Former heavyweight titleholder John Ruiz is formally protesting the decision rendered in Germany for his recent rematch with Nikolai Valuev, now the WBA heavyweight titlist. Ruiz's camp sent out a press release stating the following:
1. Judge Takeshi Shimakawa improperly kept a running score during the fight, which is prohibited by the WBA, as well as the only way he could have "corrected" his scorecard after the scores were announced (Shimakawa’s scoring changed from 114-113 in favor of Ruiz to 114-113 for Valuev.
2. Ruiz was not credited with a legitimate knockdown when he floored Valuev in the second round. Ruiz blasted Valuev with punches, knocking "The Giant" into the ropes, but the referee incorrectly ruled a slip when Valuev’s knee hit the canvas after he careened off of the ropes. Scoring that round would have been different, in Ruiz’ favor, if it was ruled a knockdown.
3. Judge Antonio Requena scored two rounds even, despite WBA instructions that there should be no even rounds scored in championship bouts. Ruiz would have been declared the winner if the two even rounds had been awarded to Ruiz in addition to the aforementioned second round scoring snafu being sorted out.
4. Most importantly, throughout the fight Valuev’s cornermen received judges’ scoring results as the rounds went on, something that happens regularly only in Germany, yet clearly constitutes major corruption in boxing.
In addition to demanding a full videotape of the fight for review, Team Ruiz plans to petition the WBA to rule the bout a no-contest and Valuev be stripped of the WBA title for a blatant violation of WBA rules. Team Ruiz will also seek sanctions against any officials involved in permitting these violations to happen, whether it’s enforced by the WBA or German Boxing Federation.
"The WBA needs to resolve this matter as quickly as possible," Ruiz said. "Non-officials are not allowed to handle or read scorecards during the fight. Valuev should be stripped and a rematch ordered. It seems like everything possible has happened to me in boxing. Whether it was defending my title by disqualification (Kirk Johnson), my opponent testing positive for steroids (James Toney), or scores changed after a fight like this. It was chaotic after the fight. With all of the confusion going on, at one point while waiting to hear the results, I thought I was in Florida and the ‘hanging chads’ during the 2000 election."
Ruiz's nickname, of course, is "The Quiet Man," which begs one to wonder why he never shuts up. Also, dig that ultra-relevant, well-worded, hilarious 2000 election joke. Hanging chads are not gone, dudes. Not even close. Not when John Ruiz is around to compare a close decision loss in a fight the world ignored to deciding the leadership of the free world...eight years ago. John Ruiz is with it.
Now, the truth is, he appears to have a pretty solid case, so I can't totally hate on the dude. I guess you have to hope for justice to be served, since that's the right thing. But, of course, Ruiz may have his own version of justice, too. Still, I've heard a lot of folks thought he won the fight.
Oh well. It won't be on American TV or anything anyway.