UPDATE: A British Boxing Board of Control representative was on Sky Sports just after the fight, saying that it's "too early" to say there will be any inquiry into the fight, but trying to push "disappointment," and dismissing the word "farce." There's a lot about this that seems off. That's just my opinion. Officials are never on TV this fast to address something like this, and they really never make statements like "farce is a strong word" and "obviously the boy's got an injury."
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Ricky Burns successfully defended his super featherweight belt today against Nicky Cook, stopping Cook in the first round as an apparent degenerative back condition put Cook on the canvas quickly (six seconds in), and then stopped him just shortly after. Cook left the ring on a stretcher.
But you can expect more to come out of this one than the result.
Earlier today, bets were suspended in the UK on the fight, as a third round stoppage win for Burns had suspicious activity. It didn't get to the third round, but there's no doubt that many are going to be highly skeptical of what went down today.
First of all, with the way Cook looked in the ring, you have to wonder two things:
- How did he get through training? Specifically, how did he spar? Did he spar? And even if he didn't, how did he get into shape? Cook had been out of the ring for some time and had to work hard to drop weight. How did the injury not flare up if it's this bad?
- How did he pass a medical exam for this fight?
One theory is that Cook's team knew he was in no condition to fight, and leaked the info to friends or associates to bet on the outcome. It may not have been a fix in the sense that both fighters knew there was something going down, or that a lay down outcome was in the cards, but obviously something is off here, and there's going to be more to come from this. The BBBofC is usually pretty thorough about things like this, and there's too much suspicion out there.
Burns improves to 32-2 (9 KO), while Cook falls to 30-3 (16 KO).