In what was a fantastic night of championship Boxing at York Hall on Saturday night, a theme that ran throughout 3 of the 4 title fights that took place was the tightness of the judge's scorecards of the bouts.
After Liam Dillon & Youssef Khoumari battled to a thrilling draw for the English Super-Featherweight title, Linus Udofia defeated Tyler Denny via a close points win to capture the first title of his pro career at the first time of asking.
The evening’s controversy was saved until the end as Ryan Walker & Piotr Mirga went against each-other over 10 rounds, both wanting to secure the first strap of their careers.
Walker who 1 year prior was stopped in the opening round in his English title attempt against Michael Ramabeletsa had spent the past 12 months regrouping for a 2nd attempt at title glory.
Meanwhile Mirga who had only had 5 professional fights previously was competing for his 1st title at such an early stage of his career.
Onto the fight itself, the contest was well worth it for those who stuck around York Hall for the final fight of what had been a 14 fight card which started at 4pm.
With both fighters having their moments in pretty much every round, the one and only judge Ian John Lewis was in for a tough nights work whilst also having to Referee the contest as well.
Mirga who had plenty of fans in attendance looked shell-shocked when Walker was announced as the winner (97-94) whilst his supporters were forced into silence as Walker and his team celebrated.
ESBR caught up with Mirga a couple of days after the fight:
“I couldn’t believe it when the score was read out. You win some, you lose some but this loss is very hard to accept.” stated Mirga before going into detail about the fight.
“I felt as if I won the first 4 rounds very clearly then perhaps slacked off a bit in rounds 5 & 6 but then put a lot of pressure on in the final 4 rounds to secure the victory. I’m confident that I did that so me corner and I were so sure of the victory when the final bell went”.
“He (Walker) had no control of the fight, I was keeping him off and coming away from exchanges unscathed. He caught me occasionally but the vast majority of the time he was just hitting either my gloves or elbows.”
“In regards to my attack, I hit him to the body so many times he was keeping his hands so low all of the time towards the end of the fight which made it easier to move upstairs.”
As mentioned earlier, there was only one judge for the contest who was also the Referee. In a situation such as this there’s an argument that in championship fights there should be 3 judges just like there are at English, British & Commonwealth level.
When asked about the judging situation Mirga compared Saturday night to previous experiences:
“In my previous fight in Poland, I had 3 judges for a 6 rounder, got dropped in the 2nd round and still managed to win on points. It all felt professional compared to Saturday night.”
“It’s hard to be a Referee and a Judge at the same time. At this level the fights are too important for there to only be one opinion, I’m 100% sure that if there had been 3 judges on Saturday night I would have been victorious.”
After posting a Facebook status which included tagging Walker, provoking a response from the newly crowned champion a sense of bad blood and an inevitable discussion about a rematch came into play.
“The way that he was talking on Facebook annoyed me. He’s had 12 fights and he’s acting like he’s Floyd Mayweather. You could say that he isn’t my cup of tea.”
“I’m definitely going to be chasing the rematch and that’s the fight that I want next. I’m staying at this weight as well so there’s no reason why we can’t go again in 2020. If he fights anybody decent instead of me he’ll probably lose so I’m very keen for the rematch.”
“Next time I won’t let him touch me”.