Boxing Snippets

Sour grapes as Kalenga’s camp cries foul

A large crate of sour grapes was delivered to Rodney Berman’s front door on Monday, courtesy of Team Kalenga.

It came by way of a formal objection to the scoring of the IBO championship fight between Youri Kalenga and Kevin Lerena. Two judges (Eddie Pappoe and Patrick Mkondiwa) scored in Lerena’s favour while the third, Robert Hoyle, gave it to Kalenga by a mammoth six points.

Gary Hyde, Kalenga’s promoter, contacted Berman to say it was nothing personal and duly copied him in on the protest, lodged with IBO boss Ed Levene.

In it, Hyde claimed his boxer had “walked down” Lerena all night and that the South African was “running scared”, a curious interpretation of what looked like a highly competitive fight. By any measure, Kalenga appeared busier – missing many shots – while Lerena was far more accurate with his attack.

Even allowing for generosity Kalenga’s way, to score the fight six rounds in his favour, as Hoyle did, suggests he must have been watching a different fight altogether.

Berman was furious. “With respect to Kalenga, two neutral judges scored in favour of Lerena. If anything, we were horrified by the incompetence of Mr Hoyle who, it is respectfully apparent from his scoring, was looking for a Kalenga win for reasons known only to him. A disparity of six points is a poor indictment of his objectivity and I will in future object if he is appointed to officiate another Golden Gloves fight. The unwarranted objection by Kalenga’s camp reeks of sour grapes.”

Hyde is hoping that his protest will lead to a rematch; a forlorn hope given that the IBO isn’t in the habit of buckling at the knee. What’s more, any objective assessment of the fight, whether live or on post-fight video, will reflect that Lerena was superior on the night and any attempt to undermine his triumph is poor form.

Kalanga fought like a warrior, but, like all fighters, he knows when he’s been beaten.

On Saturday, he was beaten.

 

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