Weigh-in farce ahead of Amnat bout


Weigh-in farce ahead of Amnat bout

In a farcical move, the International Boxing Federation has allowed today’s flyweight title bout between champion Amnat Ruenroeng and challenger John Casimero in Beijing to go ahead even though both failed to make the weight yesterday.

Amnat Ruenroeng, left, fights against John Casimero last year.

The 36-year-old Thai initially lost his title on the scales after yesterday’s weigh-in.

Amnat weighed in at 117.34 pounds at the first attempt and 116.11 pounds at the second.

The Filipino also failed to meet the 112-pound limit, weighing in at 113.32 and 113.10 pounds in two attempts.

Amnat offered his apologies to Thai fans and said he was unsure whether he would be able to continue fighting after today’s bout.

“The weather is cold and it was difficult for me to make the weight,” he said.

“I will do my best in the fight [today].”

But later yesterday after the organisers’ intervention, the IBF made a U-turn and gave the green light for the bout to take place as a title fight as scheduled.

They both will weigh in again this morning.

Amnat won the vacant title with a win over Rocky Fuentes of the Philippines in January 2014.

He made five successful defences including a victory over China’s Zou Shiming in Macau last year.

Amnat also beat Casimero on points last year, but the Filipino’s handlers protested the decision which prompted the IBF to order a rematch.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Knockout CP Freshmart (12-0-0, 6KOs) will fight Nicaragua’s Byron Rojas (17-2-3, 8KOs) in a WBA mimimumweight unification bout in Thailand on June 29.

Unbeaten Knockout is currently the ‘interim’ champion and ranked behind Rojas who is the official champion in the 105-pound division.

The 25-year-old Rojas won the title after upsetting then-champion South Africa’s Hekkie Budler in March.

Blackwell slams Eubanks

Nick Blackwell has spoken of his “disgust” at the “inhuman” reaction of Chris Eubank Jnr and his father following the British middleweight title clash that threatened to cost him his life.

Blackwell was placed in an induced coma having collapsed shortly after being stopped the bout with Eubank Jnr back in March.

The 25-year-old, who has since retired, was found to have suffered a bleed on the skull but woke after a week without requiring surgery.

Television images appeared to show Eubank Sr telling his son not to aim for Blackwell’s head during the fight, which was stopped in the 10th round by referee Victor Loughlin.

“Even in sparring, I tell Junior to stay away from the head because his punching is fast, powerful and dangerous,” Eubank, a former middleweight and super-middleweight world champion, told the BBC days after the bout.

“So most certainly I was saying this to protect the fighter.”

That led Blackwell to say the Eubanks were trying to “grab as much attention as they could” and “make themselves look like the good guys”.

Blackwell told The Sun: “I haven’t any hard feelings about the fight because you’re in there to win and try and hurt someone — it’s just the stuff he has done after. It’s inhuman, it’s disgusting.”

Eubank senior’s ringside comments were seen by many as a reaction to his 1991 World Boxing Organisation super-middleweight title stoppage-win over Michael Watson.

That bout ended with Watson needing major surgery. It also left him with irreparable brain damage and partially paralysed.

But Blackwell said: “The people who saved my life were the referee, the person who put me in the coma and the people at St Mary’s Hospital. The Eubanks didn’t save my life.

“Chris Jnr was asked later if he’d pick the belt or my health. He refused to answer. I’m not being funny, but someone’s health is more important.

“The night of the fight he went partying. He was celebrating.

“I would have wanted to go to the hospital and be by his side until he woke up.” Bangkok post/afp

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