO junior middleweight championship belt around his waist and everyone involved who prevented that from happening should be ashamed and investigated. ... The fact that the WBO and the [Monterrey] boxing commission failed to implement a postfight drug test speaks volumes.

“ ... In this day and age of professional boxing, I find it unconscionable that no postfight drug testing would be implemented.”

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