• Kyodo


Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, the president of the World Boxing Association, on Thursday ordered a rematch of a middleweight title fight between Ryota Murata and Hassan N’Dam of France after the bout ended in controversy.

Mendoza also said that two judges, Gustavo Padilla of Panama and Hubert Earle of Canada, are suspended for six months over their scoring of the fight last Saturday at Ariake Colosseum.

“My scoring, as well as the scoring of five judges and the supervisor of the fight were different from that of Mr. Padilla and Earle,” Mendoza was quoted by the WBA’s official website as telling a news conference.

“I had to address this case personally, and so I did it on Saturday night. However, we had to announce our decision on the judges after a closer evaluation,” Mendoza said.

Murata has said he is considering his future since the fight but the latest development could sway his decision.

“I am grateful he (Mendoza) has responded quickly to what people are saying around the world,” Murata said in a statement. “I haven’t lost my passion for boxing, so I want to take the rematch instructions as one important factor in deciding my future and come up with a positive response.”

Besides the six-month suspensions, both Padilla and Earle will have to pass some tests before being allowed to judge again fights sanctioned by the WBA and its regional bodies, according to the WBA.

After N’Dam won a split decision over the London Olympic gold medalist, Mendoza took to Twitter to say he had Murata as the winner, and apologized for the outcome that left Murata shell-shocked in the ring.

Two judges saw N’Dam win 116-111 and 115-112. The third had Murata, who was bidding to become the second middleweight champion from Japan and the first in 22 years, up 117-110 — the same score Mendoza had.

“First of all let me apologize to Ryota Murata, Teiken Promotions and all Japanese boxing fans,” Mendoza said. “I feel angry and frustrated for not being able to serve the sport with the right decisions.

“After judging the bout my scorecard is 117-110 for Murata. I will demand the championship committee to order a direct rematch.”

The Japan Boxing Commission sent a written document to the WBA demanding a review of the match.

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