Malawi Professional Boxing Control Board (MPBCB) judge, Mbachichi Nyirenda, has come under attack following irregularities, on the score-card, that led to Zambian Lolita Muzeya being declared the winner over Malawian Ruth Chisale on Saturday.
Muzeya won the World Boxing Council-Gold elimination welterweight contest on unanimous decision after judges scored 79-75, 78-71 and 79-74 in her favour in Lusaka, Zambia.
However, one of the score-sheets has gone viral on social media, exposing judge two [Nyirenda] that he did not do his additions perfectly.
He scored the fight 78-71, but the score-sheet exposes irregularities as it was supposed to read 77-77.
Chisale’s management team, Ngumi Boxing Stable’s Managing Director Steve Msiska, accused Nyirenda of betraying the nation. Nyirenda has dismissed the accusations.
“We were not looking for any favour. What we wanted was a fair and professional judge to make the right determinations and calculations. However, according to the score-sheet, it seems our own people betrayed us. Judge two was Mbachichi, and when you look at the score-sheet, you will see that there were some irregularities.
“It was supposed to read 77-77 and not 78-71,” Msiska claimed.
He also faulted MPBCB President, Lonzoe Zimba, who was the Chief Jury during the elimination fight, for failing to execute his duties perfectly.
“As the Chief Jury, he was supposed not to sign [the score-sheet]. After the fight, he came to console us but that did not mean anything. By signing, it means that he was satisfied with whatever he saw,” he said.
Msiska also claimed that there was a promoter who was working behind the scenes to frustrate Chisale.
“At an appropriate time, we will reveal the promoter and what he is doing. He pretends to be assisting but he does the opposite. In the meantime, we are building our grounds for launching an appeal,” he said.
Nyirenda has since denied betraying Chisale’s camp, saying he scored the bout as a draw, and he was equally surprised by the outcome.
“I did not go there to favour any boxer, including our own [countrywoman]. I did my job perfectly. The way I saw it was that each boxer won three rounds and drew twice. I scored the fight 77-77 because that is the way I saw it. The moment they announced the result, I also took a picture of the score-sheet because I noticed that whoever was doing the tabulation failed to add the scores properly.
“Indeed, Ruth was the most aggressive boxer but her punches lacked power, unlike Lolita, who had powerful punches that made Ruth wobbly. In boxing, we also take into account the effect of the punch. Lastly, even if I had given the fight to Ruth, she could still have lost because the two Zambian judges gave it to their boxer,” Nyirenda said.
Zimba said he was in a tricky situation following some incidents that threatened to mar the fight.
“I am writing a report to the Africa Boxing Union (ABU) President over some irregularities, which include the bout having two Zambian judges. We were told that a South African judge did not travel for unknown reasons. Once I am through with ABU, I will let you know the wayforward,” he said.
Zimbabwe trainer, Issa Phiri, also questioned the outcome of the fight.
Hosts Oriental Quarries Boxing Promotions Operations Manager, Chris Malunga, said they did not contravene any rules.
“Ruth was in control of the fight but she messed up her chances. She spit the gum-shield thrice in different rounds and she was penalised for affecting the flow of the fight. There was a Malawian judge and the commissioner was from Malawi. We did everything in accordance with the rules” he said.
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