Top Rank beamed with delight as they announced the heavyweight signing of WBC-rated Simon Kean on Friday night. Little did they know what was to come.
Canadian Kean, ranked 32 by the World Boxing Council, got inked by Top Rank in a co-promotional offering with Eye of the Tiger management.
Top Rank heavyweight signing
Announcing the deal, Top Rank said: “Top Rank and Eye of the Tiger Management have agreed to a co-promotional agreement with Heavyweight KO artist Simon Kean.
He will face Newfel Ouatah in a scheduled 10-rounder tonight on ESPN+.”
Kean, the number one in his country, is on track for a potential world title fight in the coming years. However, nobody could have ever imagined what would take place in his impending battle with Frenchman Ouatah.
The bell rang, and Kean went straight for his opponent. But before he got there, Ouatah was already on one knee with his hand raised in the air.
Referee Martin Forest had no choice but to issue a count per the rules. As he did, Kean managed to land a blow on Ouatah as he was down.
After ignoring the illegal punch, a verbal exchange ensued between Forest and Ouatah. The official then waved off the contest with 15 seconds on the clock.
Kean moved to 22-1 with his easiest-ever victory. But the fans will feel robbed of any real action at Montreal Casino.
The added consolation is that they did bear witness to the worst heavyweight fight ending of all time.
Two theories have emerged about why Ouatah quit immediately after the first bell. One is in protest due to the knee and raised arm. The other is an argument over his insurance.
If indeed Ouatah wasn’t covered to fight, the authorities should not have sanctioned the contest to go ahead. An investigation is already underway as to why Ouatah did the unthinkable.
Ouatah faces career ruin unless a decent explanation can save his reputation.
Regarding Kean, “The Grizzly” will be unaffected by the outcome and can look forward to having the might of Bob Arum and Top Rank behind him.
Possible fights in the United States lie in wait over the coming months, with Kean ready to compete as soon as possible due to the ridiculous nature of his 22nd triumph.
The fighter from Trois-Rivières in Quebec is flying under the radar due to his career-best victory coming against also-ran Siarhei Liakhovich, who was on a run of two wins from six when Kean stopped him in ten rounds three years ago.
Under the guidance of Top Rank, Bob Arum will expect a lot more from Kean under his supervision.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.