Team Korobov eye investigation into alleged Virginia judging corruption
The team representing WBC #14-rated middleweight Matvey Korobov have sent a letter to the Attorney General and Governor of Virginia. They are requesting to open an investigation into Korobov’s controversial majority draw (May 11) against Virginia-based fighter Immanuwel Aleem and several relevant “surrounding incidents.”
Leon Margules, attorney for Team Korobov, sent the letter on behalf of the fighter, along with several supporting pieces of evidence, to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and Governor Ralph Northam.
In it, Margules points out what he alleges is a conflict of interest in that the two Virginia-based judges, Mark D’Attilio and Brian Costello who both questionably ruled the bout a draw at 95-95, are members of the state’s Boxing, Martial Arts, and Professional Wrestling Advisory Board responsible for selecting each fight’s judges and licensing fighters.
Costello, in fact, is the Board’s Chairperson.
And thus, two members of the body responsible for appointing a fight’s judges appointed themselves and a relatively inexperienced referee (Michelle Myers) from Virginia to officiate a nationally televised bout featuring a fighter from their home state, against Korobov, a Russian living in Florida.
It then questions why, of the three televised fights, this was the only one carried out like this, with non-neutral officials.
The letter also references the original scorecard provided to media, that showed Korobov as a majority decision winner, as well as the same scorecard 20 minutes later, with D’Attilio’s round 10 Korobov score scratched out and changed from a 10 to a 9, transforming the outcome to a majority draw.
A further point of contention is the judging performance of the two Virginia-based judges, who scored the fight a draw when a Korobov victory was almost universally agreed upon by the boxing media and fans, post-fight.
To most, Korobov appeared to win the first seven rounds handily and hurt Aleem badly in round six before Aleem mounted a minor comeback in the last two or three rounds. At the final bell, Korobov enjoyed a sizeable advantage in landed punches (according to CompuBox statistics, Korobov landed 154 punches out of 417 thrown (37%), while Aleem landed 119 shots out of 630 [19%]).
Respected boxing official and unofficial judge for the contest, Larry Hazard Sr., scored the fight 97-92.
A long list of fans on social media voicing suspected corruption is also attached.
Margules’ letter also points out what many consider a missed knockdown by Referee Myers in round four, when Korobov sent Aleem down with a counter right hand only to have her rule it a foul incorrectly.
Team Korobov say they are hoping the state will find a solution for this unfortunate situation to prevent another black eye for boxing and a “chilling effect” on fighters coming to fight in Virginia.