By Bryanna Fissori
It is no secret that the history of boxing is riddled with theories (and confirmations) of thrown fights. The concept of competitors losing a fight in exchange for additional pay or other incentives is not exclusive to boxing, but it is commonly associated with the sport.
Zuffa Boxing is the new kid in town. A subsidiary of the UFC, the company is aware of the stigma surrounding boxing and had their own run in with the issue relating to an international fight card in Seoul.
The UFC realized they had a potential problem in 2015 when betting lines for the UFC Fight Night 79 match up between Tae Hyun Bang and Leo Kuntz moved significantly. It was the biggest flux they had ever seen, which raised immediate suspicions.
“We caught wind of that thing,” said UFC President Dana White in a press conference last month. “You know, there was talk about it. So, Joe and Sean (UFC matchmakers) called him (Tae Hyun Bang) and he said, ‘No, no, I would never blah blah blah.’ And he didn’t do it, but he still went to jail. As you can see with USADA and the drug testing and everything else, guys don’t f*cking learn lessons, but hopefully you learn that one. You get caught doing that shit — and he didn’t even do it. He took the money, but didn’t fix the fight. And he got 10 months in jail . . . You get suspended for a year for drugs, you get suspended for two years. You go to f*cking jail for doing this shit. Hopefully that’s a lesson learned for everybody.”
Tae Hyun Bang accepted $100,000 to throw the fight, which took place in South Korea. He bet half of that on his opponent. Bang didn’t go through with the fall and ended up winning a split decision. Last month he was sentenced to 10 months in jail for his involvement. Three other people involved were also sentenced.