By Dan Ambrose: WBA Super World super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (18-0, 12 KOs) will have his 1st round knockout win over his mandatory challenger Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-1, 17 Kos) overturned and changed to a no decision by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to Dan Rafael.
The reason the Commission will be changing the outcome of the contest is because Rigondeaux’s knockout came after the bell had sounded to end the 1st round. Upon review of the fight, the Commission observed that Rigondeau’s left-hand knockout blow came after the 1st round had ended.
The Rigondeaux vs. Flores fight took place last Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rigondeaux and Flores were the co-feature bout on the Andre “SOG” Ward vs. Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev card. That fight ended in controversy as well with Ward nailing Kovalev with 3 consecutive low blows that led to the referee stopping the contest. There’s no word yet whether the Nevada State Athletic Commission will overturn Ward’s victory as well. You can argue that the Ward win was even more controversial than Rigondeaux’s stoppage of Flores.
It would be a black eye for the Ward-Kovalev 2 fight card if BOTH of the top 2 fights on the card are overturned by the Nevada Commission. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a card where the 2 top fights on the card are ruled a no decision. That would be historic, but you can argue strongly that both fights should be ruled as no decisions.
Rigondeaux definitely hit Flores after the bell with a left hand to the head. You can say what you want about whether Flores was faking when he went down. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is Rigondeaux his Flores after the bell with a left hand that hurt him enough for him to lay flat on his back for a prolonged period of time. It would have been nice had the 30-year-old Flores gotten back up so he could finish the fight, but apparently he was too hurt to continue.
”It’s not fair, It’s clear the bell range,” said Flores after the fight. ”He didn’t throw a punch the whole round. I was winning the round and he waited for after the bell to throw a punch when I dropped my hands down,” said Flores.
Flores’ description of the fight with Rigondeaux isn’t quite what happened. Rigondeaux was hitting Flores with single shots throughout the 1st round. Granted, Rigondeaux wasn’t throwing a lot of punches, but he was definitely hitting Flores. Rigondeaux didn’t appear to intentionally wait for the 1st round to end before throwing his shots. Both fighters were letting their hands go in the final seconds of the round. Rigondeaux got caught up with his speedy shots and didn’t hear the bell sound to end the round. Rigondeaux was throwing combinations at the time the round sounded, so it’s not surprising that he continued to throw punches after the round ended.
With the Rigondeaux and Flores fight being changed to a no decision, it means that a rematch will need to be scheduled. Flores remains Rigondeaux’s World Boxing Association mandatory challenger. That’s both good and bad depending on how Rigondeaux wants to view it. Rigondeaux gets another easy fight against a guy that was totally outclassed by him in Flores.
This was one of the easiest fights that Rigondeaux has had in quite some time due to Flores’ lack of hand speed and his wild shots that he was trying to hit the Cuban fighter with. Flores was making a lot of noise each time he would throw a shot, and he was missing badly. Flores fought like he had his eyes closed with the way he was throwing wild punches, and whiffing on all of them. Rigondeaux was far too skilled for the Mexican fighter.
In leading up to the stoppage, Rigondeaux had been hitting Flores at will with left hands. Rigondeaux looked like a sharp shooter with the way he was picking Flores off with shots. At the end of the 1st round, Rigondeaux grabbed Flores with one hand behind the head and hit him with several uppercuts. Referee Vic Draculich then approached the two fighters to stop Rigondeaux from continuing to hold and hit Flores. At that moment, the round ended.
Rigondeaux then hit Flores with a left hand after the bell that knocked him down. Flores was hurt and couldn’t continue fighting. It looked to some boxing fans like Flores was faking in order to try and win by a disqualification. We’d seen super middleweight Andre Dirrell win a fight against Jose Uzcategui by disqualification after he was hit after the bell in a similar manner.
It’s unclear Why Rigondeaux wasn’t disqualified as well. It’s likely that his blow wasn’t viewed as being intentional. Rigondeaux was fighting hard in the last seconds of the round and he obviously was too caught up in what he was doing for him to hear the bell sound to end the 1st round.
The bad thing for the boxing public is they have to see Rigondeaux fight Flores again. The way that Rigondeaux dominated Flores, it’s not a fight that will likely be competitive in nature in the future. Rigondeaux needs to be facing guys that have a chance against him. Flores was clearly too limited for him to do anything against the 2-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba.
Rigondeaux was another level than Flores. The only way Flores will have a chance against the 36-year-old Rigondeaux in the rematch is if he makes some major improvements in his game. Flores could start by using his jab a lot more, and working on his terrible defense. Rigondeaux’s boxing skills are far and beyond above Flores’ right now. A rematch between them would be another slaughter. I can’t see Flores going past the 2nd round against Rigondeaux no matter how many times the two face each other.
The official time of the stoppage was at 3:00 of round 1. Referee Vic Draculich ruled it was a legal punch by Rigondeaux for the knockout blow. The Nevada State Athletic Commission is overruling the referee. It should be interesting to see if the Commission does the same thing by overruling the referee’s stoppage of the Ward-Kovalev stoppage results.