It was not a mega-fight by any means. It didn't feature any superstars or potential superstars. The two fighters had eleven losses combined between them. I'm talking about the bout between Naoki Matsuda and Cancún's own Rudy Lopez, which took place on the undercard of "The Night of Champions," featuring Jorge Linares and Edwin Valero.
It was the rematch of an allegedly entertaining fight (I say "allegedly" because I didn't see it myself), which Matsuda won by 5th round knockout. In this one, Rudy Lopez came out rolling, and clearly won the first four rounds. However, Matsuda was landing his shots. In the third round, in fact, he landed a hell of a right hand over Lopez's eye, which opened a nasty cut. It was a legal blow. Think Lennox Lewis/Vitali Klistchko: there was no way this fight was going twelve rounds.
Lopez's corner worked on the cut between rounds to no avail. On the PPV telecast, you could see the doctor waving his hands, saying that Lopez could not continue. The fight was stopped and rightfully ruled a TKO victory for Naoki Matsuda.
Enter Jose Sulaiman, the president of the WBC who was seated ringside. Today, after reviewing the fight, Matsuda's victory was taken away, and the bout was ruled a no contest. Here's the gist of the report, as reported by Fightnews: "After looking at the video, it was confirmed that the blow was caused by a punch, but after the cut had gotten worse after an incident in round eight, referee Laurence Cole, against regulations, stopped the bout without consulting the ring doctor."
That's complete and utter bullshit. Everyone who saw that fight on TV clearly saw the ring doctor say that Lopez could not continue.
"To avoid accusations of favoritism towards Mexicans, it was decided to make the bout a no contest (instead of giving the W to Lopez, who was ahead on two of the scorecards)...WBC President Jose Sulaiman stated: 'We are tired of them unfairly taking away Mexicans' deserved victories, mostly in the country to the north, and we won't allow it to happen in our own homeland."
There are so many things wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin. If Lopez truly deserved the Win, they should have given it to him. But he didn't. He didn't deserve the no contest either. It clearly is a case of favoritism towards the Mexican fighter, no matter how you look at it. Would they have overturned the decision for Matsuda? Hell no! And what kind of a statement is: "We are tired of them unfairly taking away away Mexicans' victories... and we won't allow it to happen in our own homeland."
Dude! If you're the president of the WBC, you're the president of the WBC. It's the World Boxing Council. It's not called the MBC. It's not the Mexican Boxing Council. So what's up with all the "We" talk? I can't believe he would issue that statment right after saying that he didn't want to be accused of favoritism for Mexican fighters. That's having your cake and eating it too. What a ridiculous bias. Only in boxing. Matsuda was robbed.