German Boxing President Thomas Puetz has responded to claims by Fedor Chudinov that gloves used in his rematch with Felix Sturm were not valid.
Chudinov filed an official protest over the equipment supplied for the contest last month, which Sturm won via a controversial decision in Oberhausen.
Puetz was initially baffled as to why Chudinov would bother with his appeal when the Russian already has a contractual agreement for a third fight.
“Honestly, I don’t understand the uproar. Chudinov is asking for a rematch although it is my understanding that he already has a rematch clause guaranteed in the contract,” said Puetz in a statement.
“I am pretty sure that his protest will not lead anywhere. There’s no doubt that it was a close and competitive fight. In my opinion, Felix Sturm did enough to win but there are always different opinions in close fights like this. This is nothing new. However, if we start changing controversial results into ‘no contests’ we will have at least three ‘no contests’ every week. The judges made their decision and everybody should accept that. Sturm had to accept the verdict when the judges saw him losing to Oscar De La Hoya in 2004 although everybody knew that he had won the fight. That result was a scandal, Sturm vs. Chudinov was just a close fight.”
“I also don’t understand the point they are making regarding the gloves. Everybody knows the procedure: Several pairs of brand new gloves are brought to the rules meeting. They are sealed when they arrive and the teams check them and select their gloves. They are signed and the referee takes them and keeps them until fight night. He hands them over to the teams when he gives the final instructions in the dressing room. This is exactly what happened in this case. So the only people who had the chance to manipulate the gloves in any possible way were referee Jack Reiss – which is ridiculous – and team Chudinov after they received them. There is just no other possibility.
“I agree that the gloves looked strange when they were presented at the press conference but the only possible explanations for that is either a mistake in the production process or inappropriate handling before, during or after the bout by team Chudinov. If they wanted to protest they should have shown and given the gloves to the supervisor in the ring right after the bout. Who knows what happened after they went back to their dressing room? And they didn’t even hand them over after the press conference but kept them instead. So nobody can really check on them. Also, the person suffering most from manipulated gloves would have been Felix Sturm anyways because I think we all agree that the purpose of boxing is hitting your opponent with your gloves. So I really don’t see what team Chudinov is complaining about and how the gloves should have influences the outcome of the fight.”
“So I really don’t see how this protest can possibly be successful and why they are even protesting. If I’m not mistaken they have their rematch clause anyways. So there will be a third fight between Sturm and Chudinov – if Sturm does not decide to retire. This is a decision that only Felix Sturm can make. Everything else seems to be an attempt to hype up and promote the possible third fight more than anything else.”
The loss was the first suffered by Chudinov in his 15-bout career but seems unlikely to be overturned as Sturm contemplates his future. At the very least, Chudinov can expect to fight for the WBA belt in his next fight, whether that be against Sturm or not.