Former European Middleweight champion Kerry “The Great” Hope and the World Boxing Council have made boxing history and have seen justice prevail by reversing a decision in a title fight.
Hope was originally the victim of an utterly horrendous drawn decision when he fought in Hong Kong on August 29 against Thailand’s Petchsuriya Singwancha. The bout was contested for the WBC Asian Boxing Council Middleweight title and Hope dominated the fight from beginning to end, with most observers believing he won every round.
Thai judges Visuth Yingaupagarn and Pongpan Rattanasutorn scored the fight 115-113 (Singwancha) and 114-114 respectively, overruling Jerrold Tomeldon from the Philippines who scored the bout 117-111 for Hope. The decision was met with astonishment and derision from the Hong Kong crowd and Hope’s
co-manager Matt Clark launched an official complaint with the WBC.
“The original decision was quite simply the worst I’ve ever seen and by some distance,” said Clark. “Kerry Hope completely dominated his opponent from the opening bell and there’s no way on God’s green earth that it was remotely competitive, let alone a draw. I launched a complaint with the WBC and provided them footage of the bout. Kerry has today received a letter from the President of the WBC, Mauricio Sulaiman, stating that the fight has been reviewed and upon review, the decision has been awarded to Hope. The committee reviewing the fight awarded it unanimously by a wide margin,” Clark said.
“The WBC have been outstanding during this appeal process and have definitely set the bar in terms of justice in boxing. A terrible wrong has been corrected and we sincerely thank Mauricio Sulaiman and the World Boxing Council for creating history and correcting the decision. It is actions like this from the WBC that restore one’s faith in the great sport of boxing. In all the years I’ve been following or involved in the sport, I have never heard of this happening,” Clark said. “I believe it is completely unprecedented. The two judges in question have been suspended by the Asian Boxing Council and are being retrained”.
“I’m absolutely delighted that I’m now recognised as the WBC Asian Boxing Council champion,” said a jubilant Hope. “Mr Sulaiman has told me that I will be receiving the belt at a special ceremony and I can’t wait to have it around my waist and enter the WBC rankings. I cannot thank Mr Sulaiman and the WBC committee enough for ensuring that justice has been done,” stated the proud Welshman who now resides in Brisbane, Australia.
“I was originally very down about the decision because I knew I won the fight and every round in it,” stated the new champion. “The letter I’ve just received from Mr Sulaiman has lifted my spirits like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve told my team I’ll be heading back into the gym and looking to defend my brand new belt”.