Bellator 232: “Baby Slice” KO Victory Overturned to No Contest
By: Jesse Donathan
As BoxingInsider.com previously reported in, “Bellator 232 in Review: When Common Sense isn’t so Common,” Kevin Ferguson Jr., aka “Baby Slice,” scored a controversial 38-second KO victory over the weekend after raining down what appeared to be obvious illegal blows to the back of his opponent Craig Ferguson’s head. On Monday, reports surfaced that The Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation (MTDAR) has officially overturned the Bellator 232 knockout victory for Kevin Ferguson Jr. and deemed the bout a no contest (NC).
According to an October 28, 2019 Sherdog.com article titled, “‘Baby Slice’ Has Bellator 232 Victory Overturned Due to Use of Illegal Elbows,” author Tristen Critchfield writes that MTDAR president Mike Mazzulli notified Bellator president Scott Coker of the commissions intentions to overturn the original results of the fight.
Referencing the official MTDAR letter to Coker, Sherdog.com went on to report, “In the case of the above-referenced bout, upon review of the tape, we have determined that the injury that stopped the bout was the result of an accidental foul; elbows to the back of the head.” The author Tristen Critchfield went on to quote the commission’s findings as concluding that, “Since the bout was stopped in the first round of a bout scheduled for three rounds, we have determined that the result of the bout must be changed to ‘no-contest.’”
The Bellator 232 no contest ruling comes on the heels of another no contest ruling at Bellator 231, which aired the previous evening on Friday night, also hosted at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. As originally published in an October 25, 2019 EWrestling.com article titled, “Bellator 231: Jake Hager’s Third MMA Fight A “No Contest” Due To Low-Blows, AEW Represented At Show,” author Matt Boone writes that, “The third professional MMA bout of former WWE Superstar turned AEW wrestler Jake Hager ended in controversy.”
According to the report, “The fight was stopped less than two minutes after the action got underway due to Hager landing a hard groin shot on his opponent, the second for him in under 30 seconds.” Which unfortunately highlights a curious trend across promotional lines in mixed martial arts; athletes using otherwise illegal, prohibited techniques in the ring or cage to gain the upper hand over their rule abiding counterparts.
In August, former UFC two-division champion Daniel Cormier eye gouged Stipe Miocic in their championship title fight at UFC 241, itself a repeat of their first meeting at UFC 226 where Cormier again eye gouged Miocic shortly before knocking out the Ohio native to claim the UFC heavyweight title. After reclaiming the UFC heavyweight title in the rematch, Miocic reportedly underwent corrective surgery to restore his vision prior to a scheduled trilogy fight with the eye gouging Daniel Cormier in 2020.
And again, at UFC Fight Night 147 in March, welterweight Jorge Masvidal kicked opponent Darren Till in the groin before going on to knock the young British fighter out cold to cite just a small handful of cases in an increasingly regular occurrence in mixed martial arts competition. In a sport which was one governed with as few rules as possible, today athletes are routinely penalized for infractions that pale in comparison to some of the illegal techniques they are regularly given the benefit of the doubt over after already inflicting egregious bodily harm to their opponents.
Does the future of mixed martial arts exist in a sea of no contests and “unintentional” fouls as the referee’s all too often look the other way when their law-abiding contestants bare the true responsibility for their opponent’s illegal behavior? Interestingly, according to a Predictem.com article titled, “Boxing Betting Rules,” author Scotty L. writes that, “Results are decided in the ring on the date of the fight. In other words, any changes made to the result of a fight due to a failed drug test, a successful appeal, an incorrect scoring procedure, etc. will have no bearing.” The report goes on to state that, “The decision rendered at the conclusion of a fight is binding. Also, you have no recourse if you come out on the short end of a controversial result, regardless of how overt the incompetence or corruption of the officials was.”
The sum of which brings an entirely new perspective and plane of understanding to some of the most controversial topics in the combat sports entertainment industry today. With referee Bryan Miner having originally ruled the Ferguson Jr./Campbell fight a knockout victory for “Baby Slice” Saturday night, clearly dropping the ball on Ferguson Jr.’s use of illegal strikes to the back of his opponents head, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is whether or not anything else occurred over the weekend at Bellator 231 and 232 that the MTDAR may want to go back and take a second look at? With tribal lands traditionally being a place where MMA rules and regulations are fast and loose, its interesting to consider just how often Roy “Big Country” Nelson has found himself fighting at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II, Jacobs, Holmes, Lara, Khan, Canelo, Ortiz, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II, Jacobs, Holmes, Lara, Khan, Canelo, Ortiz, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 12th to April 19th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Bob Arum Tells TMZ Sports: Floyd vs. Manny Rematch More Likely Than Not
Bob Arum recently told TMZ Sports that a rematch with Floyd Mayweather is “more likely than not” but says that there are serious obstacles to overcome.
Arum stated, “It’s close to 50/50 but probably leaning more towards the fight happening than not.” Arum also stated, “If the match was available, I believe [Manny] would come back for that match.”
Arum also stated he knows Showtime has serious interest in Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II.
You can read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/13/manny-pacquiao-floyd-mayweather-rematch/
Senator McCain to Join Larry Holmes, Daniel Jacobs, and MMA Fighters to Show Support of Professional Fighter Study for Brain health
Senator John McCain is set to join famous boxers and mma fighters such as Larry Holmes, Daniel Jacobs, and MMA fighters from Bellator MMA to show support of professional fighters study at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Braind Health. This is to occur on Tuesday, April 26th at 12:15pm at the Armed Services Hearing Room at the US Senate in Washington D.C.
Dr. Charles Bernick, an associate medical director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, will also be in attendance.
Three Super Welterweight Title Fights to Take Stage May 21st; Lara, Martirosyan, Charlo, Trout, and Jackson
The 154-pound division will take center stage on Saturday, May 21 in a stacked triple-header featuring three world title fights in the same division. Five of the division’s top-six fighters* will square off live on SHOWTIME from The Chelsea, a one-of-a-kind 40,000-square-foot venue, inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
In the main event, Cuban sensation Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will defend his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship against U.S. Olympian and top contender, Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan, in a rematch of their 2012 bout that ended in a technical draw.
Brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo will look to make history in co-featured bouts as the first twins to hold world titles in the same division. Unbeaten IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermall faces his toughest test to date when he makes the second defense of his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout. Jermell will take on exciting contender John Jackson in a bout for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.
“Erislandy Lara and I have unfinished business from our first fight,” said Martirosyan. “I had him beat that night and I’ll beat him on May 21. My time is now and I know I will be the new champion of the world on May 21.”
The 25-year-old Charlos’ aim to make history against stiff opposition from a former champion in Trout, and the Olympian from the Virgin Islands in Jackson.
“This will be a history-making, record-breaking night for the Charlo twins,” said Jermall Charlo. “It means everything to us to be able to fight in two championship fights on the same card. This is everything we’ve ever dreamed of. This is going to be a great night of boxing and I’m preparing myself for war. Austin Trout is a seasoned vet. He’s fought world champions and has beaten future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto. This is one of my biggest fights to date, but I’m preparing the same way I always do. I’m going to be on my ‘A’ game. I’m ready to make history.”
“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to fight for the world title on May 21,” said Trout. “It’s a twice-in-a-lifetime chance for a second world title and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m working hard and have already been in training camp in D.C. and ready to take full advantage of the moment. I’ve sat at the champions’ table before and am ready to go back again and eat from it again. Destiny brought me here not to lose, but to win. I’m going to show up and show out and this world title.”
“This is a huge fight for me,” said Jermell Charlo. “It’s my first opportunity to fight for a title and my brother is on the same card defending his belt. There has never been identical twin brothers that are both world champions in the same weight class. We’re going to go out there and make history, and send a message to the whole division. I’m excited to get in the ring and I know John Jackson is too. This is an important time in my career and I will be well prepared. Let the best man win.”
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to become a world champion,” said Jackson. “I’ve been training very hard for the last two months for this fight and come May 21 I will be victorious over Jermell Charlo and realize my lifelong dream of becoming a world champion, like my dad, the great Julian Jackson.”
BoxNation Holding a Canelo vs. Khan Las Vegas Trip Competition
One of the biggest fights of the year is scheduled to take place on May 7th live from Las Vegas, and BoxNation is partnering with icelolly.com to give a lucky winner a chance to attend Amir Khan’s big fight against Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas. The contest will be for a four night stay to take in the big fight week to the famous strip.
The competition ends on Saturday, April 23rd at 9pm. More information on this competition can be found online at http://www.boxnation.com/promotions/win-a-trip-for-two-to-las-vegas-for-khan-v-canelo/
Mario Barrios Dominated in 2016 Debut
IBF #15 super-featherweight ranked contender, Mario Barrios, remained undefeated with a dominating unanimous decision victory over Edgar Gabejan (26-33-6, 9 KOs) a veteran of over 500 ronds, improving his record to (15-0, 8 KOs).
Barrios, who hails from San Antonio, TX, came out guns blazing, dropping Gabejan in round one. Towering over his opponent, Barrios, who stands over six feet tall, used his height and reach to perfection as he landed precise punches throughout the remainder of the fight. Gabejan made it to the final bell but was severely beaten up. Scorecards read 80-71 across the board, all in favor of Barrios.
This marks the first fight for Barrios in 2016. With the win, Barrios hope to get back in the ring as soon as possible. A world title fight by the end of the year is what Barrios has is mind set on.
“I’m happy with my performance tonight,” said Mario Barrios. “My opponent showed a lot of heart making it to the final bell. Going the full eight rounds was great experience for me. I feel I’m improving with each fight and I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll be ready to challenge any of the champions in my division.”
Keith Thurman to Defend Welterweight Title Against Shawn Porter on June 25th
Keith “One Time” Thurman is scheduled to defend his welterweight championship against “Showtime” Shawn Porter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, June 25th.
This bout will be broadcast by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and will be a Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast on CBS. The broadcast will begin with a co-main event featherweight battle between Jesus Cuellar against former three division world champion Abner Mares.
Tickets, which start at $25, will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com
“Keith Thurman against Shawn Porter is one of the best matchups that can be made in the welterweight division right now,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Fans in attendance at Barclays Center and those watching on CBS will witness a passing of the torch as the hard-punching world titleholder Thurman and the highly skilled former champion Porter vie to prove who will be the next heir to the throne in the post-Mayweather era of the 147-pound division. The explosive co-main event between Jesus Cuellar and Abner Mares will give fans a fight to remember.”
Victor Ortiz Media Workout Quotes
Victor Ortiz is scheduled to face Andre Berto for a second time on Saturday, April 30th live on the Fox Network. This bout will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Ortiz recently held a media workout and below are a few select quotes from that workout.
On his first bout against Berto:
“I made a lot of mistakes that night but I did enough to get the victory. I always said if I ever got the rematch, I would end him and now I have the chance.
“Berto had an off night. I wasn’t at my best either, but I destroyed him regardless. This time we’ll both be at our best.
“Berto just talks and talks. When you have to hype yourself up just to think you have a chance, that’s on you. I don’t need to talk myself into thinking I’m going to win. I just know I’m going to win.
“We’ve both had some wars since our first fight, but if you can’t back it up, you should just stop.
“I had injuries heading into the last fight, but now you have two guys who are 100 percent. That is going to make for an even better fight this time around.”
On the rematch with Berto:
“Berto comes to fight. He comes for war and won’t give up ever, but that makes two of us.
“We have been through a lot in the last five years. He hates me. I have no hate in my heart, but I know it’s a sport. I’m not leaving that ring without a victory.
“Berto wants to hurt me just as bad as I want to hurt him. I’m ready to go again. This is going to be a Fight of the Year for sure.
“Anytime you have to convince yourself that you’re going to beat me. That you actually had a chance the first time, there’s a lot wrong with you.
“It’s a sport. It’s not personal. Two guys going back and forth. I want to rip his head off and he wants to rip my head off. Its nothing personal. We can go get a burger after the fight.
“He’s a heck of a fighter and a boxer and I am too. He’s had his fair share of wars. He’s had his fair share of injuries and I’ve had mine.
“I would hate someone that took my undefeated record. So maybe he hates me, but I don’t hate him. Whatever his mindset is, April 30 is right around the corner and I’m ready.”
On working with Coach Joseph “Hoss” Janik & David Rodela:
“Coach Hoss has always been there 100 percent. He has been in my corner about a decade and he knows the game better than a lot of the people I’ve worked with. Every fighter needs to find a ‘zen’ with their coach and I have that with Coach Hoss.
“I feel like this is the best fit for me. Hoss has been with me through it all, from being dropped, to the hospital and everything. He always says that this is just another way to make you stronger.
“I also have coach David Rodela in my corner. We were once upon a time rivals and now we are closest of friends. It is a true ‘Grudge Match’ right there. Now he just tortures me in training.
On his acting career:
“At this point I have one focus. For the next three or four years I am going to be 100 percent focused on boxing.
“I’ve had big celebrities and actors come up to me and say ‘you’re Victor Ortiz, can we take a picture?’ It’s mutual respect, but it’s also kind of crazy. I don’t overstep my boundaries.
“I don’t watch the movie I’ve been in. That is too much. Some people like to see themselves on the screen, I’m not one of those people.
On his positive attitude:
“I believe that if you’re a bad person, bad things happen. I’m a hard worker. I used to work construction and out in the fields. I never complained. Always smiled.
“I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face. People take some things too seriously. Of course there are haters out there, but I don’t pay attention to any of that. I’ve found that a good positive attitude goes a long way.
“It doesn’t matter what people say. What matters what I want, what I’m going to do. April 30 is going to be the rebirth of me.”
On what’s next after April 30:
“I’m ready to fight for a world title. Especially after this victory that’s coming. This is for personal satisfaction. Berto has been talking for five years and I’m ready to go.
“I took a different route, a different approach. Why? Because I wanted to try other things. Do I have to be here? No. I turned down two movies to be here. Boxing is my first and true love.
“I’m ready to conquer the 147 and 154 pound divisions and Andre Berto is standing in my way right now.”